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I have a colony which I believe is a laying worker colony. I've tried putting in queen cells and various other possible solutions, to no avail. It's about 5 or 6 frames of bees.

I haven't been able to spot a queen and believed it was a laying worker colony. But it could perhaps be a very small, weak queen that I haven't been able to spot. The thing that's confusing me is that I'm seeing the start of queen cells, filled with royal jelly. Will a laying queen colony ever try to build queen cells with the drone eggs? Or, do I still have a queen in there? Thanks for your help -
 

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it could happen just wouldnt be viable..
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Some beekeepers believe a laying worker hive might move a fertile egg from another hive to raise a queen.
 

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Beepro of Sacramento, CA has a good method for dealing with laying workers.

He places a mature queen cell in a comb of emerging brood and makes a "Laidlaw cage" out of the whole frame, covering it with window screen. The emerging brood accept her, leading the others to accept her, and then her brood outlive the laying workers.

It takes a few weeks for things to get back to normal, and I expect the additional drone load on the colony might require feeding if the nectar flow isn't thumping, but this is my conjecture only.
 

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Just got a laying worker colony queen right. The colony killed a caged queen. I gave them a grafted cell it hatched but was lost in mating; when I checked it a couple of weeks after verifying the hatched cell it was full of drone layers. I gave them brood three consecutive weeks but they drew no queen cells. On week two I gave them a three day old cell. They worked on it some then tore it down. I added another frame that week. There were still drone layers at that point. Last week I had some virgins that hatched early so I tried to release one in the entrance but they tried to attack her. I caged her, placed her over the hole in the top cover, placed the lid on and released her the next day. Checked today and she was laying. I have had some success direct releasing virgins after a few weeks of adding brood. Sometimes it takes several tries.
 

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>why hasn't anyone spent more time on this and try to breed for this trait ?

I suppose if we all left laying worker hives to their demise we would breed for it, but its too long of a shot... Dee Lusby's bees seem to do it the a significant amount of the time. But everyone assumes they are Africanized and don't want to breed from them. I know they are not as nice as what I want... so I'll have to just get by with bees I have to requeen when they go laying worker...

My guess is that when it does happen we usually miss it as it takes a lot of attention to be sure that is what occurred.
 

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>why hasn't anyone spent more time on this and try to breed for this trait ?

I suppose if we all left laying worker hives to their demise we would breed for it, but its too long of a shot... Dee Lusby's bees seem to do it the a significant amount of the time. But everyone assumes they are Africanized and don't want to breed from them. I know they are not as nice as what I want... so I'll have to just get by with bees I have to requeen when they go laying worker...

My guess is that when it does happen we usually miss it as it takes a lot of attention to be sure that is what occurred.

I've seen some YouTube videos of her, could some of that agrrssion be from the way she handles them ? . She doesn't appear to be none too gentle with them lol
 

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One time when we were with a bunch of beekeepers going through Dees yards early in the season.

There was one hive that looked queenless. A commercial beekeeper from Canada was with us and really wanted to grab a frame of brood from another hive....this was probably early march.

Dees response was, "no...if I have a high level of thyletoky in my bees, why would I want to select against it?"

The Cape bee has workers that will lay fertile queens in other hives (including mellifera) in order to supercede/take over...considered a parasite. I've heard a few reports of Cape bee like colonies in florida but we don't officially have them in the states.
 

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deknow - There is a good chance some Capensis genetics were brought over to South America during the 1956 experiment that resulted in the AHB. Some of those colonies transported to South America were from South Africa (and thus could have been A.M. scutellata crosses with A.M. capensis), others came from farther up the Great Rift Valley.

This could possibly explain the reports of the Cape Bee-like colonies in Florida, and possibly the thelytoky in the Lusby's bees, if they have some AHB genetics.

Just speculation...it would take a genetic study to determine if this were the case.
 
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