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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Baytown, TX., USA.
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    651

    Default Queen laying pattern

    Do the workers (the hive mind if you will) control where the Queen lays her eggs? One hive of mine already has a few drones flying on the 1st of March. Who decided that these were needed? Any reference I can turn to ?
    I often read of "a good laying pattern" is this decided by the Queen? Just asking...
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,540

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    The queen will only lay eggs in cells that the workers have cleaned for her.
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,872

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    I'm not sure if I have answer your question here.
    From my observation, the queen will lay anywhere that the bees can cover to avoid the chill broods.
    If there isn't enough cell space then the queen will wait for the broods to emerge rather than laying
    somewhere else. Makes sense though to ensure they all survive. So I think both queen and workers
    influenced each others just like people do in a community living. If the workers leave lots of room in the
    middle of the frame then the queen will lay a solid pattern if you have a good queen. Sometimes after the
    broods hatched she quickly went in to lay more eggs after the cells are all clean up. With so many nursing bees
    very often these cells are clean up ahead of time in preparation for later use. But when the workers
    filled up the middle frame with nectar and pollen then the queen has no space to lay. Then she will find and deposit her eggs on the outer edge of the frame also as long as there is an empty cell on the frame. Knowing this I put her on a new drawn out frame for her to lay but next to the brood frame. I have done this last weekend so have to check back on this weekend to see if she lay there or not. And then the workers have to back fill with nectar and pollen on the outer edge of the frame later on. How fun to see this can be done when the hive is booming. I would not do this when it is still cold though. So who influence whom? They both do!
    In the beginning it was the queen that control everything because there are many available cell space to work with.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,870

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    As far as Drone VS worker that is determined by the size of the cell the workers produce. If you watch a queen laying the first thing she does is stick her head and front legs into the potential cell one thing she is doing is measuring the cell size to determine the proper egg to lay. I think the workers decide what size cell to make, the queen just fills them.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    if populations are good and food stores plentiful going into winter.the bees will let some drones over winter my strong hives have drones that wintered over.when you think u figured out all about honeybees they will always stump you.lol

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    1,872

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    I don't have any special material for your reference. Many are my own observation of my bee hive. It is fun to learn from them too. I am just a beekeeper and beekeeping is my hobby. Yes, the queen decide how she lay her eggs. The workers just allow her to lay to keep the population up. A good queen will lay a solid pattern of broods at the center of the frame. At the outer edge of the frame after the broods is pollen follow by sealed honey at the top corners. A bad queen is one who does not lay a solid pattern. Then you will see many empty cells that does not have the sealed broods in them. So you may find many empty cells without egg.
    So no, the workers does not control where the queen lay her eggs. Although they tried to influence her by fighting for cell space. The forager worker's job is to collect nectar and pollen. Older forager bee can also be revert back to being a nurse bee too in my observation. The nurse bees job is to keep things neat and tidy inside the hive as well to make sure everything is running smoothly like feeding and cleaning, etc.
    Like other said, the workers are the one who decide whether or not the drones are needed to reserve resources in the winter time inside the hive. The workers are also responsible for dragging out the weaker alive and dead bees. Sometimes they would kill a new queen if they are not willing to accept her. I supposed this is nature's way at its best to manage order inside the bee hive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    >Do the workers (the hive mind if you will) control where the Queen lays her eggs? One hive of mine already has a few drones flying on the 1st of March. Who decided that these were needed? Any reference I can turn to ?

    I've spent thousands of hours watching them in an observation hive. The workers keep the queen from laying by filling the cells with a small amount (or a large amount) of nectar. They allow her to lay by cleaning the cells and, I think, marking them somehow. The queen will check them out and decide if they are fit to lay in, and I assume they have some way to mark the ones that are ready.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    Thanks Michael and all for the info. I now have two, one TBH and one Lang, with windows. This already has taught me much with more to come.
    Does a new Queen remedy a bad laying pattern?
    I guess I need an observation hive, to many questions!
    Last edited by julysun; 03-12-2013 at 05:36 PM.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    >Does a new Queen remedy a bad laying pattern?

    A bad "laying pattern" is often not a laying pattern, but a removal pattern for diploid drones caused by inbreeding. In which case a new queen often does remedy it. Sometimes it's just a young queen who hasn't figured it out yet.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,940

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    Inspecting last week, I saw an egg layed on top of a cell 1/2 full of pollen... I should've taken a picture of it but I didn't have my camera with me. I just kind of laughed at it, eggs were in just about every cell I could see in that frame.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia USA
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    Last summer I had a weak nuc with little to no brood or honey stores. I checked several times over two weeks and the queen was laying lots of eggs but there was very little larva growth. I thought I had a dud queen but on a whim I started feeding them and boom they started raising lots of larva to capped brood stage. I am pretty sure that the bees were eating the eggs/young larva as they knew that they did not have the resources to feed them. They sure are fascinating little critters.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    320

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    I recently saw or read that the queen leaves some empty cells scattered in the brood nest for heater bees to stick their heads in and heat the brood. I wonder if the number varies with temperature and how you can tell these empties from a bad laying pattern?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Stafford, VA
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Queen laying pattern

    Quote Originally Posted by thenance007 View Post
    I recently saw or read that the queen leaves some empty cells scattered in the brood nest for heater bees to stick their heads in and heat the brood. I wonder if the number varies with temperature and how you can tell these empties from a bad laying pattern?
    A bad laying pattern is REALLY obvious. The occasional empty is normal. This is what a bad pattern looks like:
    DSC_3467.jpg

    Michael Palmer had an excellent post on this here:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Laying-Ability

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