Author Topic: Judging The Quality Of A Queen  (Read 2707 times)

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Offline riverbee

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Judging The Quality Of A Queen
« on: January 23, 2014, 01:01:22 pm »
a great pdf article on judging the quality of the queen in a hive, how to, what to look for, brood patterns, and some common problems with great photos.

as beekeepers we all need to pay attention to the quality of our queens every time we open a hive, and learning to read brood frames, or the activity of the bees is also a key without finding her. from the article:

"The beekeeper must learn to judge the quality of the queen and to decide either to replace her or to leave her in the hive. He (and she) should always watch for her condition and brood pattern. "

Judging the Quality of Bee Queen

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Offline efmesch

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Re: Judging The Quality Of A Queen
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2014, 02:02:39 pm »
Read the article before you decide that the brood pattern is the most important indicator of queen quality.  RB is correct about the importance, but just reading the sentence she quoted can be misleading.
Remember too, if you  see two hives near each other and they are different in their temperaments, population sizes and general productivity, even without checking the brood pattern you can assume the difference to be due to the queens.  In other words, you can evaluate your queen without even opening the hive.
Then too, brood pattern can be misleading.  When a lot of nectar and pollen is being brought in, competition for available cells can upset the laying pattern of even the best queens.  Remember, if you want your queen to meet her potential, be sure that she always has enough laying space available.

Offline tbonekel

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Re: Judging The Quality Of A Queen
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 06:09:02 pm »
When I started beekeeping a couple of years ago, I started with just one hive. I was later told something I wish I had known before. When starting beekeeping, you want at least two hives so you can compare the two. I thought that was a good idea and it made sense, but I didn't realize how good that advice was until last summer. I was able to compare my 5 hives and man it helped a lot. I have one hive that has a queen it it that is absolutely amazing. The brood frame was 98% brood with very few open cells. She is a monster. The other hives do okay, but they are nothing special. I hope to split this awesome hive this year and hopefully, her genetics will follow.

Offline BoilerJim

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Re: Judging The Quality Of A Queen
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2014, 06:14:46 pm »
Thanks for the article riverbee. Thanks for the good advice Ef.
Jim (BoilerJim)
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Offline tecumseh

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Re: Judging The Quality Of A Queen
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2014, 06:25:43 pm »
a tbone snip..
When starting beekeeping, you want at least two hives so you can compare the two.

tecumseh..
if you start everything out at the same time... even so to speak... with three hives you might expect one to be a lagger, one to be in the middle and one to be exceptional. 

another good link riverbee  :).  useful information for folks just beginning and a good reminder for everyone else as the new season starts up.  I would suggest that there are physical characteristics of a fully mature and mated queen that goes a bit beyond the book.  there is a correlation between the queen weight and her maximum daily laying capacity.   as a visual reference I like to see 4 body segment aft of back edges of a queens wings. 

Offline Marbees

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Re: Judging The Quality Of A Queen
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 06:46:23 am »
Another great link that should be a sticky on raising queens forum. Thanks river :)
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Offline brooksbeefarm

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Re: Judging The Quality Of A Queen
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 09:12:05 am »
I don't think there is a perfect queen bee,most beekeepers look for the same traits,mild manners, fast build up in the spring, less swarming traits,and good honey producers. I have found over the many years the queens that build up fast, and on the hot side are the best honey producers and take less care from the beekeeper other than swarm prevention. The mean, fast build up,and quick to swarm, and will if not watched, tend to be my best hives for honey producers. They also seem to have less mite and disease problems. Jack

Offline tecumseh

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Re: Judging The Quality Of A Queen
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 07:10:22 am »
my own observation are in complete agreement with Jack's statement above....

Offline efmesch

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Re: Judging The Quality Of A Queen
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2014, 12:23:46 pm »
I can't say anything about varroa and disease resistance, but I'll agree with Jack and Tec on productivity:  Unfortunately, the queens that produce "hot" hives are often the best honey producers.