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Author Topic: The Queen is NOT Laying Eggs!  (Read 3762 times)
Zamboy13
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« on: March 23, 2011, 02:01:04 AM »

Since my nuc arrived, I have been observing the bees. I have observed traits like the waggle dance, foragers coming in the hive packed with pollen, dead bees being carried by their comrade outside the hive, and bees drinking sugar syrup but I have never seen the queen lay an egg. Does a queen bee lay eggs everyday? At what time does she do it? How do I know that she's doing it. I'm not sure if my queen bee never laid an egg or maybe I just keep missing it whenever she does it. I'm worried that there might be something wrong with my queen.

Also, I don't see any drones in any of the frames. I'm still an amateur so maybe there are drones but I just can't distinguish them from worker bees but aren't drones supposed to be bigger in size than worker bees?

My main dilemmas are -queen not laying eggs and no drones in the house!

Someone, anyone please give your expert opinions on this matter. Many thanks.
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2011, 03:42:47 AM »

the eggs are tiny, but at the very least you should be able to see  little white "C" shaped larvae in the cells.  If not, contact the person who sold to you - they should give you a good queen.
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Zamboy13
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2011, 04:55:02 AM »

I have seen larvae in the cells. I guess that means the the queen is laying eggs. I'm crossing my fingers.
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T Beek
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2011, 05:25:47 AM »

When did you get this NUC?  My best advise would be to 'slow down'  Observing is good, but that doesn't mean repeatedly checking inside for queen and queen laying.  By doing so, you'll end up without a colony when they abscond.  Seeing eggs and larvae should be enough to know everything is good inside without going inside and looking deeper.

Make sure they have enough room (may be time to transfer to a more per menant hive box) and feed "if needed' and just leave them do their thing for a bit.  Good luck!

thomas
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Zamboy13
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2011, 06:39:40 AM »

I got the nuc 5 days ago. I guess you're right. I should leave the bees alone. I 'm probably bothering them a lot because I keep peeking into the frames. I will transfer them in a permanent hive as soon as I am able to make one. Thanks for your advice.
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T Beek
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2011, 07:11:14 AM »

The peace corp conducted exhaustive study and education of bees and beekeeping some years ago, much of it in your part of the world.  Type in 'small scale beekeeping' and hit on the PEACE CORP book with same name, its downloadable and very informative. 

thomas
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indypartridge
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2011, 07:16:20 AM »

I got the nuc 5 days ago. I guess you're right. I should leave the bees alone. I 'm probably bothering them a lot because I keep peeking into the frames. I will transfer them in a permanent hive as soon as I am able to make one. Thanks for your advice.
If you've seen larva in the cells, your queen has been laying recently. My eyesight is such that I can't see eggs, so I look for very small "C" shaped larva.

It sounds like you've opened up the nuc a number of times in 5 days: that's too much. Although the queen usually lays eggs daily, if the hive is being disturbed she may stop until things settle down. Too much disturbance and the bees may abscond. Get the bees in a permanent home. I usually recommend that new beekeepers check their hives about every 10 days. As time goes on and you learn what to look for, you can check less often.
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Zamboy13
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2011, 08:18:17 AM »

The peace corp conducted exhaustive study and education of bees and beekeeping some years ago, much of it in your part of the world.  Type in 'small scale beekeeping' and hit on the PEACE CORP book with same name, its downloadable and very informative. 

thomas

Thanks for this. I saw the website and its great. It has simple explanations of everything there is to know about beekeeping. I'm still reading through the bee basics.
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Zamboy13
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2011, 08:21:21 AM »

I got the nuc 5 days ago. I guess you're right. I should leave the bees alone. I 'm probably bothering them a lot because I keep peeking into the frames. I will transfer them in a permanent hive as soon as I am able to make one. Thanks for your advice.


It sounds like you've opened up the nuc a number of times in 5 days: that's too much. Although the queen usually lays eggs daily, if the hive is being disturbed she may stop until things settle down. Too much disturbance and the bees may abscond. Get the bees in a permanent home. I usually recommend that new beekeepers check their hives about every 10 days. As time goes on and you learn what to look for, you can check less often.


I shall follow your advice to give my bees some peace and quiet and inspect them less. Thank you for your input.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2011, 02:31:29 PM »

Don't feel bad about wanting to watch your bees every minute, it is a common malady of a new beekeeper.  It is an impulse that needs to be curbed if the bees are to thrive.
On viewing eggs, imagine a grain of rice the size of the head of a pin standing on end at the bottom of the cell.  Manipulate the frame so that the sunlight actually shines down into the bottom of the cell, that is when seeing the egg is easiest.
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organicfarmer
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2011, 08:07:08 AM »

Zamboy,
a queen lays 1 to 2,000 eggs a day so she is on a continuous laying pattern (every minute or so on average). There is no specific 'time she lays'. But as she does not like light, when her frame is pulled out she could stop and oftentimes she'll wander around on the frame surface. That could be why you may not see her laying.
As many here have recommended, if unsure about eggs, check for young larvae, you'll know things are good, and avoid frequent disturbance.
Good luck in your new endeavor.
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