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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,295

    Default Re: queen cell question

    She looks like a recently mated queen, perhaps she'll start laying in a few days. Does she have any empty worker comb to lay in?
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: queen cell question

    There is some. Not a ton because they haven't drawn it yet. There's room for them to draw it out, but I figured perhaps any new bees that are born will be better / faster to draw it out. What do you think of the brood? Does the capped brood appear to be worker or drone, or is it too hard to see?

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,295

    Default Re: queen cell question

    All I've seen in your pics are drone brood, except where the queen was, that looks like it could be capped worker brood (hard to tell with the bees nearly completely covering it).
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,585

    Default Re: queen cell question

    All of the brood that I see in the pics is definitely drone brood... with no other brood (open or closed), I would assume that the queen is either very fresh or a drone layer... she is small, so either she has gotten slim for mating flights, or she has run out of sperm and the bees have begun to lessen her nutrition... I would recommend a frame of brood and see what happens in the next week... if she doesn't kick it in gear soon, I would just replace her... sorry, I hate to bring bad news, but the sooner its addressed, the less damaging it will be.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Default Re: queen cell question

    That drone brood is in drone cells. It is possible that they raised a queen who is not laying yet and the drone hasn't quite all emerged (less than 24 days since it was laid, but more than 21 so all the worker brood has emerged). In three more days the drones should have all emerged and the queen should probably be laying
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: queen cell question

    thanks guys. M.B. the problem with that thought is that the brood you see is all on new comb. If it's all drone (which is what I was concerned) she either may not have gotten mated properly, or for some other reason laid these cells before being mated? I dont' think I've ever read anything about a queen laying eggs before going out on mating flights. I do have one more picture with larva in it. This was the only other spot that I saw today. I didn't find any eggs or any small larva, but at least where the queen was I didn't smoke them away to see much of what was under them. Here's the last picture. . .
    http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/...2/100_7467.jpg
    If you all think that the other is drone then I'm thinking that this is also. let me know what you think. Thanks again.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: queen cell question

    Well guys I'm shocked!!! I thought I was done as far as "survivor stock" from the cut-out. A guy from my local club had some queens so I bought 2. I split the hive 3 ways hoping for the best. (I left the one there in the deep box, and pulled a frame of stores from the cut-out for each nuc and a frame of partially drawn comb) I just wasn't confortable squishing the queen that they had reared even though she only laid 1/2 of a frame of drone and it didn't look good. Then nothing until today!!! I thought the nuc was going to be hurting and the one queen that I installed into the other needed room, so I swapped frames. 1 w/ eggs and small larva for a equally drawn comb w/ no eggs or anything. Perhaps 1/3 of the frame was drawn out on both. Well I was expecting to see q-cells when I opened them up today because that was last week that I swapped them out. Well There were some capped brood (just a few) some larva and some eggs. I figured that the eggs were still there because it may have gotten chilled and died. I tried to go fast, but it was a little cold that evening. (Mid 50's I'd guess w/ no wind and the nucs are about 6 feet apart so I thought I'd be fine.) Well I found another frame in the nuc w/ the queen. Here's a picture.

    http://i1176.photobucket.com/albums/...ueenmadeit.jpg

    I was shocked. It seems that perhaps the queen when she was a virgin did lay some drone, and then stopped laying. Then she went out on a mating flight and is now laying in worker cell!!! I don't understand why and how all of this happened, but I'm fairly sure that it wasn't and isn't a laying worker issue because there was only one egg in the bottom of the cells with the exception of 2 eggs every so often. Never more than that, and never on the sides of the cells. It does seem that the queen laid some drone and then when they hatched out went on her mating flights and now is laying and mated. I didn't see her today because I was going quick and was only looking for q-cells until I found the other eggs. Amazing!!! Bees will do whatever they want. I'm shocked, but have learned through this. The good thing now it seems that I have 3 hives that are all doing well!!! Very cool. Thanks for all your help guys.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Default Re: queen cell question

    >thanks guys. M.B. the problem with that thought is that the brood you see is all on new comb. If it's all drone (which is what I was concerned) she either may not have gotten mated properly, or for some other reason laid these cells before being mated?

