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« Last post by CrazyTalk on Today at 10:19:18 AM »
>The subject of Laying Workers seems to be yet another debatable area of beekeeping.  There appears to be two competing views: some authorities suggest that LW exist at all times, and that workers remove their eggs.  The other view is that LW will not exist until the colony becomes queenless (and thus brood-less), as the development of their ovaries is suppressed until that time.

The research is out there.  Not much to debate...

Yup. Michael is correct here (as usual).

 It's pretty clear at this point. Typically 6% of worker bees have ovaries developed enough to produce drones, and in typical hives somewhere around 6-7% of male eggs are produced by workers, and roughly .1% of drones are the result (worker eggs are more likely to be removed).

Here's one study - there are many more.

The problem with "laying worker" is that when the queen pheromone disappears, many more workers ovaries develop, and you can end up with a hive that has 40% of its workers laying drone eggs, and spending almost no time doing actual work. This is clearly unsustainable.
Trump made the same mistake of having some Doctor say what his scores on bogus things were etc. ... it's all BS
« Last post by Michael Bush on Today at 09:47:10 AM »
See page 9 of "The Wisdom of the Hive"

"Although worker honey bees cannot mate, they do possess ovaries and can produce viable eggs; hence they do have the potential to have male offspring (in bees and other Hymenoptera, fertilized eggs produce females while unfertilized eggs produce males). It is now clear, however, that this potential is exceedingly rarely realized as long as a colony contains a queen (in queenless colonies, workers eventually lay large numbers of male eggs; see the review in Page and Erickson 1988). One supporting piece of evidence comes from studies of worker ovary development in queenright colonies, which have consistently revealed extremely low levels of development. All studies to date report far fewer than 1 % of workers have ovaries developed sufficiently to lay eggs (reviewed in Ratnieks 1993; see also Visscher 1995a). For example, Ratnieks dissected 10,634 worker bees from 21 colonies and found that only 7 had moderately developed egg (half the size of a completed egg) and that just one had a fully developed egg in her body."

If you do the math, in a normal booming queenright hive of 100,000 bees that's 70 laying workers. In a laying worker hive it's much higher.

"More than half of the bees in laying worker colonies have developed ovaries (Sakagami 1954)..."-- Reproduction by worker honey bees (Apis mellifer L.) R.E. Page Jr and E.H. Erickson Jr. - Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology August 1988, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 117-126

"Reproductive honey bee workers have considerable fecundity, with laying workers in queenless colonies each producing c. 19-32 eggs per day (Perepelova, 1928, cited in Ribbands, 1953). "--Evidence for a queen-produced egg-marking pheromone and its use in worker policing in the honey bee FLW Ratnieks - Journal of Apicultural Research Volume 34, Issue 1, 1995 - Taylor & Francis

« Last post by Oldbeavo on Today at 08:42:03 AM »
We had a hive go queenless and a worker started laying, hive full of drone brood. In looking at the frames I found a different looking bee, same size as a normal bee but with a hairless thorax like queen, maybe a little narrow or pointed in the abdomen but no longer.
I took the frame with  the "different" bee and put it in a 3 frame nuc. Five days later inspect the hive, no more eggs, most brood capped. So added frame of eggs and brood. That was yesterday.
Inspected frame in the little nuc and there is a half formed queen cell  with an egg in it, so was the "different" bee the laying worker or did I just get lucky and remove it from the hive.
« Last post by GSF on Today at 08:39:32 AM »
Hey Matt lift the back of your hives, if they seem heavy to mildly heavy I'd wait so they can get nature's sugar water. Monitor them of course.

Pjigar, I think yellow is one of the dominate colors of nature. Some of the fall flowers around here have small yellow blooms. I saw the bees working them so there's something there.
This is exactly what I don't want to happen..

What is my recourse here?

