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  1. #1
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    Default Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    laying worker 2.jpglaying worker 2.jpglaying worker 3.jpg

    I hope this worked and you can see the pictures, I think i have a laying worker in the split I did what do you think?
    I have not seen any of the eggs in cells was unable to locate any at all and no queen that i can see. I have not been in the hive in over a week since pictures taking do to rain. I plan to go back in on tues when weather is good and at this time if i still find what i know does not look normal i am thinking just try to combine with parent hive.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Yes, your photos show a lot of drone cells, and no capped worker cells seem to be visible.

    How long ago did you do the split?


    > I think i have a laying worker in the split ...

    FYI, laying workers are likely always present in every hive. The only real question is whether
    there are just a few, and those few are 'policed' by the other workers or not. More on that here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingw...htm#pheromones
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Drones take about four days longer to emerge than workers so, in theory, you could have lost your queen twenty-one to twenty-four days ago. Several things make this unlikely, including the time of year (queens should be laying much fewer drones now), the pattern (drones laid by queens will often be along the outskirts of the brood chamber), and the absence of emergency queen cells (were there any?). If you have a laying worker, you should see eggs haphazardly placed in the sides of the cells with multiple eggs in some cells.
    "Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example." Mark Twain

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    FYI, laying workers are likely always present in every hive. The only real question is whether
    there are just a few, and those few are 'policed' by the other workers or not. More on that here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingw...htm#pheromones

    I checked in the "Biology of the Honey Bee" which suggests that a queen and laying worker would likely not be present in a hive at the same time unless, the hive was without queen and (more importantly) brood for some time. It is the queen and brood pheromone that blocks the ovaries in a workers from becoming active, resulting in a laying worker. According to the book, the hive would need to be queenless and broodless for an average of 23-30 days before a worker begins laying. Since a queen-right hive would have both pheromones I don't see support for a laying worker to be laying in the hive (unless the queen has failed and no brood is present for some term).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Dueling references!

    According to "The Wisdom of the Hive", there typically ARE laying workers in a hive, but in very small numbers ...

    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."
    The quote is from "The Wisdom of the Hive", as cited on Michael Bush's site, here:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingw...htm#pheromones
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Yes, but neither source suggested that the are active laying workers. I don't dispute there are workers with ovaries but that is different than to say the are actively laying in a hive that also has a queen.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Perhaps you missed the reference PLB provided in the other current thread you are posting in related to this:

    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.
    Its in post #14 of this thread.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Quote Originally Posted by kenargo View Post
    I checked in the "Biology of the Honey Bee" which suggests that a queen and laying worker would likely not be present in a hive at the same time unless, the hive was without queen and (more importantly) brood for some time.
    I believe Mark Winston's "Biology of the Honey Bee" was published prior to Prof. Ratnieks' findings regarding the presence of laying workers in queen-right hives. (About 1 laying worker per 10000 bees.)

    Wayne

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    firefly your thinking is good. combine them back to a strong hive.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    I put the split together july 12th so there should be worker brood, at first check 10 days after putting together i had found a few capped worker eggs but not many at this time i put another frame of open brood and some capped from parent hive. Then i had robbing going on so i put in place a screen i made 2 weeks went by before i could get back in to hive and at that point i found all these capped drone eggs. I am going to take a look tonight if i can pull it off and at this point if still the same i am putting them back on top of the parent hive. Not sure what to do with the frames.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    The hardback of Mark Winston's "The Biology of the Honey Bee" was published in 1987. The paperback release was in 1991 I think, but the copyright still says 1987. Ratnieks and Visscher's research on laying workers was published between 1988 and 1996 (several different studies on the topic).
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    UPDATE: On 8-24-14 I took the hive with laying worker and placed it on top of parent hive with a screen separating the two. I have left them alone it has been a few days now and would like to remove the screen. My thoughts are they will move down into the original hive and at this point i can remove the third hive body. There is very little stores in the hive due to the amount of drones they ate everything.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Updates on a thread like this are interesting to the original responders and others and to folks who will look at the thread in the future. I am grateful for it. I don't know if the queen in the parent hive is in danger as a result of the laying worker(s) if you remove the screen at this point. (I doubt it.) Others may know and, if it is a problem, hopefully they will weigh in. You do have the option of dumping the top hive in front of the entrance and letting the quard bees work it out. (I would not do that at this point except on trusted advice.) I am interested in how this turns out.
    "Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example." Mark Twain

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    if in doubt substitute a single sheet of newspaper instead of the screen, you can slightly mist the sheet with water if you wish.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Mathesonequip, Do you think its too late to try to put this hive together with a laying queen if i could find one. I am sure its kind of late in the game for them to make one and get her mated. I really wanted this to work this is year 2 for me and so wanted to have 2 hives up and going. What are u thoughts? If i dump the drones the workers fly back and i place a laying queen under some protection large area where she can still lay eggs maybe they would take to her. I would of course have to feed and take frame of brood from parent hive but i am ok with that as that's a large hive. I have no experience here so i am open to suggestions.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    it is probably too late to introduce a queen, you could try it if you want to. you should have a month with a new queen before the end of honey flow... I had a similar mess late this summer. about 1 1/2 deep 10's worth of bees that I could not get to raise a queen, twice, then a ny queen in a cage, no hostility no failed queen present, she got released in about 4 or 5 days. a couple weeks later no brood. I waited another week, no brood [drone brood does not count here but less is better] and then i did a newspaper combine with a mid july 6 frame nuc. that was last wed. the queen in the nuc was from the same batch as the re-queen attempt. either it worked or it is shake out time... pretty tough to find a queen this time of year, you could try lynn barton... the commercial guys would just say shake them out and extract the honey or better yet use the resouces in another hive and put the cost of a queen toward a package in the spring. it is your choice.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Not much value in the old LW hive beyond the comb. Scratch the drone comb caps and combine. Worry about the single good hive now.
    You would have a better chance with a new split and a queen than the old nuc and old LW bees. I would use the queen money as a down payment for next year unless your one hive is strong enough to split into two strong nucs.

    Does your strong hive have a new queen or last years? Did they replace her this year? Good reason to move the old queen into the nuc when making a single split. That might make the choice for me. All of the winter bets on a 2 year old queen would make me worried.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Update: 9/6/14 I placed the split back on top of parent hive, left alone when returning to remove the screen and allow all bee's to move down into main hive I found that many of the workers from parent hive had joined the split. The laying worker was resolved far as i can tell as i found no eggs and no new drone brood capped. (all drone brood scraped off). I decided to throw caution to the wind and get a mated queen from local bee master. I currently have her in a frame that contains a cage in the center about 4x6 that he used for making queens i think. I am gambling but my parent hive is doing very well and i figured what better way to learn. Who know might just work and i will go into winter with a second hive. I truly enjoy working with my bee's .. always something new to learn.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Laying worker or Drone laying queen?

    Saltybee, my queen is from package i got this year i assume she is 1st year queen from Minnesota. They have not replaced or attempted to swam nothing they have been building quickly and doing very well.

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