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Author Topic: Will Workers Make Queen Cells on Worker-Laid Eggs?  (Read 665 times)
Qortni
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Location: Upstate New York


« on: August 16, 2012, 06:37:45 PM »

Hello,

We're from upstate NY and it has been hot and dry here this summer. We have a hive started from one of our swarms captured in early May (this year) that has suddenly become lethargic, docile, and they don't seem to be guarding the entrance. There's suddenly no sign of eggs, no worker laid eggs (that we can see), but there is capped brood, and 6 or so queen cells - only one of which is capped. We have never seen the queen in this hive, but we assume it is now queenless, given all these other signs. Are the queen cells in there a definite sign that they're creating a new queen? Will workers make queen cells on worker-laid eggs? Can we relax and let them do their thing? Or should we still be thinking about purchasing a queen to re-queen or combine this hive with one of our other hives?

We've tried to look this up but can't find a clear answer. Thanks in advance! smiley

~ Qortni.
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 06:56:49 PM »

Worker laid eggs are sterile.   They become drones only.
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hardwood
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Location: Osteen, Fl (just south of Daytona)

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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 07:25:31 PM »

It sounds as if they may have swarmed. I'd give them some time and check again.

Scott
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Qortni
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 08:38:05 PM »

AllenF

Yes, I understand that but what I want to know is will workers attempt to make a queen cell from the sterile egg or will they only make a queen cell if there is a viable fertilized egg? 
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 08:48:53 PM »

Yes I had a hive that somehow lost the queen. A worker took over laying and the bees kept making queen cells from the drone brood\eggs.
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Shane
tandemrx
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2012, 11:21:35 PM »

I agree, I have had laying worker hives where they attempted to make a queen from laying worker eggs . . . seems like they give up before they are capped and larvae just die.

Since you have some capped brood (assume worker brood??) that means you have had a queen less than 21 days ago, so it isn't out of the realm of possibility that these are real queen cells (hard to know without looking at the frame).  You would only have to wait a little more than a week to find out, so I would probably leave them be for 10 days and check again.

By that time, you would also likely see laying worker eggs (doubles, triples, side-wall, sporadic) if that was the problem.  If you really don't see ANY eggs I would give them some time.
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Rex "Hawk" Smith
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 07:59:25 PM »

Hah!  So what comes out of a queen cell that's had a worker-laid egg in there?  A drag queen? lol!
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