Do Queens keep growing?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Columbus, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Do Queens keep growing?

    While checking one of my hives I find the Queen... but she's clearly bigger than when I first loaded the Package. And the thought crosses my mind - "Is this a different Queen?" Part of the question stemmed from the fact that she was missing almost all of the paint dot I had put on her as a new queen...so did she outgrow it or just rub it off?

    I am curious if anyone knows do the Queens continue to get bigger even though they've already mated? And when does it stop if they do get bigger?
    2nd Year beek started w/2 hives (2019) + 3 new Pkgs added (2020). Zone 6a Central Indiana

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    5,240

    Default Re: Do Queens keep growing?

    My take, maybe someone else knows better, but a queen that is caged and not laying will slim down a bunch. Once she is out of the cage and in full production mode, she will regain her full size.

    Marking paint wears off and sometimes the bees clean it off. Recently sold a nuc that had a marked queen, well she was still marked the week before I sold it. On inspection the day of the sale, she was completely devoid of paint markings. Pretty certain it was the same queen.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Newtown, ct
    Posts
    84

    Default

    I agree, packaged or banked queens are smaller than laying queens. When you marked her did you give her 20 seconds or so for the paint to dry? Attendants have been known to groom fresh paint off.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Do Queens keep growing?

    It also may be possible, however unlikely, that you started with an unmated queen somehow (poor QAQC), which are significantly smaller.
    USDA Hardiness Zone 7A, Hobbyist, First Hives in 2017

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,442

    Default Re: Do Queens keep growing?

    The queen's thorax and head don't, but her abdomen does change size.
    Zone 6B

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