Queen present - laying workers
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    21

    Default Queen present - laying workers

    I've got an overwintered queen and what appear to be laying workers. Diagnosis and solutions requested. For now, I've added a frame of open brood in the assumption I'm going to have to requeen. There is plenty of room for the queen to lay. Thanks!

    Screen Shot 2020-04-01 at 5.42.02 PM.jpg

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    4,945

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    Looks like it is time to requeen. This one appears to be a dud. Open brood may or may not help. Probably the best bet is to shake them out and make a new nuc with the resources.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane County, Washington, USA
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    I've had that happen. I'd shake them out, and pinch the queen. I don't think you will suceed with requeenng.
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    I have tried at various times to requeen once there is laying workers which I have never been successful.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    2,812

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    It is hard to see in the photo, but are all of the eggs in the bottom of the cells and none on the sides of the cells? If the adult population is small, and they can not cover the comb adequately, a queen just starting to lay will put several eggs per cell in the cells the workers have prepared for her. Is there no sealed brood to show if the eggs are making drones?
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,727

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    those are good questions.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,225

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenora beeman View Post
    I have tried at various times to requeen once there is laying workers which I have never been successful.
    Try a ripe queen cell and a frame of emerging

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    It is hard to see in the photo, but are all of the eggs in the bottom of the cells and none on the sides of the cells? If the adult population is small, and they can not cover the comb adequately, a queen just starting to lay will put several eggs per cell in the cells the workers have prepared for her. Is there no sealed brood to show if the eggs are making drones?
    There were the right questions, but sadly I saw this post too late. It was indeed a colony that barely survived winter. Sounds like the right course would have been to boost it with other resources instead of shaking it out. Live and learn. Thank you.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,945

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    I do not disagree.with AR Beekeeper, but I have overwintered several small nucs and have never seen a good queen lay that many eggs in a single cell. A boost in bee resources may have fixed the problem, but just as likely, it would have confirmed it.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,727

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    Depends if the cells are fully drawn or not. Never seen LWs that did not put at least some eggs on the wall.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    486

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    Ive never seen laying workers when a live queen was in the hive.

    I have also never seen more than 3 eggs in a cell from a laying queen, and rarely see multiples in a concentrated area as that.

    Might never find out, but I'm extremely curious what was actually going on here...
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    After the fact, I always know what didn't work.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Jasper, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    I don't believe it's a laying worker. They are not typically able to place an egg clear in the bottom of a cell and you will usually see an egg off to the edge of the bottom or on the wall of the cell. I have had a new queen lay multiple eggs in a cell, but she grew out of that in about a week's time.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,945

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    Quote Originally Posted by SMARtBees View Post
    I have had a new queen lay multiple eggs in a cell, but she grew out of that in about a week's time.
    Have you ever had a mated overwintered queen lay five and six eggs in a single cell with empty cells nearby? I have not. Virgin queens we all understand might take a week to figure it all out, but not an overwintered one. Something was wrong with this queen, or there were long abdomen laying workers able to reach the bottom of these cells.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane County, Washington, USA
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: Queen present - laying workers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bdfarmer555 View Post
    Ive never seen laying workers when a live queen was in the hive.
    I have, in an overwintered hive like the one described. There she was, still marked from the previous year. And the hive was clearly LW.
    So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

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