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Visual difference in Mated Queens?

1507 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Millenia
I did a search on this but apparently don't know what to search for as I couldn't find anything. I've seen mention of observing that a queen is now mated. How can you tell? I've seen people say they are plump. Does anyone have any comparison pics or have a link to some pics? I'm just wondering how you know other than to wait and see what she lays/if she lays.
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Ive been keeping bees for 3 years and been really interested in queens and mating and how to tell the difference in queens in different stages. What ive learned from my own experience and from reading is: Yes, a queen that is mated is more plump. They almost look like they are going to bust. Also, a mated queen will have a good around her. A virgin queen is 1.) usually running around the hive frantically and they hide alot. 2) Has no or very little retinue. 3.) May be long but are usually slimmer.

Another thing I've learned is, a queen will take numerous mating flights so if you are watching her closely and checking often (which is not recommended during mating) is that their retinue will grow as they make more mating flights and as their pheromones build. There seems to be a direct link in the number of times a queen is mated during the week she takes mating flights, and the amount of pheromones she puts out.

So if you watch her carefully, you should be able to spot the difference. Not to mention, there will be visible eggs in cells very shortly after she is mated.

Hope this helps !

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Something to look forward to in my photography efforts, to maybe follow a queen thru these changes.

I'm interested in apidiction, the idea of listening to the bees' sounds to judge colony condition. Supposedly the workers change the queen's diet if they're planning on a swarm. About 20 days out, according to Apidictor lore, they start slimming her down so she can fly again. At this point they change their hiss response to the hive being slapped. So it could be she starts looking like a virgin again if a swarm is coming.
Thank you so much for the pics! She looks longer. Or is that just an optical illusion?
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