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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Kansas
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    How can the queen lay workers AND drone brood?

    Or is a worker responsible for laying drone brood?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
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    Hi Daisy, the queen lays the drone brood. She will let the egg get fertilized or not. It usually is a large cell or a cell that is not the right type for a worker. If she runs out of sperm then she will just lay drone brood (that's bad). Hope this helps.
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    A queen has eggs. The eggs (as in eggs of human or other animals) are haploid. This means they have one set of genes. The sperm which is stored in the spermatheca in the queen are also haploid (as sperm are in humans and other animals we are used to). They contain the one set of genes also. When the sperm is used to fertilize an egg as it is laid the egg becaomes diploid. (as adult humans and other common animals are). This means it now has two full sets of genes. You have two sets of eye color genes. One from your father and one from your mother.

    Worker bees are diploid. They come from fertilized eggs that have two sets of genes.

    Drones are haploid and come from unfertilized eggs that have only one set of genes.

    The queen measures the size of a cell with her front legs and based on that measurment she then turns around and lays either a fertilized egg or an unfertilized egg depending on the size of the cell.

    In a normal healthy colony with an adequate queen the workers do not lay eggs. When workers DO lay eggs it is drone eggs in worker cells and usually the nurse bees take them out and do not raise them because they are in the wrong cells.

    If the queen is gone for long enough and the bees cannot raise a new queen a worker will start laying drones.

    A queen that runs out of sperm in the spermatheca will also lay nothing but drones.

    A virgin that never got mated and was confined because of an excluder, the weather, a clipped wing etc. will start laying all drones.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
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    Yeah, this is what we are taught.

    the workers construct the larger comb for drone brood. it makes sense that the worker lay the drone brood as well.

    I wonder how the queen utilizes her egg laying capacity to lay drone eggs when she is upon the larger brood comb?

    Does she See that the comb is larger and turn off her worker faucet and turn on her drone faucet?

    LOL

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Daisy,
    no you missed something. The queen is responsible for laying ALL eggs in the colony, both worker AND drones. The queen "chooses" which egg to lay based on cell size. In some cases the queen cannot choose because she is unable for whatever reason to fertilize the egg. In this case she lays almost nothing but drone brood.

    IF the queen has disappeared AND the bees cannot raise another queen, then and only then will workers start to lay drone eggs. This is the bee's last ditch attempt at getting their genes out into the world before the colony dwindles away.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
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    Scott, how then do scientist explain this process?

    Still wondering How the queen bee controls which egg to drop into the larger prefabbed drone cells....

    Still wondering......

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,458

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    >Yeah, this is what we are taught.
    the workers construct the larger comb for drone brood. it makes sense that the worker lay the drone brood as well.

    I've watched them for hours as thousands of others have too. No one has seen a worker laying eggs unless there is not queen.

    >I wonder how the queen utilizes her egg laying capacity to lay drone eggs when she is upon the larger brood comb?

    She measures it with her front feet and that triggers something in her brain.

    >Does she See that the comb is larger and turn off her worker faucet and turn on her drone faucet?

    No, she turns the sperm faucet on for the workers and turns it off for the drones. The eggs are all the same.

    This has all been studied in great deatil for many centuries. It's been pretty well known since Huber and reconfirmed many times.

    What causes the workers to lay is the lack of queen pheromones. This triggers some worker's ovaries to develop. But since they have never mated they lay unfertilized eggs and, as already mentioned, these are haploid so they develop into drones.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,262

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    Thank You Micheal Bush!

    LOL

    So, she has a little compartment where the sperm are kept.... Interesting.

    She mixes things as she goes along.

    Wow, what an amazing creature.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    The case that holds the spermatazoa is called the spermetheca. In fact when a queen starts failing for one reason or anothing its not a bad idea to do a queen autopsy to see how good her supply still is/was at death. Look at the beewiki and search for QueenAutopsy to learn more.
    http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/

    ------------------
    Scot Mc Pherson
    Foundationless Small Cell Top Bar Hives
    BeeWiki: http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/

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