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Thread: laying worker?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Mineral, Virginia
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    Have a swarm I captured recently I thought was failing I opened it up to begin moving the frames with bees over to a weak package I just hived and I noticed There are egg(s) in many cells. Odd part is in many many cases, there are 2 or 3 eggs in a cell. I have not seen this before. Laying worker?

    Michael, I notice you recommended shaking the bees out in front of other hives. Since the swarm completely filled 3 frames with honey, I was going to put frame with honey bees and all in my weak packaged hive, in the outer most frame slots. Bad idea?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Wyoming MN
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    Might be laying worker, might be new queen. Sometimes, when they are just getting started, it takes a few days for them to get the hang of it. Is there any capped brood? Is it worker or drone brood? If there is none, I would wait a few days, if there is only drones, I would assume laying worker. If you just put the frames in bees and all, they might fight, personally, if it is a laying worker, I would do the shakedown, and give the frames to the other hive without the bees on them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I know it seems like the same end result, but it's not. If you shake the bees out in front of the hive and give that hive the frames it's not the same as putting the frames in the hive with the bees. The bees that you shook off have to come into the hive in a subserviant manner to get accepted, which, because of the demoralizing of the shaking off, they will. If you put them in directly I think they will fight and they may kill the queen in the queenright hive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    What's your opinion on the presence of multiple eggs in cells? It's pretty prevalent across the frames

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    It would appear to be a laying worker. New queens seem to get it down long before they lay frames of multiple egg cells.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Probably a laying worker. If I have a few with double eggs I wait a few days and check again, because I've seen queens do this when they are just starting to lay or just starting to lay for the season. But if you have just solid multiples, it's probably a laying worker.

  7. #7
    kookaburra Guest

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    I'm curious....Do the workers rectify the multiple eggs per cell situation by removing the extras? If so, how long before they remove the eggs?

    -r

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Another sign of a laying worker is that the eggs are often on the sides of the cell. Since the abdomen of the worker is shorter than the queen, the laying worker can't reach the bottom of the cell, thereby placeing the eggs on the side.

    Another thought is that the queen REALLY wants to lay and there may not be enough drawn cells available.

    I had found a colony this weekend that I would have sworn was a laying worker. Shotgun pattern, mostly drone caps, multipal eggs, queen cups all over (no queen cells), then I spotted the queen. She was very large, I figure that she is a failing queen that I captured with the swarm. The colony wasn't doing well so I combined it with another small swarm with a viable queen.

    And yes, I know that the queen I found MAY have been the replacement, but it doesn't matter now, does it?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    I have seen multiple eggs when there wasn't enough room in the brood chamber and the queen wants to lay somewhere.

    Usually the workers sort most things out, but I've seen double larvae in cells before too. I'm sure that doesn't work out in the long run. When it's a laying worker they often don't even feed them.

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