    Virgin queens don't lay eggs. After they are mated a queen will lay. If she mates late it will be all drones. If it's on time, it will be fertile eggs in worker cells and drones in drone cells.

    > I dont' think I've ever read anything about a queen laying eggs before going out on mating flights.

    Because they don't.

    There are always multiple laying workers even in a queenright hive

    "Anarchistic bees" are ever present but usually in small enough numbers to not cause a problem and are simply policed by the workers UNLESS they need drones. The number is always small as long as ovary development is suppressed.

    See page 9 of "The Wisdom of the Hive"

    "Although worker honey bees cannot mate, they do possess ovaries and can produce viable eggs; hence they do have the potential to have male offspring (in bees and other Hymenoptera, fertilized eggs produce females while unfertilized eggs produce males). It is now clear, however, that this potential is exceedingly rarely realized as long as a colony contains a queen (in queenless colonies, workers eventually lay large numbers of male eggs; see the review in Page and Erickson 1988). One supporting piece of evidence comes from studies of worker ovary development in queenright colonies, which have consistently revealed extremely low levels of development. All studies to date report far fewer than 1 % of workers have ovaries developed sufficiently to lay eggs (reviewed in Ratnieks 1993; see also Visscher 1995a). For example, Ratnieks dissected 10,634 worker bees from 21 colonies and found that only 7 had moderately developed egg (half the size of a completed egg) and that just one had a fully developed egg in her body."

    If you do the math, in a normal booming queenright hive of 100,000 bees that's 70 laying workers. In a laying worker hive it's much higher.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: queen cell question

    Thanks again Michael. I guess I'm yet again in a waiting game. If these eggs all are drone then I'll need to look into what's going on. I know from reading that a laying worker will lay numerous eggs in one cell, not one per as you see in the picture in post 27. From all this I do know that I have 2 hives that have "good queens" that are seeming to be doing well. Eggs and larva all over. I may continue to take a frame from one of them and give it to them. If their queen is a drone queen would they superceede her if they realize that and if I give them the eggs, or would I need to squish her? This has been a great learning experience for me!!!! I can't say I understand much of what has happened to this point. I have several questions that don't have answers for. For example. . . Why would they (during the flow and w/ room to expand) only lay a few eggs and not continue? Did this queen hatch earlier than I thought and went out and was mated earlier than I saw and if so why didn't she start laying before this? If this is a laying worker hive now why is there only 1 egg per cell (with the ocasional 2 per cell which I understand is normal w/ a new laying queen) and the pattern looks pretty good at this point? These are questions I have, but don't have answered yet. A learning experience for sure!! I'll keep you all posted.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Default Re: queen cell question

    >Thanks again Michael. I guess I'm yet again in a waiting game. If these eggs all are drone then I'll need to look into what's going on.

    Of course.

    > I know from reading that a laying worker will lay numerous eggs in one cell, not one per as you see in the picture in post 27. From all this I do know that I have 2 hives that have "good queens" that are seeming to be doing well. Eggs and larva all over. I may continue to take a frame from one of them and give it to them. If their queen is a drone queen would they superceede her if they realize that and if I give them the eggs, or would I need to squish her?

    In my experience they will supersede queen who isn't doing right if they have the means. But in 8 days when those eggs are capped you'll know if they are drones and if so, I'd dispatch her (a jar of alcohol will let you use her essence for swarm bait later.

    >Why would they (during the flow and w/ room to expand) only lay a few eggs and not continue?

    The old queen may have failed or died.

    > Did this queen hatch earlier than I thought and went out and was mated earlier than I saw and if so why didn't she start laying before this?

    I've seen package queens take two weeks. I've seen newly emerged queens take three weeks. I've seen both start in 3 days.

    > If this is a laying worker hive now why is there only 1 egg per cell (with the ocasional 2 per cell which I understand is normal w/ a new laying queen) and the pattern looks pretty good at this point?

    Then it's probably not laying workers or the level of laying workers hasn't peaked yet. Laying workers have patterns that are harder to put you finger on like spotty cappings (very spotty and all drones) and multiple larvae even before they start having enough multiple eggs to discern it from that.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Orinda, California, USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: queen cell question

    yes it sure seems like you have laying worker. A good queen will lay in worker cells exclusively in a small nuc. She senses they need brood that can be useful.

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