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I purchased my first queen back in June and dropped it into a split. It has gotten considerably larger since the day that I purchased it.

Now, I have a swarm that I picked up in late June (6/26). I thought I picked up the queen (they all went in the hive), but I apparently didn't as I found 3 queen cells on the bait frame that I had put into the hive on 7/4.

I fed them syrup the whole time.

7/10 : I did an inspection to see how they were doing and found a small queen. Not sure if it was the same size as the one that I purchased, but I figured that maybe it was young and it would get bigger.

7/18 : No eggs, no queen

7/21 : Still no eggs, found queen and she is still small (a bit bigger then a regular worker)

I guess I am wondering if I should still have patience with this queen and wait (how long?) for her to get going (get some size and start laying.) I have a couple of other young hives that I could combine this hive with (after I pinch the small queen), but I would like to keep them if they are going to make a go of it. I just do not know how long I should wait (not sure if the dry weather/dearth is also slowing down the progress.)
 

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Oldtimer is correct, and gives good advice. You would be advised to pay close attention!

Virgin queens are usually smaller than mated queens. Inferior mated queens are usually smaller than good mated queens. Those are just generalities, of course, and there are exceptions.

Do you mind if I ask who you bought the first queen from?

My experiences have been if I purchase a queen and it's small, she's either inferior or a virgin. In either case, I don't want her. I buy queens to have the best genetics available, including having her mating in a mating yard full of drones with known genetics. I don't want to take a virgin home to have her mate with the drones in my yard of unknown genetics. That wasn't why I bought a queen.

So I guess what I'm saying is I'd re-evaluate who you purchased that first queen from.
 

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I have a 2-frame observation hive. The queen is very small. Is this normal when there is little room for her to lay? If I put her in a nuc --> deep --> double deep, will she grow fatter as her egg-laying demands grow?

Just curious.

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My russian queens are smaller than my Minn Hyg by more than i expected and they outlay them as of today...
 

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whats cool is to watch them over a couple of weeks...they double. Once you have seen that, you can look at the queen and se eif she has thinn'd down for swarming....etc...
 
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