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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Florence SC USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Queen or Laying worker ??

    I did a split a few weeks ago. I expected one hive to make its own queen from queen cells present. Almost immediately, I started getting eggs. Turns out they are drones and most of the cells have multiple eggs. How could that happen so fast? They came from a hive that had and has a good queen.

    Last week I gave them a frame with eggs, but they did not build any queen cells. Today I found and removed the "queen". She had attendants just like a real queen and I did not see any others. This bee has a large body like a queen, but all of my other queens have a yellow abdomen....this one has stripes like the workers.

    What now? I have her separated from the hive with a few attendants. Is she good for anything??

    Thanks,

    Ed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Queen or Laying worker ??

    I recently hived a swarm. I put in a frame of brood which is supposed to help them stick around. I always do this. Maybe it helps but I lost one this year that had a frame of brood. Anyway I checked this hived swarm after 3 days and saw eggs. I was excited because it seemed like there was no queen when I collected the swarm. A couple of days later there was multiple eggs in cells and drone brood sticking out of worker cells. There were laying workers (I doubt you will find one single laying worker) even with a frame of brood. It pissed me off. I put them onto drawn comb and combined them with a queenright hive. That queen has since disappeared. I don't see any sign of any laying workers so I'll put another queen in soon.
    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,255

    Default Re: Queen or Laying worker ??

    Ever herd of a drone laying queen? A poorly bread queen or a queen that did not get bred, as well as extremely old queens can be drone layers. Depending on the drawn comb situation, if ample cells are not available even viable queens will lay more than one egg in a cell the position is the give away laying workers are usually on the side or in the corner. queens are in the bottom. Which hive was the queen placed in the parent or the split?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Florence SC USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Queen or Laying worker ??

    Answer to your questions. The original queen was left in the original hive and the queen cells were given to the new hive that is now full of drone brood. The drone brood is centralized and in a nice pattern. What I need to know is how to proceed since this "queen" is now isolated from the hive?? My inclination is to pinch her and combine the hive with another and just consider it a failed split. I read somewhere that a "queen" can be used to make a swarm attractant??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    657

    Default Re: Queen or Laying worker ??

    Don't call it a failed split just yet. Go give that bad queen a bath in alcohol makes "queen Juice", then pull a frame from another hive that has lots of eggs on it. Give it to the split and let them have another go at it since the weather is better now anyway.
    Thomas Bartram - Since 2013, 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Florence SC USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Queen or Laying worker ??

    Quote Originally Posted by drlonzo View Post
    Don't call it a failed split just yet. Go give that bad queen a bath in alcohol makes "queen Juice", then pull a frame from another hive that has lots of eggs on it. Give it to the split and let them have another go at it since the weather is better now anyway.



    DONE !!! There is no backing up now. Thanks to all who responded. I wonder if there is any way to tell whether one is a queen or laying worker by looking at her.

    Ed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    657

    Default Re: Queen or Laying worker ??

    GED - YES there is a way. Although the laying worker's belly may elongate some, it will NOT come close to what an actual Queen's belly will look like. However, as for a laying worker being spotted with only workers in the hive, NOT so lucky. They don't swell up enough to really tell them apart from a regular worker. This is why a queen excluder won't get rid of laying workers.

    So to sum it up, Queens can be told from workers any day.
    Laying workers cannot be told from other workers. One catch to that is if you actually catch one laying an egg. NOT likely though.
    Thomas Bartram - Since 2013, 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Florence SC USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Queen or Laying worker ??

    Quote Originally Posted by drlonzo View Post
    GED - YES there is a way. Although the laying worker's belly may elongate some, it will NOT come close to what an actual Queen's belly will look like. However, as for a laying worker being spotted with only workers in the hive, NOT so lucky. They don't swell up enough to really tell them apart from a regular worker. This is why a queen excluder won't get rid of laying workers.

    So to sum it up, Queens can be told from workers any day.
    Laying workers cannot be told from other workers. One catch to that is if you actually catch one laying an egg. NOT likely though.


    This bee was as large as any queen I have. She had attendants and when I removed her, many of the bees followed her. She sure did make a mess of the brood area !!

    Ed

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,041

    Default Re: Queen or Laying worker ??

    Quote Originally Posted by GED View Post
    This bee was as large as any queen I have. She had attendants and when I removed her, many of the bees followed her. She sure did make a mess of the brood area !!

    Ed
    Yes, that sounds like a drone laying queen. I freeze the brood and give it back to the hive later on. They recycle it.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    657

    Default Re: Queen or Laying worker ??

    Yep, i second that thought. Drone Laying Queen. They happen when they either run out of semen, or when they don't mate up propperly or at all when they are virgins. I've run into that myself.
    Thomas Bartram - Since 2013, 43 - 8 F langs, 22 Italian & 21 Russian

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