Well, I learned something this evening. I had no idea that a colony usually (or ever even) contains laying workers in a queenright colony.
RDY-B. I understand that, but now I have a wrench that I am going to throw into this pie.
It is said that workers begin to become laying workers when there is no brood pheromone present, not anything to do with pheromones that the queen emits. That came clear on the site of Michael's that I was reading. I was sure that I studied somewhere that both queen pheromone and brood pheromone combined supressed the ovariole development of worker bees and inhibited laying workers. Wondering about that and why.
During the winter time in the colder places, the queen ceases to lay eggs. There can be a very extended length of time wherein there is no brood present in the colony during winter.
Why are not laying workers a commonplace event in the wintertime, if it is the lack of brood which encites workers to begin to lay.
I don't get this.....and I really need to understand this concept. Am I missing something in this big picture? Have a wonderful and great day, groove on this life we live. Cindi
Interesting point Cindi. Is is firmly established, that brood pheromone and the queen pheromone (the one that assure the bees they are queenright, are actually different, or work differently in the brain of the bee? Assuming for argument sake, that both pheromones are one and the same, or perhaps they just work the same in the brain of the bee, then, whether there is brood or a queen the urge for a worker to lay could be suppressed. Hence you could remove the brood and still have the queen, but not get an increase of laying workers, but loose the queen and soon the brood will follow. If that is so, then you don't need both signals but rather either.
Could I be so bold as to speculate, that if
both pheromones are one and the same, it belongs to the egg, so that the queen is loaded with this pheromone because she carries the eggs. Why then does drone brood have none of this pheromone? Given that there may be some laying workers at any time, perhaps the drones are always laid by a worker. Either that or, there is only one pheromone (for both brood and queenright signals), but it belongs to the sperm or is created during or after fertilization. Failing that we are back to two separate pheromones with the same effect, but without explanation of why drone brood has none of this brood pheromone. Hmmm... Interesting. :-\