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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    765

    Default Queen loss and Worker layer

    I got six hives that had virgin queens in them a month ago. Now I open up the hives and there are mostly one egg in a cell but also two. I could not find the queens. Also nother hive has eggs in pollen so I am sure that majority of hives are laying workers.

    There is nothing but eggs and early stage larvae. No drone capped brood yet.

    I am thinking about dumping the bees into my queenright splits. I don't have strong colonies with me now(Out pollinating) and I think it would be a bad idea to dump all bees because they might destroy queens in splits since the queen right colonies have only about 5-7 frames with bees.

    I am thinking about making small entrance in my queen right colonies and dump 2 frames of bees each day, that way the laying worker(s) would not be able to get in. I saw one worker laying and I killed her on the spot. Then I squeezed her and the clear spermatheca came out just like a virgin queen. She was a bit fatter too.


    Is my plan a good idea?

    Also I have a colony who lost its queen early spring. Month a go a put in two queen cells. Day later I found one dead queen in outside. No queen inside. Last week I finally got a virgin queen and put her in the hive. First in a cage then I let her out. She was accepted becasue I could see bees grooming her but then she dissapeared in a day. I think since the laying worker was on bottom chamber they came up and killed her. Now a week later I found two queen cells being raised with larvae and royal jelly. No queen in the hive just eggs from laying worker and drone brood. Could bees be trying to raise a queen out of drone egg? Should I add good eggs from another hive. Before I tried to add brood and they just capped it. Raised no queens. Tried this twice.

    The maximum I saw in any cell is two eggs. Never saw three.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: Queen loss and Worker layer

    >I got six hives that had virgin queens in them a month ago. Now I open up the hives and there are mostly one egg in a cell but also two.

    Normal.

    >I could not find the queens. Also nother hive has eggs in pollen so I am sure that majority of hives are laying workers.

    Why are you sure? Eggs in pollen would make me nervous, but especially if it's multiple eggs in pollen.

    >There is nothing but eggs and early stage larvae. No drone capped brood yet.

    They should be capped in four days.

    >I am thinking about dumping the bees into my queenright splits. I don't have strong colonies with me now(Out pollinating) and I think it would be a bad idea to dump all bees because they might destroy queens in splits since the queen right colonies have only about 5-7 frames with bees.

    Why not give them a frame of eggs from the queenright colony. Eggs aren't a big investment and the queen can lay far more eggs than her workers can care for. Swap one of the suspect combs for a comb of eggs and repeat this every week for three weeks and whatever the issue is, it will be resolved. Like magic.


    >I am thinking about making small entrance in my queen right colonies and dump 2 frames of bees each day, that way the laying worker(s) would not be able to get in. I saw one worker laying and I killed her on the spot. Then I squeezed her and the clear spermatheca came out just like a virgin queen. She was a bit fatter too.

    How do you know she wasn't a small queen? Usually there is no real noticeable difference in a laying worker and a worker.

    >Is my plan a good idea?

    This one is better:
    http://bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm

    >Could bees be trying to raise a queen out of drone egg?

    They can.

    > Should I add good eggs from another hive. Before I tried to add brood and they just capped it. Raised no queens. Tried this twice.

    If they raise no queens after you do this once a week for three weeks then they had a queen and by then she will be laying.

    >The maximum I saw in any cell is two eggs. Never saw three.

    Which is why I doubt it's laying workers.

    Keep in mind bee math:
    http://bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm
    If you killed or lost a queen, how long before you'll have a laying queen again? About 24 days because the bees will start from a just hatched larvae.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: Queen loss and Worker layer

    I wouldn't dump them yet!

    Usually, hopelessly laying worker colonies are very obvious. These cases don't sound so. I've about stopped considering multiple eggs as a clear laying worker symptom. Often, I see new queens doing this, even sometimes laying on the pollen, but not often.

    Last year I raised lots of queens off a breeder queen that consistently had multiple hatched larvae in the same cells!! I had never seen multiple larvae before, or since.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    765

    Default Re: Queen loss and Worker layer

    I checked Hives and 2 are queen less with eggs. I will keep an eye out for them to makes sure.

    In one of those 2 hives I killed a laying worker not a queen. I have raised queens and seen very small queens but I just don't get how people could mistake a queen with a worker??

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