drone layer
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Thread: drone layer

  1. #1
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    Default drone layer

    I got a few queens in the mail most have been pretty good, one really good and one a drone layer. Is a drone laying queen common from queen producers? Shouldnt they be weeded out if they are supposed to be laying for 14 to 21 days before selling?

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  3. #2
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: drone layer

    Shouldnt they be weeded out if they are supposed to be laying for 14 to 21 days before selling?[/QUOTE]

    That's a false assumption. Unless stated by the queen producer, it's highly unlikely that the queen is that old. When you buy a young queen from a reputable outfit, the only thing the producer knows is that it is a laying queen.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: drone layer

    It depends on the bee operation. When it is queen harvesting time the beekeepers or
    sometime volunteers just go out there to pick out the queens. Unless it is a guaranteed by
    the producer that it is a worker laying queen, they will not know for sure because all they see
    are the eggs/larvae laid. Just harvest and sell!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  5. #4
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    Default Re: drone layer

    If they are mated in mini nucs they have to be caged within a few days of starting to lay because they run out of room and can abscond.

    Most commercially sold queens are raised that way, the odd drone layer will slip through undetected, unfortunately that's the way it is. Ideally queens would be mated in 4 frame deep nucs and kept at least 3 weeks to check brood pattern etc. But if the market demands queens for 25 bucks, then they have to cost less than 25 bucks to produce, for the vendor to make anything. Financial reality.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  6. #5
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    Default Re: drone layer

    yep just wanted to make sure. I have never produced queens for sale or not in a 4 or 5 frame nuc. Looks like I will be pinching a queen and combining hives. getting late in the year here. thanks for the insight and info.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: drone layer

    If you contact the vendor, and provide proof by means of a picture of the drone brood, most vendors are happy to replace drone laying queens if asked.

    Couple things, queen breeders can be skeptical of what they get told by hobby clients, as (trust me i know), they are told so many weird stories that are actually the fault of the beekeeper. Hence the need to supply pics, and keep the conversation brief, friendly, and professional. Treat it like he made an innocent mistake, not like he set out to deliberately rip you off.

    Oh, try to include the queen in the pic, so he knows it is a drone laying queen, not laying workers. And if a new queen is forthcoming for you, there are no special tricks to requeen a drone laying queen, it's just the same as a normal queen. Kill the drone laying queen and put the introduction cage with the new queen in the hive. I usually put in a frame of normal brood also, from another hive, just to try to normalise things a bit.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  8. #7
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    Default Re: drone layer

    too late now I took her and introduced another queen. removed frame of drone cells froze them. great info for the future oldtimer. I will let the queen producer know.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: drone layer

    on a separate note how do queens know how to lay a drone or worker egg. in my drone frames all cells are drone and worker frames only worker eggs. how?

  10. #9
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    Default Re: drone layer

    Eggs that are fertilised turn into workers or queens, eggs that are not turn into drones. So the eggs in drone cells are not fertilised and become drones. Which is also why a queen that did not mate properly can only lay drone eggs.

    It used to be thought that the queen allowed sperm to contact eggs layed in worker cells but blocked it when laying in drone cells. But later research found that all eggs are fertilised regardless what cell they are laid in, but eggs layed in drone cells are immediately cleaned by nurse bees before fertilisation can take place.

    Me though, I'm not going to put money on either scenario, I've never been up close and personal enough to observe for myself

    But what we do have to know, is fertilised eggs ='s worker or queen larvae, unfertilsed ='s drone larvae.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  11. #10

    Default Re: drone layer

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    If they are mated in mini nucs they have to be caged within a few days of starting to lay because they run out of room and can abscond.
    That must be climate/beestock thing, I have never had any troubles with absconding or swarming. A queen raised in June is just pleased to walk through full brood area sometimes late August. No work!

  12. #11
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    Default Re: drone layer

    True enough, I have taken queens right through winter in apeadia (or however you spell it) mini nucs. Must be a seasonal thing, maybe locational as well.

    But in any case, large commercial breeders work to a schedule and queens are not going to be left sitting in mini nucs any longer than necessary. If they sit twice as long, you need twice the nucs to produce the same number of queens. Or to put it more starkly, production is halved.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  13. #12

    Default Re: drone layer

    I always thought it is the queen which fertilizes the egg and one reason to think this way is that a young queen starting to lay sometimes makes drones in the very beginning, so much that you almost wipe her out.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: drone layer

    the other five queens had two frames of brood, this one never left her one frame that i could tell and only drone brood, it wasnt drone comb on that frame either it was a nice brood frame.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: drone layer

    > Is a drone laying queen common from queen producers?

    Common enough that I've had one, but not exactly common... it was from BWeaver and the immediately sent me another one when I noticed.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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