Is a bigger queen better? Also, can a virgin lay?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane County, Washington, USA
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    440

    Default Is a bigger queen better? Also, can a virgin lay?

    I have some nucs that I split some queen cells into. In one there is a large queen, in the other the queen's abdomen is quite a bit smaller. This got me wondering - all else aparently the same, is a bigger queen better?

    Another separate question - can a virgin lay an egg? I have a a queen that I believe is a virgin, because of her size and the timing is a little quick as well. But looking in her nuc, I saw one egg, no others. It was neatly laid in the center on the bottom of the cell, and it was the only one I saw. Could she have laid that one? Is it more likely a worker egg? Or maybe just an old egg that has never been cleaned up? What do you think?
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Nassau County, New York, USA
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: Is a bigger queen better? Also, can a virgin lay?

    Is a bigger queen better?
    If a queen is evaluated by her ability to lay eggs, I don't think so. I had many small queens that lay very well.

    Can a virgin lay an egg?
    Yes, if a virgin does not mate in first 3 weeks of her life, she will lay drone (unfertilized) eggs.
    USDA Zone 7a - elevation 148 feet

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    4,499

    Default Re: Is a bigger queen better? Also, can a virgin lay?

    Just 2 days ago in one of my mating nucs I found an issue:
    - the QC in that nuc went dead and the bees detected it
    - they panicked and immediately made a queen cup and filled it with up to 10 eggs (I tried to take the picture but just could not brush the clinging bees aside - they were clinging tight to that fake QC they made for themselves)
    - I promptly gave them another pending QC and the issue was fixed.

    But - speaking of the laying workers - in a matter just few days (hours?), the workers were laying.
    So whatever you saw, was most likely an egg laid by a worker I think.
    The workers are capable of laying eggs on demand pretty much (there are reports stating this observation; not just me saying).
    In fact, it is stated the workers are laying few eggs in most any queen-right hive at all times (just those eggs are destroyed; or ARE they? who checked?)

    Speaking of size, MSL says so (the size matters) - he can produce tons of documented support.
    Better meaning - producing more eggs, the most conventional definition of "better".

    Better may also mean other things (I will gladly take a small, class-less queen if I know she can produce the genetics I want).
    So - define better.
    And also, many conventional beliefs turned to be fake now and then.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane County, Washington, USA
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: Is a bigger queen better? Also, can a virgin lay?

    Thanks for the input. Just to be clear, I in no way mean to suggest that a queen be evaluated on size (or color for that matter) alone.
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

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