Can laying workers build capped queen cells from drone eggs...
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Jonesborough TN USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Can laying workers build capped queen cells from drone eggs...

    I went thru one of my top bar hives today. It looked like classic laying worker except there were a few capped queen cells. Can the bees mistakenly cap drone larvae in a queen cup? I saw queen cups with multiple eggs in the cups. And several capped queen cells

    If they think they have a queen ie laying workers then why are they building capped queen cells?

    If i was able to get fresh eggs from another hive, and that is a big if, would they build queen cells? Or do they think they are already making a queen since they already have capped queen cells and so would not build a queen from the eggs.

    If this was one of my langstroth hives there are lots of things i could do, such as do a newspaper combine with another hive, or put it over another hive with a double screen, or keep adding frames of eggs. But i don't really know what to do!!! I have two top bar hives but their bars are not interchangeable.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Niagara Co., NY, USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: Can laying workers build capped queen cells from drone eggs...

    They don't "mistakenly" cap drone brood; they do it from desperation. I just took apart a laying worker hive that had a couple good looking queen cells that had nothing in them. Very pathetic. Shake them out and save your comb.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Jonesborough TN USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Can laying workers build capped queen cells from drone eggs...

    If I shake them out will they find their way into another hive? If so will they be aggressive toward the queen? So how close or how far from other hives should I shake them out?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,038

    Default Re: Can laying workers build capped queen cells from drone eggs...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alram View Post
    It looked like classic laying worker except there were a few capped queen cells.
    As per schultz, building these cells with male bees in them is an abnormality that kicks in from instinct, when there is no hope of survival.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alram View Post
    If they think they have a queen ie laying workers then why are they building capped queen cells?
    If you see enough LW hives, it can be seen to go in cycles. There seems to be an egg laying time, then it is largely suppressed for a time, then it resumes. The queen cell building instinct may cut in at a particular stage of this cycle. Just my theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alram View Post
    If i was able to get fresh eggs from another hive, and that is a big if, would they build queen cells? Or do they think they are already making a queen since they already have capped queen cells and so would not build a queen from the eggs.
    I have often added normal brood to a LW hive (as an ex queen breeder, dealing with dequeened LW nucs was a normal part of my day), and the bees actually figuring it out and building a good queen cell almost never occurs at the first introduction of normal brood. Can do on the second.

    To do a shakeout of a LW hive, which at end of day is probably the most efficient way to deal with a LW hive, remove the hive from it's normal location, so the bees you shake will not go straight back into it. Then they should be shaken in such a way that you do not get overwhelming numbers going into just one particular hive.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,768

    Default Re: Can laying workers build capped queen cells from drone eggs...

    >If they think they have a queen ie laying workers then why are they building capped queen cells?

    They do this in the early stages. This is well documented since at least Huber. At this point you could probably introduce a queen. Once they get past this point when half the bees are laying workers, it is hopeless to introduce a queen. They are building them because they still know they don't have a queen at this point, but this point will not last long.

    http://bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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