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I just received my queen today from Olivarez. The queen was shipped from their subsidiary in Hawaii. I noticed that she is much smaller than all the queens I have seen so far. Approximately half as big as all my queens in my current hives. Could it be she is still a virgin queen? Was she poorly fed? Or is she just from small stock? Is there any correlation in regards to egg laying ability and queen size?
 

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If Olivarez is a reputable breeder (sorry, I grow my own so I don't know them) I would be very surprised if your queen is a virgin.

However, if she has not been laying in a while, she can be quite small. I would install her and see how she looks once she has been laying in earnest for a week or two. If you're still concerned, I would also follow-up with a call or email to Olivarez with the same question ;)

Yes, poorly-raised (inadequate royal jelly) queens can be smaller than well-raised queens. My experience has been that this translates not to egg-laying ability, but to the length of her productive life - i.e. she will likely "run out" of eggs faster, or will be more likely to be superceded.

HTH

-Pete
 

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A lot of people put a lot of emphasis on the size of the queen, perhaps it does relate to longevity, but I've had some smaller queens lead very strong hives and can't complain about them. You can also be surprised how much bigger they get when you put them in a hive and they start getting fed again and laying.
 
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