What does a good queen bee mean?

The strength of the honey bee colony and its survival depend on the quality of its queen so it is very important that the queen is young and good.

Since the main task of the queen is to lay eggs and thus ensure the survival of the colony, the quality of the queen depends on her egg laying ability.



The quality of the young queen bee who has just begun to lay eggs

The queen is good if she lays eggs without skipping the cells, the brood is compact and there are not many empty cells.


The quality of the queen bee who is already laying eggs for some time

In time, the younger brood becomes mixed with the older, and cells with an open and capped brood can be mixed.

If the colony is strong (there are many bees and brood cells - open and capped as well as eggs) it means that the queen is strong and good.


Weak queen

If the colony is weak - there are not many bees and brood cells that means the queen is weak. The bad queen should be replaced or, if that is not possible, the colony should be merged with some strong colony.


You should never combine two weak colonies. Always combine a weak colony with a good one.


Drone laying queen

A drone laying queen is a queen that lays only unfertilized eggs. Only drones can develop from unfertilized eggs so that the colony is doomed to fail.

Beehive has a drone laying queen if there is no worker brood, but only drone brood.



Laying workers

Laying workers appear when the colony loses its queen, and there is no open brood in the hive.

It happens if the queen doesn't return from a nuptial flight. By the time a young queen comes out of her cell and mate, there is no open brood anymore, and the colony is not able to make a new queen.

In such a situation, bees choose among themselves a few worker bees and begin to feed them with royal jelly. Those bees start to lay eggs. However, since they are not mated, they lay only unfertilized eggs, so only drones are developing and the colony can't survive.

When you open a hive with laying workers, the bees are upset and do not calm down. They quickly wave with their wings, raised to their back legs. There's only a drone brood and no worker brood in a hive. There are four or five eggs in one cell that are not in the middle but more on the side of the cell because the abdomen of the worker bee is too short and unsuitable for laying eggs.

A hive with a drone laying queen, and a hive with laying workers both have only drone brood. The difference is that the queen lays only one egg in the middle of one cell while laying workers lay several eggs in one cell, and these eggs are not in the middle but more on the side of the cell because they have no anatomy for laying eggs.