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Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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.
 
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