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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Hiram, OH
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    117

    Default Can this be a laying worker?

    I have a new package of bees that was installed in one deep of drawn comb 3 weeks ago. I inspected for the first time the other day (after checking for queen release 3 days after installation), and found tons of drone brood in a very sparse and spotty pattern all over most of the frames, and found many cells with 2-5 eggs. I found no single eggs. I was thinking laying worker(s), but then remembered reading that laying workers cannot lay in the bottom of the cell due to their short abdomens. Is this true, or do they ever lay on the bottom? I have not seen the queen, but have not really looked that hard. I have transferred a frame of eggs and open worker brood from another hive to correct the laying worker issue, but now I'm thinking I need to find the drone-laying queen, pinch her, and let them raise a new queen. What would you do?
    “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” – Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,962

    Default Re: Can this be a laying worker?

    > but now I'm thinking I need to find the drone-laying queen, pinch her, and let them raise a new queen.

    You likely won't be able to do this. Laying workers are not "queen sized", AFAIK, so will be hard to identify, and there are likely lots of them. More here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm

    I would continue to try your present course of periodically introducing brood frames to the hive.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Can this be a laying worker?

    Drone laying queens are no more likely than regular queens to lay multiple eggs.

    > Is this true, or do they ever lay on the bottom?

    Laying workers always lay on the bottom if they can reach it. In drone cells, they can. On top of pollen they can. In a shallow, not fully drawn cell, they can. My guess is you have laying workers, not just because of the multiple eggs, but the spotty brood.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Hiram, OH
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Can this be a laying worker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    > but now I'm thinking I need to find the drone-laying queen, pinch her, and let them raise a new queen.

    You likely won't be able to do this. Laying workers are not "queen sized", AFAIK, so will be hard to identify, and there are likely lots of them. More here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
    Note that I was referring to pinching a "drone-laying queen", assuming that I had one, not a laying worker(s). The drone-laying queen would be as easy to find as any other queen.
    “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” – Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Hiram, OH
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Can this be a laying worker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Drone laying queens are no more likely than regular queens to lay multiple eggs.

    > Is this true, or do they ever lay on the bottom?

    Laying workers always lay on the bottom if they can reach it. In drone cells, they can. On top of pollen they can. In a shallow, not fully drawn cell, they can. My guess is you have laying workers, not just because of the multiple eggs, but the spotty brood.
    Thanks, Michael. I will proceed on the assumption that I have laying workers, and continue to give them frames of open brood. Should I stop transferring frames when I see queen cells with larvae, or should I continue until I see evidence a new queen laying?
    “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” – Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,359

    Default Re: Can this be a laying worker?

    workers dont typically start laying until 3 weeks after the removal of queen pheromone.
    How long has it been since you released the queen?
    Can you find the queen now?
    Do the bees make a very loud hum or rather roar when you open the lid?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,962

    Default Re: Can this be a laying worker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky Bee View Post
    Note that I was referring to pinching a "drone-laying queen", assuming that I had one, not a laying worker(s). The drone-laying queen would be as easy to find as any other queen.
    Hmm, queens normally lay drone eggs on a regular basis. Thats how the majority of drone eggs happen. So every laying queen is a "drone laying queen"; most however, also lay worker eggs, of course. Also, your thread title referenced "laying workers"!

    If you don't clearly explain what you are referring to, the responses you get may be less useful. Michael Bush offers some advice on this:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...eful-responses

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 05-23-2013 at 01:35 PM.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,433

    Default Re: Can this be a laying worker?

    Hi BMAC, it does rarely happen that a package will be installed and have laying workers almost immediately. Rare, but it happens.

    I think the explanation must be that the package has been taken from a hive with laying workers and this was not noticed at the time. This can and does happen because many package producers do not find the queen, they put an excluder on top of the hive, then a box with a few combs, then smoke the bees up and the box, now full of bees, is taken off and shaken into packages. Of course, there is every likelihood that a package with laying workers would kill the caged queen given them and continue with the laying workers.

    As you rightly surmised, whether this happened, or whether the queen given them didn't take so they got laying workers later, can be determined by the age of the larvae.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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