As I said before, put a box at the bottom and a box at the top.  I don't believe it will matter if it is foundation or comb because bees draw comb in a flow when they need it.  What matters is if the colony has already made a decision to swarm and backfilling usually means it has happened.  There are all the swarm prevention or deterrents that you can try but they all require a lot of work when the honey is coming in hot and heavy.  I won't bother with all those methods because they aren't that effective anyway.  I would just grab all the honey I can from this hive.  Keep the frames coming and pull all the capped honey you can.
The frame of eggs you added to this hive should tell you if the hive is queenless or not by looking for queen cells in a few days.  Splitting the hive is always an option to offset the loss of a swarm if it should happen.
« Last post by Oldbeavo on Today at 08:27:02 AM »
I think making hives that suit you are fine but I think there is a line between fun bees and business bees.
I need my bees being as healthy as they can and be gathering maximum honey that is stored for extraction for me to sell. I need to outfit the bees as cheap as possible, frames, foundation, honey extraction equipment, so there is a financial gain from conforming to some extent.
If hive design and material maximise honey production then I am interested and that is why the polystyrene hives from Paradise have gained my interest. They have a large mesh floor, probably 50-60% of the floor area. I think this will help for SHB in reducing humidity in the hive. The insulation factor of Polystyrene has to be beneficial in both hot and cold weather.
 As for conserving my back we run 8 frames instead of 10's.
« Last post by pjigar on Today at 08:12:18 AM »
First year beek and second language English speaker. I did not know what golden rod was before this year. Now I started noticing them all around me. Gotta love beekeeping. Lot of yellow bloom in  my bee yard in North Dallas: Golden rods and some small yellow flowers.
« Last post by Matt J on Today at 07:44:51 AM »
The thing that is interesting is I see yellow blooms everywhere, but the Shelby County Beekeepers Association said on their Facebook page that we are in a dearth and you should consider feeding right now. I had been feeding through July and August, and was happy that I could take a break, but now I am having second thoughts. I guess what they are saying is there hasn't been enough rain to produce enough nectar. What's yall's thoughts on that?

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[...] what is the idea now then? I have introduced a frame of eggs into a brood box that is being filled with honey... if they make a queen, she hatches, mates, and returns to this hive won't they swarm straight away as they have no space?  What is my recourse here?

Phil - I understand your frustration.  I've been watching this thread and haven't commented thus far, as honey flows such as this are completely out of my experience.  What I'm about to suggest is simply what I imagine I'd do if finding myself in your situation, and so if anyone with actual experience of such events wants to contradict these suggestions - that would be highly desirable.

As I see it, you need to take pressure off the brood nest area.  I'd do this in two ways: firstly, by removing the amount of forager traffic.  I don't know how many colonies you have, but if there's one with little forager activity (can be difficult to judge, I know), then swap-over your problem hive with that one.  If they're all highly active, then consider moving your problem hive well away into a new location (i.e. far enough away so that the foragers won't return to it), and if necessary, adjust the other hive positions so that the 'lost foragers' will be easily able to find themselves a new home.  I say this on the assumption that the loss of your 'problem colony' would be more important to you than a reduction in honey crop from it.  If there ARE any swarm cells present, make the move before a virgin emerges.  You'd be very unlucky indeed if there happened to be a virgin present and awaiting her nuptial flight, the success of which a move would of course sabotage.

Ok - secondly, I'd do exactly what Jim suggested in the first reply - add an empty super to that hive (with pre-drawn combs if possible) - and, on the assumption that bees would much rather store honey above the brood nest than in it, I would expect them to move the existing nectar upwards and thus clear the brood nest area for laying.

Then - it's just a waiting game. By (hopefully) clearing the brood area, you will have done the best you can, and from then on it's down to the bees. Denying that colony significant input from the field-foragers, AND by giving them empty space in which to store whatever honey has already been collected, will hopefully be enough to convince them that life isn't quite as rosy as it was yesterday, and so any thought of swarming right now probably isn't such a smart idea ...

Putting in the frame of eggs/larvae was a good insurance move - hopefully it won't be needed.

There is one other thought I've had, and that is to create an additional entrance directly to the supers during such a major flow - this could easily be done by offsetting a super, or the crown board (inner cover) from the box below it by just enough to create a gap of say, 8mm, to give the foragers direct access into that super.  Easy enough to then seal that access by replacing the boxes properly when the flow subsides.

Hopefully there's an idea or two in the above of some use.
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