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Author Topic: Could this worker be laying in an otherwise healthy hive?  (Read 1605 times)
buzzbee
Ken
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« on: April 14, 2009, 10:46:10 PM »

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annette
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2009, 01:31:05 AM »

I had read here on this forum that there are a number of laying workers at any given time even in a healthy hive. Especially if it is a very strong hive and perhaps the odor of the queen may not be getting to the whole hive.   Do you remember this?Huh  Anyone???

But this is not a problem.
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buzzbee
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2009, 06:43:12 AM »

  I was going through some pictures I have and was blowing some up looking for some details and just happened to come across this particular view.
I caught it by accident you might say. Just something else discovered that I would have missed had it not been for snapping pictures.
 This is another example of what a digital cam at the hive may be able to catch that you may not see yourself.If you have trouble seeing eggs and such,while the sun is at your back,snap a picture and blow it up on the computer screen,it may make all the difference in the world.
   
 
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 09:38:08 AM »

Nice pic Ken. I have heard that also Annette.


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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 09:54:09 AM »

I doubt it,  I think it is just a coincidence.   I've seen workers "resting" in cells many of times.   

I have also heard that laying works don't actually back into a cell, but that eggs are laid outside the cell and then placed into the cell.   
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 10:15:49 PM »

She looks like she's just resting.  She doesn't really have her abdomen all the way in the cell.  A laying worker has to get in as far as she possibly can and still she can't reach the bottom.

But if the question is could you have laying workers and queens, yes, you always do:

See page 9 of "The Wisdom of the Hive" by Tom Seeley

    "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.
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2009, 10:59:18 PM »

Could laying workers be the reason you see different colored drones in a hive?  If all drones were from the queen, shouldn't they all be the same color as the queen?  I will almost always see a mix of dark and lighter drones when checking my hives.
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buzzbee
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2009, 06:50:36 AM »

Drones from other colonies are allowed entrance to most hives. this would explain some of the difference.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2009, 01:04:20 PM »

First, as mentioned, drones drift shamelessly.  Someone from Denmark on another forum said they marked drones and found them in hives 30 miles away.

Second, the drones may be haploid but they still get different mixes of the queens genes.  They get a random assortment of 1/2 set same as any egg does. They just don't get the contribution from a father.

Third, yes some of the drones may be from some of the workers.
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Michael Bush
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