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Author Topic: Is my hive Queenless or have laying workers?  (Read 684 times)

Offline TheNewBeekeeper

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Is my hive Queenless or have laying workers?
« on: June 09, 2013, 03:11:53 AM »
I just got bees, I only have one hive so far, I hope to expand. I'm using a top bar hive.   
I checked on the bees three days after I installed them, the queen was out of her queen cage.  But, I could Not find her. I waited to see if she would lay, five days later I found some queen cells they are working on. There were some cells with more than one egg in it, some even on the pollen stores but most where normal looking and only had one egg in it. I did notice that there wasn't that much wax made yet and the some that was made had nectar and pollen in it, also she is a new queen, but I can't find her. I am wondering if there is any chance the queen is still alive.  Everything looks great other than that, they are active at the entrance and are collecting nectar and pollen.  What should I do?

Offline HomeSteadDreamer

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Re: Is my hive Queenless or have laying workers?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 11:12:39 AM »
Ok,  First note I'm new at this too so take with a grain of salt.

More information would be helpful.  Where did you get bees from? a package, a nuc, a swarm?

Sounds like you have a queen that maybe getting in the swing of laying.  New queens can lay more than one egg in a cell.  The cells you say look normal do they have one egg right in the center of the cell?  That would be indications of a queen.  If you got a package or a Nuc from a reputable source more likely you still have a queen.  If you got a swarm you might have a virgin queen that had to go out on a mating flight.

I'd give it a few more days say up to 8 days.  laying worker usually only make drones so when they get capped if it is all drones then that points more to a laying worker.

If you have  the ability to take pictures, next time you go in your hive take quality pictures of each side of each frame.  I often times don't see the queen when I'm in trying to get stuff done then later at my leisure I find her in a picture taken from that day.  Of course I have the advantage of someone else helping so they take pictures while I just hold up the bar, looking for the things I look for and then flip it over for a few pictures then back in the hive.

Offline kathyp

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Re: Is my hive Queenless or have laying workers?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 01:40:04 PM »
don't think you'd have laying workers in that short time.  queen cups being built all the time are normal.  they may also want to replace your queen.  also normal.

look in those queen cells and see if there is anything in there...but no rush.  to much in the hive might be part of your problem.
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Offline sterling

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Re: Is my hive Queenless or have laying workers?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2013, 07:12:16 PM »
What Kathy said. Also if there are eggs a queen was there three days ago. Leave it alone for a week or so. ten days even.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Is my hive Queenless or have laying workers?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2013, 10:41:24 AM »
Package bees often build supersedure cells.  New queens often lay double eggs.  You say "more than one egg", is that a dozen?  Six?  Two?  Two wouldn't worry me.  A dozen is laying workers for sure.  Six is laying workers.  Three?  Probably laying workers, but could be a queen...

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