Help! New Hive: I Think I Lost My Queen and Have a Laying Worker (w/ pics)
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Danville, CA, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Help! New Hive: I Think I Lost My Queen and Have a Laying Worker (w/ pics)

    Hi folks.

    I'm new to beekeeping this year and just installed my four lbs. package Carniolans on April 2. Prior to this, I did a lot of reading and video watching to make sure I had a working knowledge of beekeeping before jumping in. Here's a timeline of how things have developed.

    Day 1: The installation went fine. No problems. I have (had?) a marked queen.

    Day 6: I left them alone for five days and then went in to see if the queen had been released. The candy plug was gone and the queen cage was empty. I couldn't find the queen in the hive but I understand that's not unusual.

    Day 11: Went into the hive again and saw good new comb and eggs. Some of the combs had two eggs in them and a few had three. Again, I understand that it's not unusual for a new queen to get overzealous laying eggs particularly when she's waiting for enough comb to be built. Didn't see the queen.

    Day 15: Saw more multiple-egg combs. No larvae yet. Didn't see the queen.

    Day 21: Saw lots of larvae and capped brood but. . . The brood pattern seems somewhat spotty AND the capped brood appear to have domed caps on them rather than flat or just slightly convex. Still didn't see the queen.

    So now I'm trying to figure out if I have a big problem or if I'm just being paranoid.

    If I am queenless and have a laying worker, what am I supposed to do? Many of the articles/posts I've read talk about re-queening the hive and include advice along the lines of "take a frame or two of healthy brood from another hive and put them in your hive" to support you hive while the new queen gets to work. That might be great advice for someone with multiple hives but I don't and I don't know any beekeeper well enough to call up and ask for frames of brood.

    Thanks for any advice/support/prayers/divine intervention you can offer.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Joliet, il
    Posts
    1,879

    Default Re: Help! New Hive: I Think I Lost My Queen and Have a Laying Worker (w/ pics)

    Well from what i see in the pictures. You dont have any drones in the hive. Maybe you have a few and they need more. Its kinda hard to tell if its drone brood. My drone brood looks bigger and the domed top is much higher. Like a 9mm bullet. Laying worker just drops a egg in the hole. Its not centered is on the side. Find eggs and see where the egg is in the comb. A queen will center it a LW just drops it in on the side. A hralthy hive has a good amount of drones.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    2,426

    Default Re: Help! New Hive: I Think I Lost My Queen and Have a Laying Worker (w/ pics)

    I see a lot of larvae there. I can't tell if that looks like drone brood or not, but once all that larvae gets capped I think you'll have a better idea. I'm thinking it's probably fine.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
    Posts
    1,623

    Default Re: Help! New Hive: I Think I Lost My Queen and Have a Laying Worker (w/ pics)

    In the first pic I see eggs in the bottom and center of the cells.You do have a queen there.She may just be laying a few drones because like Bill says they may need some.Let work a couple more weeks and see what you have then.I would bet she is OK.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    6,176

    Default Re: Help! New Hive: I Think I Lost My Queen and Have a Laying Worker (w/ pics)

    I'd wait a little longer. Watch...but wait.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    jonesboro, ar.
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Help! New Hive: I Think I Lost My Queen and Have a Laying Worker (w/ pics)

    So now I'm trying to figure out if I have a big problem or if I'm just being paranoid. No to big problem
    you just don't know yet, pic 2 looks fairly normal for new queen. Lot of times you can see the y of the cell
    on the back side foundation, it is off set from front and when you look down in looks like 3 eggs. give her a
    week or two ,when they get a lot more capped it will look a lot different just give little time.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Danville, CA, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Help! New Hive: I Think I Lost My Queen and Have a Laying Worker (w/ pics)

    Thank you all for your input and advice. I will take a deep breath and wait for more of the larvae to be capped to see what it look like.

    Again, I appreciate everyone's assistance.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Orem, UT
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Help! New Hive: I Think I Lost My Queen and Have a Laying Worker (w/ pics)

    If it were laying workers, you would see multiple eggs (3 to 5) in the cells and almost none of them in the center.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    2,426

    Default Re: Help! New Hive: I Think I Lost My Queen and Have a Laying Worker (w/ pics)

    Otter, still try to wait until they're capped because that will be the tell.

    While multiple eggs and to the side might indicate a laying worker, sometimes a new queen gets a funky beginning to laying too, so don't judge her too harshly yet.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Danville CA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Help! New Hive: I Think I Lost My Queen and Have a Laying Worker (w/ pics)

    I live in Danville also.
    I think you are ok but if you need a frame of brood I can hook you up.
    Andy

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