From: "Malcolm Bullard" <email@example.com
> Date: 2007/04/24 Tue PM 07:47:30 CDT
> To: FloridaBeekeepers@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [FloridaBeekeepers] Laying Workers was Open Air Hive
> Upon answering old man riggs questions you can proceed by studying the
> information below and apply the most appropriate action to your
> All methods of identifying a laying worker bee involve inspection, in
> which the beekeeper examines the brood pattern and type to identify
> if a healthy queen is present, or a potential laying worker. The
> beekeeper looks for a number of symptoms, including:
> Brood Pattern:
> Laying workers lay eggs that lack the queen's egg recognition
> pheromone, meaning that other workers may remove the eggs. This
> results in a spotty brood pattern, in which empty cells are scattered
> heavily through capped brood.
> Number of Eggs per Cell:
> The beekeeper looks at the honeycomb cells to see how many eggs are
> laid in each one. Queen bees will usually lay only a single egg to a
> cell, but laying workers will lay multiple eggs per cell. Multiple
> eggs per cell are not an absolute sign of a laying worker because
> when a newly mated queen begins laying, she may lay more than one egg
> per cell.
> Egg Position:
> Egg position in the cell is a good indicator of a laying worker. A
> Queen bee's abdomen is noticeably longer than a worker, allowing a
> queen to lay an egg at the bottom of the cell. A Queen bee will
> usually lay an egg centered in the cell. Workers cannot reach the
> bottom of normal depth cells, and will lay eggs on the sides of the
> cell or off center.
> Drone Brood in Worker Cells:
> Another good indicator is drone brood in worker sized cells. Drones
> are raised in larger cells than workers. Drone cells are
> recognizeable by their larger size, and when capped Drone cells are
> capped with blunt pointed cappings. Drones in worker cells are a sure
> sign of a failing queen or laying worker.
> Removing a laying worker bee:
> Removing a laying worker is difficult for a number of reasons. Laying
> workers may not appear different from other workers. Also, in hives
> where a laying worker develops, multiple workers will lay, meaning
> that killing a worker spotted laying will not resolve the problem.
> Introducing a new queen bee to a hive with a laying worker is
> difficult, as the colony considers itself queenright, and will not
> accept the new queen. Beekeepers have developed a number of methods
> for requeening laying worker hives, including:
> Shake outs:
> In a shake out, the bees are carried far from their hive, and then
> shaken from the frames. The field bees return to the hive, which may
> already have a queen in a queen cage waiting. The theory behind the
> shakeout is that the laying workers are nurse bees who have not
> oriented to the hive, and will not find their way back.
> Requeen via Push in Cage:
> A push in cage is a plastic cage that can be pushed into the wax
> comb. It prevents bees outside the cage from reaching the queen. The
> new queen can lay in the enclosed cells that should include emerging
> brood. The bees that emerge in the push in cage will accept the queen
> and care for her. When the queen is finally released from the push in
> cage she is more easily accepted.
> Combine with a queenright hive:
> By combining a laying worker colony with a queenright hive, the
> workers from the laying worker hive can be used to build up another
> colony. The bees from the queenright hive have already accepted their
> queen, and the brood pheromone plus the queen pheromone will aid in
> suppressing the urge to lay.
> Bee friendly,
> Pensacola, Fl