What do you think of this queen?

I split a hive about 6 weeks ago and ordered 3 queens from a breeder, 1 for myself and 2 for a friend. One of the queens has a lot darker abdomen than what I’ve seen in other queens. I ended up with this one.

She isn’t a very strong layer and the hive is struggling to get going. My friends hives started at the same time with the other queens and are thriving.

Is the dark abdomen indicative of a defective queen? Or did I just get a dud?


She looks pretty orange to me :wink:
If she is not laying well she is a dud due to poor mating not her colour.


Thanks Dee,
I was unsure about the black markings on her abdomen.
All the other queens I have seen have a solid orange abdomen, like in the attached photo of one of my other queens.

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Looking at your first queen photo, the foundation isn’t drawn. Is there much drawn comb in the hive to provide laying space?

If not I would suggest feeding to get them going.

As for the queen colour, not an issue at all. Caucasian queens are essentially black, not all queens are solid orange.


Thanks Eric,
there was a number of drawn frames in the hive, the queen just happened to be on the end frame during this inspection.

I have started feeding, will see how they go.

Wasn’t sure about the queens colour, but now I do. Thanks for the information.

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np, keep us updated.

p. s. I’m Sam, Eric is listed as a swarm collector on the site, common misunderstanding :smiley:

apparently a new queen can take a while to start laying nicely- perhaps your queen is still getting her act together? Give her a few weeks maybe?

I made a split earlier this year- and the new queen took a few weeks to get into gear- that hive built up quite slowly- before it turned a corner and is now booming.

Hi Matt, they are both beautiful looking queens. I get a lot of queens that look like your top one. As you know by now you have nothing to worry about color wise. One issue that I think hasn’t been spoken about is the size of the colony the new queen is with. That will make a difference as to how quickly they get a move on. The queen can only work as fast as the colony she is working with allows her to.

Plus there is the other issue of the queen taking a while to get going, as was mentioned.