Identifying the Queen Bee

Identifying the Queen Bee


So, oftentimes I’ll mark the queen so she’s
easy to find but this one I think she’s been replaced this season so I think we
have a new queen here. Here’s our queen. In thousands of bees she blends in pretty good but if you note her thorax, the middle segment is not as
fuzzy as the worker bees. Here she walks right by a drone. The drone is short and fat. She’s long and lean, nice long abdomen. She’s looking in a cell right now. Maybe
she’ll even lay an egg for us. Watch her walk past that cell. There must have been an egg in it. What she does is she’ll walk up to a cell and she gauges that with her front legs. If it’s a worker size cell, which most of these are, she knows when she backs
in that cell to fertilize the egg and produce a worker bee. If it’s a drone
size cell, the larger cells which you saw on the other side, she’ll lay an egg and
as it passes through her body she doesn’t fertilize it and so a drone
becomes a drone. It’s a half a set of chromosomes so she’s actively looking
for a place to lay. She checked that cell. Some queens are really comfortable to
lay an egg in the broad daylight but a lot of them are kind of shy about it, so I
wouldn’t count on it. She may just not be able to find a place on this frame. She
may be moving from frame to frame to look for some space. She’s already filled these
others up, but it’s good that you can see the comparison of her and the workers. It takes years to
get a real keen eye to pick a queen out of those thousands of bees but after you
get used to it she she kind of just stands out. I won’t say I can always find them
here we’ve got lucky found her in the top box so we didn’t have to lift all these
boxes to hunt her to the bottom. So now that I’ve got the queen on this frame, I
definitely be very careful. I wouldn’t want to set this frame outside of the hive.
When I place it, I want to know where she’s at, make sure she’s not over here
where the pinch points are on the frame. Make sure she’s in a safe position
because you can crush a queen putting a frame back in and make sure she’s not on the
bottom edge of this frame where all these little chunks of comb are because you could crush her. If I accidentally crushed the queen, I probably wouldn’t even know it
you know, putting frames back together. Within hours every bee in this hive
would know that they didn’t have a queen. They would respond to that by locating
several larvae in the 12 hour old stage. It’s an egg for
about two days, falls over on its side and hatches. Once it hatches, in that first
12 hours you get the ideal queen. They can make a queen for a couple days, two,
three-day-old-larvae but the best queens happen when that larvae is very young and
they would begin to elongate the cells and turn them downward. We’ve got this frame kind of upside down, but turn them downward and elongate and make queen cells that get much bigger than that. They flood the larvae with royal jelly so the queen gets a super
diet as she’s being raised and that’s basically what produces a queen and once
those queens hatch, they hunt down their sisters because generally only one queen
can prevail in the hive and they fight to the death. Whoever the queen is that wins, once
she’s got her strength a few days or a week later, she takes mating flights and
once she’s mated and ready to lay she saves all that sperm in her body in the
spermatheca and she’ll never leave the hive again
unless they swarm. So once she’s mated, if she runs out a sperm she doesn’t get an
opportunity to go do it again. It’s a one-time deal over the course of a
couple days that she mates and then she won’t leave the hive again unless they swarm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *