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Author Topic: Drone layer queen  (Read 1146 times)
tillie
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« on: April 02, 2013, 10:39:41 PM »

I have a hive that went very strong into the winter.  There are still a ton of bees in the hive.  However, on March 10, we had a warm day and I opened the hive.  The queen was only laying drones.  Drones EVERYWHERE.  I found single eggs in every cell that had an egg in it - no sign of a laying worker.  This was a nuc from 2012 that I had purchased.  I wondered if the queen were short bred, but didn't do anything at that time and just gave the hive a frame of brood and eggs from another thriving hive. 

On Monday, April 1, I noticed that the ground outside the hive was littered with the bodies of drone brood that had been ripped out of their cells.  I opened the hive. 

Inside there was still only drone brood.  I found the old queen whose wings were chewed and ragged.  She had a yellow dot, indicating that she was indeed a 2012 queen.  I also found an opened queen cell that had been opened at the tip. 

So my theory is that they have a new queen but she isn't mated yet or isn't laying yet, but they are optimistic enough that they are almost ready to eject the old queen.  They are chewing off the wings of the queen so that when they eject her, she can't fly.  They also are carrying out the drones so as not to use the resources of the hive to take care of the drones when a new queen is about to lay worker brood and get the hive back on its bee legs again.

What do you think?  Any other theories?

Linda T in Atlanta

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capt44
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 11:30:25 PM »

It's possible that the old queen is not up to par and is laying non fertile eggs.
About the opened new queen cell and the wings in dismay on the old queen.
It could be they fought and the new queen lost and the old queen has battle scars.
I would re-queen as soon as possible and add a couple of frames of brood.
That should keep the hive going until the new queen can get things organized again.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 06:05:18 AM »

Since you gave them new brood, I would leave this hive alone for another 10 days and give the new queen a chance to get mated and be established. If the old q was going to kill the new one, she would have done it in the cell. You probably have 2 queens. Not uncommon especially in this situation.
Jim
Hey, did I just turn into a queen bee?  Smiley
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Moots
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 06:12:00 AM »

Hey, did I just turn into a queen bee?  Smiley


Jim,
Yes you did.....Congrats!  Smiley

For a second, I wasn't sure where you were going with that statement... laugh
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 08:13:41 AM »

Obviously the old queen failed.  I'd give them a frame of eggs and open brood "in case" so they can raise a new queen if they need to, and they very well might need to.
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Michael Bush
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tillie
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 08:21:34 AM »

Thanks, yesterday I did give them another frame of brood and eggs from a thriving hive and thought if nothing else the pheromones from the brood would keep the bees going.  I have two nucs that are raising queens and may be able to move a cell from one of them in the next week.

Linda T
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AllenF
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 08:35:17 PM »

Linda, did you get some pics of frames with all drone brood for the folks here to see?   (I did not check to see your blog)   Might be good for some to see a frame of drone brood. 
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tillie
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 09:12:50 PM »

Here's what the old girl was producing:




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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 12:51:09 AM »

I've seen quite a few videos of people opening their hives up for a spring inspection and found massive amount of drone cells. It looked as if there was as many drone cells as there was worker brood.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 03:32:17 AM »

 tillie......
Did you use Coumaphos Huh


         BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
 
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Jim 134
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 07:00:38 AM »

 On Saturday, March 2, 2013 I when to WCBA ALL DAY SPRING MEETING
(Worcester County Beekeepers Association In Massachusetts )
Dr. Jeff Pettis As research leader of the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville,
Dr. Jeff Pettis
Say Coumaphos will kill sperm inside the queen bees and you will get a drone lays or you may get a shotgun lays.



         BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
iddee
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2013, 08:15:28 AM »

10 posts and no mention of removing the drone layer. Why? That's the first thing I would have done.
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tillie
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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 08:03:07 AM »

I didn't use coumaphos - I don't use any treatments in my hives except powdered sugar.

Like I thought they would do, the bees got rid of the drone brood and the poor queen.  They have now apparently made themselves a new queen from the frames of brood and eggs that I gave them weekly over about three weeks.

Linda
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Lone
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 07:46:38 AM »

That's a happy ending..or new beginning  Smiley

Lone
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tillie
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 07:55:24 AM »

Michael Bush says it takes three frames of brood and eggs to reverse a laying worker and while this was a drone laying queen, still, seemed to apply - three times the charm, as the old saying goes.

LT
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2013, 03:58:01 PM »

I would assume the queen cell has a drone larva in it.  I'd give them some open brood and if you can catch her dispose of the drone layer.

http://www.bushfarms.com/huber.htm#maleeggsinroyalcells
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Michael Bush
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2013, 10:10:41 PM »

I didn't use coumaphos - I don't use any treatments in my hives except powdered sugar.

Like I thought they would do, the bees got rid of the drone brood and the poor queen.  They have now apparently made themselves a new queen from the frames of brood and eggs that I gave them weekly over about three weeks.

Linda
Way to go Linda. Since they are using the eggs from another hive, you should get a good queen.
Jim
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