I posted a couple weeks ago about a new Russian package of bees which had been struggling with a poorly mated queen. I checked that hive today, which is still struggling, to find some new eggs on one frame only. But about 15%-20% of the eggs are 2-per-cell.
Most of the eggs are smack dab in the middle of the cell where they belong, but the 2 per cell eggs are doubled up along the wall of the cell. Is this a laying worker? Or a new queen? Haven't seen one yet so don't have a reference. This hive was started about mid April. Also found about 5 swarm cells though, and no supercedure cells. Can't figure out what they are doing. Any ideas?
It's hard to say for sure, but have you seen the queen? I'm guessing it's a queen because there are no more than 2 and they aren't on the side.
I'm guessing the swarm cells are for a supercedure and just happen to be on the bottom. But who knows for sure?
I'd probably look for the queen and remove her and let them use the swarm cells for a supercedure.
It seems doubtful that a struggling hive will swarm.
Thanks for the reply, I thought maybe it was a queen. I have been kind of wondering whether there was a real finite distinction between locations of supercedure cells and swarm cells. I am guessing from what I have seen that this isn't a hard and fast rule that only swarm cells are on the bottom. I removed 3 of the queen cells at first, then realized what appears to be going on, and reinstalled them, into the old queen cages on the top of the brood frames. It will be interesting to watch them, each of the 3 cells got accidentally torn when I pulled frames, so they are covered with bees taking care of them. To answer your question, no I haven't seen the queen, but I am not good yet at finding her either. So you are saying that the distinction of a lwying worker is that she can only lay on the side of cells, perhaps due to her smaller physical size? If that's the case then yes I have a queen for sure, she is just slow at this point. But the hive has been superceding, I believe, since I got it. Maybe a new queen just getting up to speed.
Thanks for all you folk's help, my friends can't believe how much I know about bees in such a short time
It's hard to say anything "for sure" with bees. But usually a laying worker lays three to five eggs in a cell and they aren't usually in the bottom.
A real laying queen usually lays one cell in the bottom of the cell, but sometimes lays two when the brood nest is crowded or when she's just starting (after mating) or restarting (after winter) to lay.