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Author Topic: Can a virgin queen lay unfertilized eggs??  (Read 1670 times)
annette
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« on: September 12, 2012, 07:46:52 PM »

I know the laying workers develop ovaries to lay eggs.

Can a virgin queen lay unfertilized eggs as well?
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 07:50:06 PM »

Yes. Some never mate. They are called drone layers. It happens often, especially with large queen producers.
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 08:24:24 PM »

Poorly mated will will become drone layers also in time. 
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BjornBee
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 08:36:07 PM »

Poorly mated will will become drone layers also in time. 

Can you please tell me what a "poorly" mated queen is?

Thank you.
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Larry Bees
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 08:46:01 PM »

I'm sticking my neck out here, but I assume that's a queen that only mated with a couple of drones rather than 12 or more drones.

Larry
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 08:56:26 PM »

It is a commonly held belief that an unmated queen will lay.  This is not consistent with my experience.  An unmated queen, in my experience, never lays.  A late mated queen becomes a drone layer.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 10:03:12 PM »

I'm sticking my neck out here, but I assume that's a queen that only mated with a couple of drones rather than 12 or more drones.

Larry

Larry, your neck is safe.  grin

I ask because I constantly hear about "poorly" mated queens, and somehow this is equated to queens running out of sperm, or the idea that a queen mating with only one drone will be a dud.

Yet I have heard many others, like Al Tarpy, for those who know who he is, mention that a queen mating with one drone has enough sperm for her lifetime. That multiple matings has to do with genetic diversity, and not some idea that a queen goes to a drone layer, a spotty pattern, or some other problem.

Simply put, if she mates one time, she will lay for a couple years, can have a perfect pattern, yet not have the genetic diversity to ward off viral or other disease.

And many times in discussing a drone laying queen, it is mentioned that she may be "poorly" mated. I'm just asking how is a queen "poorly" mated if one drone will do the job, less the diversity issue.
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 10:26:45 PM »

I know David Tarpy, but who is Al Tarpy?
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 10:52:56 PM »

poorly mated- I believe IS the diversity issue and without the multiple matings there is no diversity. This may be mother natures way of ending a trait/strain of the honey bee.my $0.02
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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2012, 01:23:05 AM »

It is a commonly held belief that an unmated queen will lay. 


it a fact, not a belief.

 If I brake supercede cells in late summer, bees make it during winter cluster. Bees cannot fly out during 6 months. When spring comes, there is often a new queen which lays drones.

First thing what I want to see after winter is that do I meet pieces of worker brood on the bottom of hiver or ppiece of drone brood. Drone brood is a bad sign.

But nowadays I have so much spare queen that it is no problem.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2012, 06:35:36 AM »

I know David Tarpy, but who is Al Tarpy?

In my mind.....the same person.  grin
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2012, 06:36:15 AM »

poorly mated- I believe IS the diversity issue and without the multiple matings there is no diversity. This may be mother natures way of ending a trait/strain of the honey bee.my $0.02

I agree.  Wink
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2012, 05:49:13 PM »

>Bees cannot fly out during 6 months. When spring comes, there is often a new queen which lays drones.

Hence a late mated queen who always becomes a drone layer.  When I've had virgins with crumpled or damaged wings they NEVER laid.

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Michael Bush
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deknow
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2012, 08:40:00 PM »

I think one would have to have an excluder over the entrance (and remove all brood periodically....just because no one has documented queens mating in the hive doesn't mean it won't happen under any circumstances) in order to assure that the queen is still a virgin (perhaps there is a physical exam or dissection that can tell us this).

I've kept virgins in cages for 6 weeks...they ended up laying only drones when I put them in colonies...but I don't know if they took a mating flight or not...or if they mated in the hive or not.

I don't know of any documentation that shows that a virgin queen has laid eggs...viable or not.  With that said, given that workers can lay eggs under some circumstances, I would be surprised if queens could not.

deknow
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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2012, 12:38:03 AM »

I

I don't know of any documentation that shows that a virgin queen has laid eggs...vi

no need to docunmentate because no one has earlier asked that question.

At least to me the fact  works on me that virgin lays drones, if it has not mated . And reason is mostly weathers if it has not mated.

Like one professional said to me at the beginning of June:" none of our queens mated when we reared that dosage of queens".   and no idea to wait what happens after 2 months.

But I do have often virgin layers after winter and when I feeded, every hive had a laying queen. So simple.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2012, 12:56:22 PM »

Huber spend years of research on the subject and concluded that an unmated queen never lays.  I have yet to see a queen with crumpled or damaged wings ever lay.
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Michael Bush
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rdy-b
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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2012, 03:10:25 PM »

   cool  http://www.beesource.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-261718.html?s=28b2f97bbb567411ca6c3906a9a89b71
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Finski
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« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2012, 03:47:00 PM »

Huber spend years of research on the subject and concluded that an unmated queen never lays.  I have yet to see a queen with crumpled or damaged wings ever lay.


my unmated queens lay in spring.
That is why they are easy to find.


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Finski
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« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2012, 03:56:15 PM »



in that link John Clemens made an experiment with 2 virgins. Boath 2 started to lay drone eggs.

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deknow
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« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2012, 09:17:59 AM »

...it does not appear that he excluded all drones from where the queens were.  Personally, I would not assume that an old queen absolutely would not mate in the hive.

Deknow
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annette
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2012, 09:11:37 PM »

So this thread has been very interesting and I should have explained why I asked the question. My friend Joanne caught a very, very small swarm a couple of weeks ago and they had a queen. We were surprised to find this queen in such a small swarm (just 2 medium frames of bees).

Placed into a small nuc we saw eggs last Tuesday and we were so happy that we had a laying queen. Then we were wondering if this could be a virgin queen and not a mated queen so we asked ourselves this question (Can a virgin queen lay eggs?. If she lays eggs of course they would be unfertilized.) So now you know why we asked ourselves the question.

But we will never know the answer because:

1. If they lay worker brood then of course she has been mated

2. If they lay only drone brood, then she could be a virgin queen who lays, or a mated queen who ran out of sperm

Anyway, thought you would like to know the reason for the question

Annette

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