Daily inspections of the drone frames revealed the presence of a few eggs, presumably laid by workers, at a rate of 1 egg per 16000 drone cells. 85% of these eggs were removed within 1 day and only 2% hatched. Dissections of workers revealed that about 1 worker in
10000 had a fully developed egg in her body. These data show that worker egg-laying and worker policing are both normal, though rare, in queenright honey bee colonies, and provide further confirmation of the worker policing hypothesis.
A small proportion of eggs emerged as larvae. Previous work (Ratnieks and Visscher 1989) showed that there was no discrimination against 1-day-old worker-derived male larvae relative to queen-derived male larvae, suggesting that worker-derived males have normal survival rates once they hatch from their egg.
The data presented above show that both worker egglaying and worker policing, via the removal of worker laid eggs, occur normally in queenright honey bee colonies. However, they occur at such low rates that they can only be observed under special experimental conditions,
such as those used here.
Source of the quote is:
Ratnieks, F. L. (1993). Egg-laying, egg-removal, and ovary development by workers in queenright honey bee colonies. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 32(3), 191-198.