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Author Topic: Drone laying queen or laying worker?  (Read 1147 times)

Offline acepestdetective

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Drone laying queen or laying worker?
« on: June 17, 2007, 08:42:15 AM »
 Hi all.

 After some advice as opened up my hive today after collecting a small cast about 30 days ago.

 Prob around 4-5000 bees to begin with and apart from some capped honey there is a fair amount of sealed drone cells on the frames in a random cluster on the centre of the frame with unsealed larvae interspersed between them.  Around 4 frames have been drawn out and I'd say there are about 100-200 sealed drones with no sealed worker larvae.

 One of the frames has a very well devolped queen cup on it (not an incipient cup). I know that the workers will produce a queen if anything has happened to the old one but my worry is that the existing queen hadn't started laying before the queen cup was began.

 I did think that the queen may have been killed a couple of weeks back but was advised to see what happened before making a decision.

 Any comments are gladly recieved,

 A very confused Rob.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Drone laying queen or laying worker?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2007, 01:52:10 PM »
Are there mutiple eggs in every cell with eggs?

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm

>I know that the workers will produce a queen if anything has happened to the old one but my worry is that the existing queen hadn't started laying before the queen cup was began.

They will build queen cells even if there is a laying worker.  They seldom produce a queen, they usually have a drone larva in them.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline acepestdetective

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Re: Drone laying queen or laying worker?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2007, 04:44:34 PM »
 Didn't seem to be multiple eggs Michael although most of the larvae were rather large so would imagine there would only be one per cell at this stage of defvelopment? i.e. one of the eggs would have smothered the other???

 I realise that workers will make queen cups, what i was getting at was that if the existing queen was already dead then there would be no fertile eggs to make into queens.

 As I have only got one hive (thus cannae move brood from another one) is the only way to find out if thereis a laying worker if there are small drones around in a week or so.

 Worth re-queening with a queen in a matchbox?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Drone laying queen or laying worker?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2007, 09:26:26 PM »
>if the existing queen was already dead then there would be no fertile eggs to make into queens.

But they will make queen cells from infertile eggs.  I've seen it many times.  Huber documented it:

http://www.bushfarms.com/huber.htm#maleeggsinroyalcells

>Worth re-queening with a queen in a matchbox?

If there's open brood, I would assume there is a queen until I see evidence otherwise.  The open brood should be capped in less than a week.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline acepestdetective

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Re: Drone laying queen or laying worker?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2007, 02:28:03 PM »
 Thanks Michael.

 Appreciate it's hard when you don't get to look at the hive and this is one of the many problems that beekeepers go thro when starting out I guess.

 Think I'll see what happens over the next week. The worst that can happen is I lose the colony and start again i spose. :)

 Best wishes, Rob.

 

anything