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Challenge: Is this a mated Queen? Or is it a virgin?


Continuing the discussion from There Are Queen Cells In My Hive:

So, it was just over two weeks ago since the last discussion on me developing a new queen because the kind folks on the forum indicated that my colony wasn’t happy with the present queen, as they kept on throwing out superceedure cells (which my queen would tear down!).

So, I split my hive off to a two frame nuc with present queen - so, she is now excluded from the parent hive! Naughty girl.

It is autumn here in Christchurch by the way. And I wanted to leave it for three weeks, but I am off on holiday for a couple of weeks, so not a lot of choice but to check out the hive progress right now… (as an aside; I recently took over the management of my sons school hive because it was neglected and hasn’t had a queen for a while. So, at the same time I have tried to develop a queen for this hive by using a couple of my superceedure cells).

Long story short: Woo hoo! I found the new queen in both hives and they look lovely. So, success for breeding, but there was no sign of eggs yet and I’m not 100% they are mated. To me they both look fat, but a little bit short. But, as I say… lovely!!:

This is only one of the queens, but they have basically the same dimensions and colouring (I was too hyped to photograph the first one and closed the hive up before I realised!).

So, please give me your thoughts. Regards, Paul


Give it a week If they are mated you will see eggs and larvae


Yes! But, of course, I will not be around for the next two weeks…


Hi Paul, after reading your question, I would suggest going on the holiday & take a look when you return. Not much harm can happen in that time. You’ll be able to deal with whatever you find when the time comes. At least by that time you’ll know if they are both laying or not.


I think spotting a well-mated fertile queen without evidence of brood is just about impossible, however, I have a few comments.

  1. I agree, she looks gorgeous.
  2. I think you did the right thing, given all of the hive attempts at supercedure.
  3. Looking at your photo, the queen is both a little skinny and a little short, however as her ovaries expand, she will too. She looks fine for now.
  4. Her legs are splayed - good sign of successful mating.

Hope that helps!


Now I’ve never heard that one.


Same here, I haven’t heard that either but I’ll be looking out for it. I’ll be looking at all the queens legs:)


I have a new queen in one of my colonies…and she is big and has splayed hind legs…but I didn’t know it was a sign of a good mating. We call them spidery legs.


I was chatting to one of the queen breeders at Wildflower Meadows, and that is what he told me. :slight_smile: