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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just Curious. Seems whenever I buy a mated Queen, she always comes in somewhat bigger, Today in a swarm hive the queen looked Giant compared to what I have seen. I didnt know if they keep growing or what the deal was. Just Curious.:scratch:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks mrbeeman. I knew it was the mother queen with the swarm but she seemed gigantic. Wish I had have had my camera.
 

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Wish I would have looked better at the queen in the cage that was with the package we installed today. Pretty small. I just assumed she was a small queen. Hope it wasn't a worker. That would be a bummer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ive never had that happen, as I said I could always tell they were queens just by body makeup, but this one was like a woman among toddlers. Im sure you got a queen. Good Luck. G
 

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The size does matter. Smaller queens cannot hold as much sperm. There are other factors aside from this (like pheromone levels) but as a breeder large queens are a sign of good nutrition. More research needs done in this department as I have had smaller queens out perform some larger ones. Typically a large queen is a good sign.
 

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Just Curious. Seems whenever I buy a mated Queen, she always comes in somewhat bigger, Today in a swarm hive the queen looked Giant compared to what I have seen. I didnt know if they keep growing or what the deal was. Just Curious.:scratch:
Matter? Matter to who? What matters is how she performs. What her brood pattern looks like. Is she laying a dense and complete wall to wall brood pattern or a patchy/spotty brood pattern? Patchy/spotty gets the hive tool test.
 

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Matter? Matter to who? What matters is how she performs. What her brood pattern looks like. Is she laying a dense and complete wall to wall brood pattern or a patchy/spotty brood pattern? Patchy/spotty gets the hive tool test.
Thats why I was asking, out of curiosity. I get the dense pattern Mark. I wont know till the new queen is accepted and laying........so, maybe you have an answer for the last part of the quote:
"I didnt know if they keep growing or what the deal was. Just Curious."
 

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Matter? Matter to who? What matters is how she performs. What her brood pattern looks like. Is she laying a dense and complete wall to wall brood pattern or a patchy/spotty brood pattern? Patchy/spotty gets the hive tool test.
The question is. Is a larger queen more likely to satisfy these requirements? If not what characteristics are?

The only thing I really consider a larger queen may be a benefit for is that they may have more ovaducts. this capable of producing more eggs in a given span of time.I don give amount of sperm much consideration. I have seen information that indicates that even a poorly mated queen has enough sperm to fertilize eggs if she layed non stop one egg every second for something like 30 years.If this is correct then sperm quantity is not a limiting factor to the productivity of a queen. possibly the number of eggs she is capable of producing over a life time is. What characteristics might govern that I do not know. nutrition. development as a larva and pupa, overall care once emerged. timing of her mating flights possibly. Proper stimulation and development of her reproductive organs.

The list could get very long. For now I consider one of the most important things to any queen as she develops her laying ability is unlimited space to do so. as her body continues to develop it needs to be able to perform at it's highest levels. I do not think even a 5 frame nuc with a queen in it for a month is adequate for this to happen.
 

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I believe that most queens slim down in preparation to swarm. Nothing changes internally .. the sperm count is the same, ovaducts are the same. When she gets into her new home she will fatten back up. I would think that nutrition impacts queen size more than anything else.
 

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Installed two packages last week. One had a very large queen in the cage. The other had what seemed to be a big worker bee (size-wise). It was obvious she was a queen, but she was quite small.

We happened to spot her last night and she's as big as the other now. I think a lot of it has to do with how long it's been since they were actively laying. Both queens are laying solid combs full of eggs.

Here she is now:
View attachment 10819
 
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