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Author Topic: Do I have a laying worker?  (Read 695 times)

Offline ccar2000

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Do I have a laying worker?
« on: October 15, 2011, 11:06:28 PM »



One of the pictures has a torn down superscedure queen cell, right? If that's true then who tore it down and why?
One shows really spotty brood that looks like it is all drone cells (I shook the bees off of the frame for the picture)
Then one shows some larvae that I am wondering it is being capped or what.
This hive is active throughout the day. I have been feeding pollen patties and syrup since August.
I suspected that it was queenless but the worker population does not seem to be declining?
Thanks for whatever help you can offer

I have Russian/Carniolians and they seem to keep the population down most of the time in my climate, at least thats what I think happens. I have pollen patties and syrup on them since August. Last week I though I observed a lot of orientation flights going on around all three of my hives. By the way all three of them seem to keep the populations low (two R/C and one English Buckfast). I seems like a roller coaster to me, whenever I think a hive is queenless or hopelessly under populated I find brood or see young bees. Its kind of nerve racking but I enjoy the triumphs!
It is what it is

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Do I have a laying worker?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 02:32:15 AM »
Is there any worker brood?  That 3rd picture looks like capped worker cells but I can't tell for sure.  If it is, then you had a queen within the last few weeks.   Since you have been feeding so much, your brood nest may have been backfilled and that may account for the lack of brood.  Do you see multiple eggs in cells or eggs attached on the side of cells rather than the bottom?  Those would be signs of laying workers.
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

Offline Hemlock

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Re: Do I have a laying worker?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 10:34:15 AM »
One of the pictures has a torn down superscedure queen cell, right? If that's true then who tore it down and why?
If the colony superseded the queen the worker bees will have torn down the queen cell after emergence.  It can then take up to two weeks for the new queen to start laying.  The brood of the original queen would still be there though.  Your picts don't show much in the way of that.  Maybe the colony didn't like the last queen because she wasn't laying enough.
 
I've never heard of any type of bee maintaining a low population during the Summer.  If you get through to Spring you might want to requeen all of them.

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Do I have a laying worker?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 10:39:08 AM »
I've never heard of any type of bee maintaining a low population during the Summer.  If you get through to Spring you might want to requeen all of them.
In the South, the trait of population reduction during the dearth is very valuable.  That's a good example of why you want locally adapted bees.  Summer population drop is not universal but is fairly common. 
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

Offline Hemlock

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Re: Do I have a laying worker?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2011, 10:56:33 AM »
Summer population drop is not universal but is fairly common. 
I've never seen it with my colonies.  They get to maximum strength in July/August then keep that population till Fall.  We do usually have a late Summer nectar dearth.  All my queens are local too.

(Maybe I'm to far north?  I know everybody in GA & AL refer to Virginians as Yankees!!  I guess they're all still mad at us for surrendering)

I'll ask around at the next meeting if anyone experiences this.
Thanks

Offline windfall

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Re: Do I have a laying worker?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2011, 10:56:53 AM »
I am pretty new, but the second shot which shows the "torn down supercedere cell" looks to me like the Q-cell is filled with royal jelly...if that is the case, it was probably partially attached or just mighty close to the next frame and you "tore it down" when you pulled the frame.

If the larva wasn't damaged I assume the bees will build it back? but others here with experience could speak to that.

Offline FRAMEshift

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Re: Do I have a laying worker?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2011, 11:35:46 AM »

I've never seen it with my colonies.  They get to maximum strength in July/August then keep that population till Fall.  We do usually have a late Summer nectar dearth.  All my queens are local too.
Bees can double their population every 21 days (that would be the maximum rate).  You've seen how fast they can grow in the Spring.  If your hive population stops growing in the dearth, that means there is a huge slowdown in the rate of raising brood per nurse bee.  I would say you have a good dearth response already. 
"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh

 

anything