Questions regarding a laying worker hive
I have read that if you have a laying worker in your hive you will see alot of drone brood being raised in the worker cells and double/multiple eggs in cells.
Will the majority of the cells have double eggs? Or will only an occasional cell have more than one egg in it?
I have not found the queen in this hive which I thought was queenless because the queens that I introduced died prior to being released and the one donor queen was found dead outside the hive shortly after introducing her....but I also have been told that sometimes packages will come with an overlooked queen already in the package...Plus I have not gotten down into the bottom deep brood box yet either...only the 2 mediums above it.
This hive also seems a bit hot, but the donor queen and associates were a Russian/feral cross,which are known to be a bit more testy.
Unfortunately, I originally was not good at seeing the eggs, but after taking an apprentice beekeeping workshop this weekend, I have a better idea of what I am looking for, and can see eggs as well as larvae in this hive now... but, occasionally I see 2 eggs in a cell which makes me wonder if I could have a laying worker. I do not see a large amount of drone cells at this point and 2 eggs in a cell were not noted as being predominant.
So... should I be concerned about a laying worker ...or just wait it out and see how it goes for a little longer...and only be concerned if I start seeing more drones being raised and still can't locate the queen?
Unfortunately, I have not yet found the queen in this hive , which is why I am confused as to what course of action I should be taking at this point in time. But, this hive seems stronger than the one next to it which I had to steal the queen from my weak overwintered hive to fill in until I can get a replacement queen. I even put some undrawn frames on this hive as it seemed strong enough to warrant adding them.
I also have a strong hive that overwintered that I am hoping will not swarm on me, but I do not want to split it too soon either. I reversed the boxes and added space above in the supers, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
I'd love to rear some queens from that hive! It wintered well and is extremely strong.
So I may soon have some options regarding new queen possibilities (either ordering some as they should be available now as well as attempting to raise some from my strong hive.)
Anyway, just thought I'd ask and see what info I could find out regarding laying workers.
Thanks in advance!
So you have drone brood, but it sounds like you've got worker brood also? If so, only a queen can lay fertile eggs which become worker brood. Sometimes a freshly mated queen will lay some drone eggs as well as double eggs in a cell here and there. It's like she's learning as she goes. If it is a laying worker hive, then you'll have more than one worker laying.
Also look for eggs in funny positions like halfway up and on the side of the cell and eggs laid on top of pollen stores,etc. = laying workers.
Yes, keep it fun! When it doubt, don't do anything. Sounds like you may have a new queen getting started.
Laying workers don't lay two eggs per cell, they lay 5, 10, 15 scattered all over the cell. Double eggs sounds more like a young queen finding her way...