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Author Topic: Laying worker hive with capped queen cell  (Read 907 times)
bee-wildered
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« on: July 07, 2009, 07:55:07 PM »

I have a neighbor that got a nuc at the beginning of May.  She said that there was not a lot of activity.  I went down last weekend and we got into her hive.  There is no queen, no brood and massive drones.  Laying worker I am sure.  But right there in the middle of one of the frames is a nice fat capped queen cell.  I have no idea what to make of it.  Should we watch and wait?  Add a frame of open brood and eggs (worried about the queen being maintained with not many workers) and is the queen even going to be a viable queen when she emerges?  I just don't know what to tell my neighbor to do. Help!
Vickie
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1of6
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2009, 08:28:05 PM »

Probably just another drone, and almost definitely not a quality queen.  If the math doesn't make sense for it to be a queen, it's probably not.  Go ahead and add a frame and see what you get.  Good luck and let us know what you get.
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homer
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2009, 08:30:28 PM »

You can always add a frame of brood to a weak hive to help bolster its strength.  I've heard that a laying worker hive will try to raise a queen from drone brood out of desperate measures.  Of course nothing would come of it.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 09:44:45 PM »

Laying worker hives will build queen cells, but they almost always have drone brood in them.  Give them a frame of open brood every week for three weeks and they will resolve the issue no matter what the issue is with queens/laying workers etc.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
bee-wildered
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2009, 09:50:55 PM »

So you don't think its too late in the season to try and save this hive?  I am so glad to hear that.
Thanks!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 02:17:47 AM »

The remaining season will decide if you'll need to combine later or it will build up enough.  Sometimes a fall flow will give them enough to get through the winter and sometimes it does not.  But you can straighten out the laying worker problem with the open brood.  After that the weather will decide.  Smiley  But you can always combine in the fall.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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