Spotting the Queen: How to Tell if They're Ready to Head a Colony
Beekeeping is like having a backstage pass to the secret lives of queens. Let's explore the differences between a young, not-yet-mated queen and one that's been laying eggs for a while. It's not just about looks—it's about how they move and what they're up to in the hive.
The Visual Clues: Look closely, and you'll see a big difference in how they look. Before a queen bee is all grown up, her belly is like a triangle—pointy at the top. That's a sign she hasn't mated yet. On the other hand, a queen who's been busy laying eggs has a different shape. Her belly has filled out more.
A Dance on the Comb: Queens have their own dance moves too. A young queen zips around super fast on the comb, full of energy. But a queen who's already laying eggs takes it slow and steady, making each step count as she does her egg-laying job.
The Fast Queen's Mating Adventure: Why does the young queen move so fast? It's not just for fun—it's a smart plan. This speedy vigour is a big deal for the hive because it makes sure there's a mix of different bee genes, keeping the colony strong.
In the bee world, queens have their own language, and it's not just about looks. From their belly shapes to how they move, a queen has a special role in keeping the hive buzzing. Learning these Queen facts helps us appreciate the fascinating lives of bee queens and how they keep their colonies thriving.