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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    664

    Default Queenless Condition

    I am considering making some 5 frame deep nucs up from established hives this spring and introducing some mated queens. In addition, I might also attempt a few walk away splits. While I certainly understand the process of allowing worker bees to rear their own queens, what is the likelihood that workers without a queen will begin to assume the role of the missing queen and begin to start laying eggs? Does the presence of brood and larvae pheromone prevent the workers from laying eggs, as the urge to raise new queen cells simply takes over?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default Re: Queenless Condition

    If you have brood between one to three days old, they will quickly start to draw out queen cells. An educated guess if workers becoming laying workers would bee brood pheromone will prevent this. Actually I have found that even when a hive becomes hopelessly queen less ( which most often is the beekeepers fault) it takes a long time for them to become laying workers.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,136

    Default Re: Queenless Condition

    I've read 3-5 weeks laying workers typically start. Also read adding open brood from another hive can prevent it, even if they don't successfully raise a queen. Of course you would have to add more if that happened.
    Dan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seneca, sc
    Posts
    830

    Default Re: Queenless Condition

    If they have a frame with eggs they will start queen cells, when the eggs hatch. Laying workers are not a problem as long as the queen cells hatch and a queen mates. If after 16-25 days if their is not a virgin or mated queen in the hive that is when you will have to worry about a laying worker. They know if there is a cell that has not yet hatched or a virgin or a mated queen in the hive.

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