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  1. #1
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    Default Why some queens never lay?

    Yesterday I finaly pinched a few queens that never started laying. I began wondering why some queens never lay a single egg, yet some workers have the ability to lay eggs when no queen is present. Is there something physically wrong with nonlaying queens? I'm guessing that they must have underdeveloped ovaries that never produce eggs. What gives?

  2. #2
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    Wheatfield, IN
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuleluder View Post
    Yesterday I finaly pinched a few queens that never started laying. I began wondering why some queens never lay a single egg, yet some workers have the ability to lay eggs when no queen is present. Is there something physically wrong with nonlaying queens? I'm guessing that they must have underdeveloped ovaries that never produce eggs. What gives?
    How long did you give them? Usually they eventually start laying even if its only drones.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  3. #3
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    Default

    I let them go for 2 weeks after thier sisters from the same batch started laying.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default

    If they never mate, they never lay. If they mate LATE, they lay drones. If they run out of eggs they stop laying. If they run out of sperm they start laying drones.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Heavener Oklahoma
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    920

    Default Not Laying Queen

    I had a hive that had a old queen so I re queen it the mating nuc was in the same yard and was laying great in the mating nuc. about 10 days after placing her in the hive Nothing no Eggs seen the queen she was just roaming around let it go another week still not laying. so I pinched her head and place another Queen check 2 weeks later she had been laying for 4 or five days. I just don't think the bees were tending to the queen where she would began laying. When the bees eat pollen they produce royal jelly in turn feed the queen the jelly and this is what triggers her ovaries to start producing eggs. I think this is what happened.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2005
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    Southern Oregon
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    Lightbulb

    A never mated queen can and will eventually lay drones. In fact, these never mated drone layers can subsequently be instrumentally inseminated and will lay workers. I have also seen severely delayed matings yield perfect brood patterns... by day 23...after celling the nucs.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  7. #7
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    Default

    I don't know if waiting for one or two queens to lay or not lay is very productive for a breeding operation. Why not pinch and put in another cell?

  8. #8
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default

    It was more like waiting for 120 queens to lay, and the virgins were looking so big and beautiful. Further, we suddenly had a burst of great mating weather; instead of pinching we just started more nucs with the available cells. Ten days later the delayed nucs were brimming with brood.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Troupsburg, NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    A never mated queen can and will eventually lay drones. In fact, these never mated drone layers can subsequently be instrumentally inseminated and will lay workers. I have also seen severely delayed matings yield perfect brood patterns... by day 23...after celling the nucs.
    I've thought that myself. You can really II an unmated queen after the window of mating oppertunity and have her lay fertilized eggs.....wow. I take it you or someone you know has tried this?
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default

    >A never mated queen can and will eventually lay drones.

    I've seen queens with damaged wings after a month or more and they still weren't mated and weren't laying anything. I have seen delayed queens and they still don't lay until after they mate and then they start laying drones. Based on observations on queens that can't mate (because of wings) I have not seen a "never mated" queen lay anything.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default

    I will see if I can find the literature on it. I came across it last year while researching II and mating delays.

    I have personally seen virgins with damaged wings that could never mate become drone layers. It stands to reason that if given some "bullets" she would use them.

    I am yet to fire up our II tool yet. The resource I came across seemed very reputable as I recall. I will see if I can locate it soon. First things first... it is time to graft.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  12. #12
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default

    Still have not been able to find the citation on II of an unmated drone laying queen. I thought it was on the old Ohio queen breeders site, but it seem to direct me to some random dog breeders site. I was amazed when I read it, and I am sure I can find the reference again, between bee chores.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
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    Greenville, TX, USA
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    Default

    I just killed a never mated queen. I assume she was never mated because she still had a "waist" if you know what I mean. She just didn't have that mated queen look. She was marked about two months ago. No brood or eggs of any kind in the hive.

  14. #14
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    Jan 2005
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default Photo of never mated queen laying drones

    Here is a shot of a queen with a wing deformation that could have never flown. there is only drone brood, 1 egg per cell, in a compact pattern, unlike a laying worker where you will often see multiple eggs per cell and in a helter skelter pattern.

    I must apologize for the poor image quality, the shot was taken with a cell phone.



    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Germany /Europe
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    Default

    I had a queen which started laying 3 days after mating.
    The eggs of the first 2 days were drone brood, from day 3 on worker brood.
    Maybe the sperms needed some time to find their way or these first eggs were just premature.
    But no more difficulties afterwards, she lived 4 yrs and made large colonies.
    Sincerely
    Alienor

  16. #16
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default

    We found our second queen all year that was not capable of flight due to a wing deformation, and was able to lay drones. So clearly an unmated queen can and will lay unfertilized eggs that will develop into viable drones.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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