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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    665

    Question multiple eggs in cells

    Hi all , I have some packages from Australia and 1 in particular that i checked today has multiple eggs in the very bottom of the cells on one side of a frame, there is other frames with single eggs , but the one with the Queen on it happened to have multiple eggs. Could her Ovaries be messed up from coming out of a cage after a week or so ? I don't know how long she was in there before i got her , but she came out after 2-3 days after installing her.

    If it was a worker , wouldn't it be on the sides of the cell wall or could the worker reach the bottom ?
    Here is a picture of the frame.
    Let me know what you think.

    http://s1324.photobucket.com/user/Be...tml?sort=3&o=0

    Thanks
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
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    363

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Are the cells fully drawn? If so then workers can't reach the bottom. I've read that sometimes young queens will lay multiple eggs per cell while they figure out how to do things correctly. Kind of like a chicken laying it's first egg. Sometimes scares the heck out of it at first but then she settles down when she decides it's normal.

    I read it so it must be true, right. Hopefully someone w/ more experience and certainty will chime in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Seneca Falls, NY
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Octobee? you should find the Dr. that aritficially insemented her and sue him Just kidding, I am interested to see what others say...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,886

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    It happens sometimes that young vigorous queens can't quite contain theirselves for a while. Relax and Give her a few days.

  5. #5

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    It happens sometimes that young vigorous queens can't quite contain theirselves for a while. Relax and Give her a few days.
    Diddo David. I see lots of newly mated queens do this for a few days and then stop. In the last few weeks we have had some warm weather here in Ohio and I actually saw a 1.5 year old queen doing this. She just got too excited for spring! Your queen is probably fine, check back in a week and you should see improvement.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
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    1,237

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Another point to remember. If this package is in a new hive, with no drawn frames the workers may not have enough drawn comb to keep up with the queen. When they catch up they will move the eggs.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,969

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    When they catch up they will move the eggs.
    Move or remove?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,077

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Sometimes a new queen will lay multiple eggs in the bottom of the cell, if the bees don't have enough cells ready for her to use. She just wants to go go go.
    Dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    665

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Thanks all . I am hoping for the queen to settle down (if it's her) It does appear to be that is the issue here. The comb is fully drawn that i put in from a dead out , So I will go with the Queen being over active for now : )

    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    even after winter when they start to lay again they will some times lay multiple eggs in a cell no worries.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Another thing to remember is that it's pretty uncommon for a laying queen to be in a hive with a laying worker. If the queen is there, the worker should stop laying. So most likely not a laying worker.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,580

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Don't worry, Ben. The LW is short live if there is one compare to the queen. As long as she's there it will be fine.
    The other workers know what to do to keep just one. Keep on monitoring this hive to bee sure that they are
    not all drone cells. So far I have never seen 2 big larvae in a single cell yet. Anybody has?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    8,969

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy View Post
    Another thing to remember is that it's pretty uncommon for a laying queen to be in a hive with a laying worker.
    If memory serves me right Michael Bush claims the opposite. It is common to have multiple laying workers in a queen right hive but the bees clear the eggs out so there is little impact on the colony. It is not until the hive is queenless that the colony is taken over by laying workers.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,635

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    If memory serves me right Michael Bush claims the opposite. It is common to have multiple laying workers in a queen right hive but the bees clear the eggs out so there is little impact on the colony. It is not until the hive is queenless that the colony is taken over by laying workers.
    Here is the page where Michael Bush discusses laying workers:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm

    And a portion of that page says:
    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.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
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    1,237

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    [QUOTE=Acebird;926589]Move or remove?[/QUOT

    Is there a difference?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
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    372

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Yes... If a worker moves an egg from one cell, they put it in another cell. If they just remove it, they eat it and destroy it.
    Disclaimer: I know enough to know I don't know anything yet.

  17. #17
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy View Post
    Yes... If a worker moves an egg from one cell, they put it in another cell.
    I would like to know if this is possible because if it is it means that a worker could move an egg to a queen cell. How do you know this is true?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Knox, Pa. USA
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    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    This is a subject that has been discussed on many occasions. I have listened to and sat in with some highly experienced bee keepers as well as educators. and the opinions very with about a 50 50 split. I spent many years believing that bees did not move eggs. A sound reasoning would be if they did a queen excluder would be of no use. However about 5 years ago I had an experience that gave me cause to rethink my position. I had installed a package in a new hive with un-drawn frames. The queen had been released, and was laying in the drawn comb. during my check a great many cells had multiple eggs in them. As I looked the frames over the queen flew. before she ever landed my corgi snatched her up and chomped he down.
    I closed up the hive, knowing that I would have queens emerging in growing nuc in a couple of days so I figured I would re-queen then. rather than letting the colony build a queen to expedite the explanation of the colony. The queen hatched and I went to put her in the queenless colony figuring I would just let her breed from there. I inspected the frames for queen cells to remove before introducing the new queen. and I discovered that the cells with multiple eggs now had single newly hatched larva in them and there seemed to be a greater number of cells, and they too contained larva. Which led me to believe that under certain circumstance. bees will move eggs. I do not think that workers carry eggs around the colony regularly. However, I think there are circumstances when preservation of, or expansion of the colony in order to keep the genes of the colony alive and prosperous dictate that they do. Now mind you I have never done a controlled study of this, nor have I ever read of any such study. It is just what experiences have led me to believe.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    I don't know but there are other possibilities:

    Maybe the bees pulled out one of the two eggs and maybe laying workers put eggs in other cells, especially if they were not fully drawn.

    I am not sure how to set up an experiment to prove the eggs can be successfully moved to another cell. It might be that the act of another bee coming in contact with the egg may kill it. The eggs are not hard shell.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
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    1,237

    Default Re: multiple eggs in cells

    Laying workers would be the problem with attempting to maintain any degree of control, In deliberation I at one time wondered about maybe an egg count, as a degree of measure in a compilation of averages within multiple hive study, but that would not be infallible either because there is no actual data concerning disposal of insolvent eggs in a normal colony. With the recent advancement in miniature video camera technology it is only a matter of time before someone reveals the facts of the matter . Guess it for now will remain one of the splendid mysteries that is the world of bees

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