update:

still no word from tucson. if anyone out there knows of another resource i can turn to to get this queen and workers id'd i would be grateful.

a little too cold and very windy today for an inspection, there wasn't much flying, most cleansing flights i think.

but it only took about 3 - 4 days for the ursurping workers to starve or die in battle.

all looks normal again, the hive is heavy, and i'll look for queen evidence at the first opportunity.

regarding this diploid laying by workers, i can't say that i have seen that in three summers i've had to look at these bees.

in fact the bred from feral mutts that i have seem not to develop laying workers for a pretty long time. in the one case of laying worker i've had, the brood was spotty and definitly drone.

the other trait i find intriguing about these cape bees, is multiple 'queens' laying in their own sections of the hive with their own nurse bees. wow.

i do see this happening in my hives, when it is what appears to be a 'seamless supercedure'. i.e. the mother and daughter queens lay simultaneously until one finally either dies or leaves.

i think these small late fall swarms are supercedure swarms, and that they are using the usurping option as a last resort.