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Found failing queen, does she look small?


This is the drone layer/non-layer. Seems to me her abdomen is very small, confirms not mated properly? Also its my understanding that when you have a good laying queen they basically can’t stop laying. She hasn’t produced a single egg since pulling her.

A worker is next to her for comparison.


The trouble is that you can’t tell from the size.
I’ve had enormous queens that were superseded pretty quickly and thin queens that laid like trains for three years.
Queens need a few days to mature before they fly to mate and there is usually a three week window after which she cannot be mated. That is not set in stone however.
I would happily then give her a week to start laying.
So, you see there could be five weeks, easily from emerging to laying.
How long since you released her from her queen cell?
If she is laying drone eggs then they will all be roughly in groups just like they would be if they were worker bees, rather than the scattergun appearance of laying worker eggs.
Does any of that help?


This one came with the package of bees, that was three weeks ago. She was laying mostly drones and very shotgun patterns. Most said she was poorly mated and i have gotten another queen from my supplier to replace her.


Mostly drones? Usually it’s all drones or mostly workers…

As far as her appearance, I can’t see her that well and size varies a lot. I’ve seen plenty of large queens that were duds and small queens that were great.

Here is Huber’s description of a late mated queen:
“Drone laying queens are shaped differently
I should also, Sir, describe to you the remarkable manner in which the queens that lay only drone eggs deposit them sometimes in the cells. They do not always place them upon the lozenges forming the bottom of the cells, but often deposit them upon the lower side, two lines (11/64th in. or 4mm) from the mouth. The reason of this is that their belly is shorter than those of queens whose fecundation has not been retarded, their posterior extremity remains slender, while the first two rings next the corselet are extraordinarily enlarged: it results from this that, when they dispose themselves for laying, their anus cannot extend down to the lozenges at the bottom of the cells: the enlargement of the rings not permitting it; and consequently the eggs must remain attached to the part reached by the anus. The larvae proceeding from these spend their vermicular state in the same place, which proves that bees are not entrusted with the care of transporting the eggs of the queen, as had been presumed. But in this case they follow another plan; they lengthen the cells in which eggs are thus placed 2 lines beyond their opening. Note: This observation also teaches us that the eggs of bees need not be fixed by one end at the bottom of the cells in order to be fertile.”–Francis Huber, New Observations On Bees, Volume I, 3rd Letter, 21 August 1791


well, i posted some pictures earlier of the brood and patterns. there was very little brood, probably 20 capped worked cells and 30-40 drone cells capped. i didn’t see any new eggs and i always find her on the same frame for the past three weeks. I removed her last night and will introduce the new queen caged tonight and leave her in there for a few days for acceptance. I made sure there’s no other queen cups or cells in the hive.