2 type of queens observed


Hi, All!

I've been raising my own local queens for a few seasons now.  During this process I saw 2 type of queens with different
laying pattern.  The first type is that it will lay whenever there are empty cells in the comb no matter what is the
status of the hive.  It doesn't matter if there are enough bees to cover the eggs that she laid.  Very often I've seen that
she will lay in an entire empty clean comb frame even when without the workers on.   The 2nd type is that it will constraint
herself in laying only in the cells that the worker bees can cover.  She will never lay outside of this restricted area.

Now I don't know whether or not it is habitual or it is genetics issue.  If it is habitual then I cannot do much about it.  But if it is
genetics then I can select for specific laying traits of the queen.    So which type of queens do you prefer to keep?   The one that lay outside of the worker
bees' boundary or lay within the boundary?    Which type of queen do you have in your hives then?

Since you are making a lot of splits, I suspect you are seeing this with your newer queens. A new queen will do this for a while and usually then cut back as she realizes she is wasting her eggs. Usually the bees remove the eggs that they cannot cover. If you were to give these queens more bees they will build up very quickly.

Michael Bush:
It's the workers who prepare the cells and determine if she will lay in them.  Granted the workers are a product of the queen's genetics and the drones she mated with, but I don't think the queen has the say so.

For what its worth maybe nothing.  I had a hive that has always swarmed two or three times a year and this summer I noticed the brood pattern was scattered.  I thought about a new queen and made the call but they had no queens , so I started feeding that hive for about six weeks.  Yesterday I paid them a visit and I was pleasantly surprised there was a good brood pattern and the double deep was full of bees.  Jim I think this is probably a young queen, and I hope the swarm genetics for the tendency to swarm  has been diluted. 

It is hard to say about the local bees.  If they have a tendency to swarm then the new queen in the absent of
any new genetics will be the same type of swarmy bees again.   Why don't you try to incorporate some compatible
queens next season.  Perhaps that may deter some swarming. 

From my experience they do removed some of the eggs when not enough bees to cover the eggs.  They can only tend to
a maximum number of cells.   So the queen is pushing the limit of the hives a bit.   It does feel good knowing that she is not
restricting herself on laying though.


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