Tiny queens

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PerryBee, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I was out to my (remaining :sad:) hives yesterday to add pollen patties and discovered I've lost a couple more. A few others are very weak but something caught my eye on two of them. Given that there were only a couple of frames of bees in each of these two hives, I thought I would take the time to search out the queens. On both of these hives I was having a terrible time finding them (at first I thought it was my year older eyes) but I did eventually find them. What struck me as remarkable was how tiny they were! :confused: These were absolutely no bigger than a worker and yet completely correct in size proportionally/anatomically! There are no drones being raised at this time up here so it is unlikely these are newly hatched virgins (?).
    I am beginning to suspect my heavy losses this year may have been a result of late swarms. My hives are over an hour away for now and didn't get the attention they normally would have. :oops: After harvest (early Sept.) my hives were teaming with bees and yet when I went to put them to bed for winter I was surprised at how the populations had decreased (common theme). I am wondering if perhaps they threw late swarms and the newly hatched replacement queens never had a chance for mating? These small hives are not buzzing (indicating queenlessness) and I popped a frame with some eggs (from a stronger hive) in one of them to see what might happen.
    I have never seen such tiny queens before. :???:
     
  2. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    perry,
    how old were the original queens in the hive last year? if it was my hive i would suspect she was either superseded in the fall, or superseded this spring. skinny queens are either the result of poor nutrition and/or are virgins. just my HO.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a 'fresh' queen is indeed smallish... who then grow quickly in a fairly short period of time. research suggest (I think the reference here is Wilson who I think was Canadian) a smallish queen also produce much fewer eggs. so (if it was me) I would be thinking of replacing any of these you find.

    here it appears that very late in the season queens don't seem to get mated so well. even the one's that appear normal don't last so well.
     
  4. 100 TD

    100 TD New Member

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    I had a laying worker nuc for a long time (3 months approx), inserted emerging queen cell, frames of brood and eggs, done shakeouts etc, and finally had 4 queencells produced.
    I opened the hive and inspected and found what I thought was 3 TINY black queens crawling around, as you say, correct bodily proportions but TINY. I watched and saw them sizing up cells and dropping the abdomen in but didn't see any eggs, I managed to mark one of them, came back a couple of weeks later and have eggs/larva/capped brood, but haven't seen the queen yet, and certainly don't have the one I marked.
     
  5. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    that would fit the facts PB....i just let 3 of my hives re queen (actually 2 of them needed a first queen...one being the Church bees i took home) i didn't think they had enough drones to be mated well but they are laying eggs like no tomorow....they were skinny little things at first but now after mating and a week to eat bon bons on the top bars they are fat little boogers.