I either have a laying worker or an unmated queen laying. All drone comb. (okay by my kids, but not by me! they like daddy bees)
They have been trying to raise queens for many weeks now. It doesn't seem to be working. Do they try to raise a queen with laying workers' drone eggs?
Michael, you mentioned before "The bees will NOT even TRY to raise a queen from drone eggs. If they have eggs or larvae in a queen cell then they are rasing a queen. Don't confuse one protruding drone cell with a queen cell though. A queen cell is pointing DOWN."
There are always eggs and larvae in the queen cups. Nothing is happening with them. It has been more than 8 days for sure. For the most part the eggs seem to be singles at the bottom of the cell, but I did see one small area where they were layed about 2-4eggs per cell.
Any ideas what is going on?
I was going to let them do their thing, but I think I am going to order a queen anyway because it looks like their thing may not be the right thing.
"I either have a laying worker or an unmated queen laying. All drone comb. They have been trying to raise queens for many weeks now. It doesn't seem to be working. Do they try to raise a queen with laying workers' drone eggs?"
No, they do not.
The time table and situation here are unclear but, Drones take 26 days, Workers take 21 days, and a Queen is only 16 days, from egg to emergance. Are the drones just remaining from the old queen?
A queen's timetable is, 16 days plus, then 5 - 10 days till she is ready to fly and mate plus, 5 - 10 days till she is mated and then add a few more days till she starts laying. So you may be looking at as few as 26 days from start to almost 40 days before you will be seeing eggs from a new queen.
"There are always eggs and larvae in the queen cups. Nothing is happening with them. It has been more than 8 days for sure. For the most part the eggs seem to be singles at the bottom of the cell, but I did see one small area where they were layed about 2-4eggs per cell."
Any ideas what is going on?
Not knowing all of the information of what has taken place and how long this has been going on, here is a possible guess. A new queen sometimes takes a few days to settle down and get into a pattern. So the mutliple eggs could be that.
The multiple queen cups with eggs and larva may be that the hive is unsure of her and thinking of again superceding.
"I was going to let them do their thing, but I think I am going to order a queen anyway because it looks like their thing may not be the right thing."
If you have a laying worker, virgin queen, or a newly mated queen, they will not accept a queen that you introduce.
You will have to determine what the actual situation is and then take the correct steps.
I think I killed the old queen around April 10 (accidentally). They started emergency cells.
Started seeing eggs on April 24 or before, scattershot, drone cappings by May 1 and more since then. Queen cells w/ eggs and larvae the whole time since then. I'm still learning what to pay attention to, but it seems that they never get capped.
I can't recognize queens yet so am handicapped by that.
MB has answered a lot of my questions which I appreciate greatly, but I am still struggling to put togather what I've learned with what I see, they never quite match.
I've never seen a queen cell with a drone egg. I don't think it ever happens. I've seen them make queen cups which never get an egg in them becuase there is no queen or no fertile eggs.
Of course we have only what you are seeing to go by and your interpretation of it, but it does sound like you have a drone laying queen or a laying worker. It's virtually impossible to find a laying worker. It's not hard to find a queen if you practice.
Maybe your best bet is to order a queen. Set up a nuc with some of the bees shaken in and see if you can get them to accept her and get her laying. Then do a newspaper combine with the hive with the problems.
On the other hand, the simplest solution to a laying worker is just shake them ALL out in front of all your other hives and later steal some brood from the other hives and do a split to start them back up.
Laying workers are a pain.
I have a queen ordered and will try the nuc/newspaper split then if needed.
If I'm missing something and they are queenright by then, then I will just keep the nuc/split seperate.
BTW, you mention the 2 screen method of combining them.... Could I just stack my open SBB on top (making sure the sides are closed)? If it is only temporary?
It takes a DOUBLE screen. You can make one easily with just a frame the size of a lanstroth (19 7/8" x 16 1/4") covered on both sides with #8 hardware cloth. The idea is that they can't get to each other but they can smell each other. You could also use a scrap piece of 1/2" ply and cut a couple of holes in the middle and cover it on both sides with #8 hardware cloth. You can also buy them from Brushy Mt. or Betterbee.
Will a drone-laying worker try to kill a kill a newly introduced queen or will the drone-laying worker step down?
Also, will a drone-laying worker destroy newly introduced queen cells?
[This message has been edited by sugar bandit #2 (edited May 16, 2004).]
As far as the hive is concerned, a laying worker IS a queen, and they will turn on an introduced queen accordingly. That's why the usual advice is to shake everybody out and have a new queen waiting when they get back, the laying worker usually, but not always, doesn't make it back, and all the confusion makes them more likely to accept the new queen.
Things I've done that did not work (at least some of the time)
Introducing a queen. This works sometimes, but considering the odds of acceptance it is an expensive way to deal with the problem.
Shaking them out to get rid of the laying worker. This accomplishes several things, none of which is getting rid of the laying worker. She flys back with the rest.
Things I've done that worked.
Introducing a queen. It works sometimes, but fails often enough to be frustrating.
Shaking all of them out in front of other hives and doing a split later. This is the simplest and least frustrating. But if you only have one hive or two this is not so easily done.
Introducing a nuc. I've done this with the best success by putting it on top of a double screen board for four days or so and then a newspaper combine. The laying worker hive gets time to accept the smell of the new queen and the smell of her brood and then seem happy to have some brood again.
I have a similar thing going on.... Yesterday I found one of the hives in trouble. I knew the queen was questionable when I added it to this package coloney installed this year.
Well, brood appears to be mainly drone (bullet shapped), but there are 10% of the capped brood that are flat and not bullet shaped. I could not find a queen in this low population hive. There are no supercedure or swarm cells anywhere in the hive. Do you think this is the product of a laying worker? If so, why are there flat (female) type capped brood?
In order to hopefully save this colony I added 1 frame of densly packed brood, larvae and eggs from a strong colony. I am hoping they would use the eggs to raise new queen(s). But, if it is a laying worker, will she allow this to happen?