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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default I have laying workers - I think

    A week ago, I found my hive to be queenless. No eggs or larvae that I could find and the brood nest filling with nectar. I ordered a new queen, who arrived yesterday. When I inspected the hive yesterday, I found several queen cells under construction, and eggs and larvae scattered all over. There appeared to be larvae in the queen cells. It was very cloudy outside so it was hard to see well. I emailed my mentor last night, and he told me to go ahead and put the queen cage in the hive until he could get over to bring me more bees (my one hive is too weak to split). Today when I opened the hive to put the queen cage in, I looked at a few of the frames since it is very sunny today. There were several eggs in each cell, anywhere from 2-5 eggs. I also looked in the queen cells, and saw that there was more than one larvae in each Q cell. I'm assuming now that I have laying workers instead of a queen - right? I couldn't really tell if the eggs were on the side of the cell - they looked like they were on the bottom. But a queen would never lay more than one egg in a queen cell, would she? Or do the bees build the cell around previously laid eggs? (The Q cells were in the middle of the frame like supercedure cells) I'm not sure what to do at this point. I left the new queen in her cage in the hive, with duct tape over the candy plug so the bees can't chew her out. Unfortunately my mentor just had surgery and can't make it out for several days. Does anyone have any advice for me? If I do have laying workers, can my hive be saved? I think I read that laying workers will not accept a new queen.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: I have laying workers - I think

    A queen can possibly lay multiple eggs in a cell for a week or two until she gets all systems up and running. When I have seen laying workers in the past eggs have always been on the side of the cells. I would say you have a newly mated queen in there and shes just getting rolling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: I have laying workers - I think

    What about the more than one larva in the Q cells? Still possible with a newly mated Q in the hive?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: I have laying workers - I think

    I would doubt that you have more than one larvae in the cell even if it was a laying worker. It could be that the queen deposited an egg in the cell with a larvae already there. I can say I have never seen two larvae in one cell.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: I have laying workers - I think

    I know - it was really weird! But I'm 100% certain that I saw 2 distinct larva in one queen cell. I even took my veil off to make sure I was seeing it right. They were curled up in the royal jelly. I'm going to try to take a picture the next time I open the hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Covington, Ga, USA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default Re: I have laying workers - I think

    Ok, i am going to ask an uneducated question. If it was a lying worker, when the cell is capped, wouln't you know because it would be a drone cell? The caps are different are they not because drones are bigger? I personally can't tell you as I have never seen one that I know of, but, reading what i have read, this seems to be the case....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,596

    Default Re: I have laying workers - I think

    Quote Originally Posted by GatorBeeGal View Post
    I know - it was really weird! But I'm 100% certain that I saw 2 distinct larva in one queen cell. I even took my veil off to make sure I was seeing it right. They were curled up in the royal jelly. I'm going to try to take a picture the next time I open the hive.
    SHB larvae do that. Not to scare you.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default Re: I have laying workers - I think

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    SHB larvae do that. Not to scare you.
    Good point Mark.......

    Take a good hard look for SHB and a queen. Get a magnifying
    glass and check the eggs out to see if they are on the sides.
    Tear down those Q Cells. Young queens often lay multiple
    eggs as others have said. Workers lay loads and usually on
    the sides.

    Good luck and hope SHB aren't there......... If you don't
    already have a SHB trap, get one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: I have laying workers - I think

    Quote Originally Posted by devdog108 View Post
    If it was a lying worker, when the cell is capped, wouln't you know because it would be a drone cell? The caps are different are they not because drones are bigger?
    The problem is that none of the brood is capped yet, so I don't know.

    Yikes, I didn't know that about SHB. I had a horrible infestation in the same hive a while back, but I moved it into the full sun and put on a trap and haven't seen any since. I think I am experiencing everything that can go wrong in beekeeping in a short few months...
    Thanks for the magnifying glass idea - I will have to take another look.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, FL, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: I have laying workers - I think

    Oh, one other question - would the bees really try to make a queen out of worker-laid drones? What happens to the drone larvae that is fed exclusively royal jelly? Super-drones?

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