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Discussion Starter #1
Hive over wintered and as other hives increased started up brood and were expanding this one did not. No sign of brood or Queen. On Apr 13 I gave it a frame of eggs to capped brood. It did nothing with it. Two weeks ago I gave them a mated Quenn...from New Zealand. They seemed very happy to see her and 4 days later the Queen candy was eaten out and the Queen had been released. I did not see her but this hive had a long history of a nasty attitude and finally it seemed less aggressive. I checked today. No new brood. I did not see the Queen. Currently the bees only cover about 4 deep frames. I did see lots of eggs but several cells had more than 1 eggs in the cell. All cells were in the bottom of the cells...I saw none on the walls.
I gave them another frame of eggs to capped brood with attached nurse bees. I notched the cells in a couple of places.
Is there any chance this is a slow starting Queen after having been shipped from New Zealand rather than a laying worker?
I will give them a frame with eggs and brood next Fri and the one there after.
 

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YES . Once a queen is caged and not laying, it may take a bit for her to kick back into gear again. Sometimes she will missfire and have two eggs in a cell like a new queen just learning to lay. Give her a bit, and if you need to, don't be afraid to prop her up a little with another frame of brood. Idea is to keep the workers happy with her and give them something to do other then wanting to supercede her.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No...not every cell. Maximum I saw was 3 but only a few of those. There were single egg cells and quite a few doubles. I had not seen any eggs before introducing that Queen. Thought I would have seen her today as not that many bees but I did not. They were heavily grouped on the frames they were using. I took off the top deep so they are now confined to a single deep.
As I mentioned all eggs were centered on the bottom of the cells...none touching or on the side walls.
 

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No...not every cell. Maximum I saw was 3 but only a few of those. There were single egg cells and quite a few doubles. I had not seen any eggs before introducing that Queen. Thought I would have seen her today as not that many bees but I did not. They were heavily grouped on the frames they were using. I took off the top deep so they are now confined to a single deep.
As I mentioned all eggs were centered on the bottom of the cells...none touching or on the side walls.
When my hive had laying workers there were doubles, tripples, quads, none of them were single it seemed. And the eggs were all over the place on the walls of the cells. None in the bottoms. I think your hive is just needing a little more time with that queen. Give her a week and go back in. Worse case you have laying workers but again i don't think so from your descriptions.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks...fingers crossed she just needs more time:)
 

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Sometimes you can see a good pattern inbetween multiple egg cells. This usually leads me to believe they have both a queen and laying workers. The queen can lay up to three in one cell if she runs out of room to lay, but usually there will not be more than 2 per cell in only a few cells.
 

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One thing that convinces me it's Laying Workers and not a queen without enough support staff to expand the broodnest is shown in this picture…multiple eggs in queen cups.



And the way laying workers deposit their eggs is very obviously different that a queen trying to find additional cells in which to lay eggs. Sometimes she can't find any and lays in cells containing an egg. You should try grafting larvae from such a colony, when there are a couple eggs and a nice young larva all in the same cell.

Laying Workers…


 

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Yup, multiple eggs......there's yer sign. The tricky ones, and I have been fooled many times myself, are the lw's that tend to do a fairly efficient job of hitting every cell but don't a very good job of placing the eggs in the bottoms of the cells. At times I cling to the belief that there is a learning curve for a newly mated queen. In reality, though, it's usually just wishful thinking. Good queens lay like good queens, laying workers don't.
 

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Ive seen hives with laying workers as bad as the second photo. And then spotted the queen. The catch was, I could see a good pattern inbetween all the mess
 

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Considering we are in beekeeping 101 let me make it clear to folks just learning about these things. For all practical intents and purposes, multiple eggs in cells are bad. If you have a good laying queen you can pull a frame out of the middle of the brood nest and see the entire center part of the frame with an egg (or larvae) in virtually every cell. NO multiple eggs, no eggs on sidewalls and all eggs are small and of equal size. Look in a larger drone cell to see an example of the slightly larger drone egg. Are their some rare exceptions? Yes, probably, but don't concern yourself with the prospect of finding unusual phenomena. These are the basics, learn to recognize them, it will serve you well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
One thing that convinces me it's Laying Workers and not a queen without enough support staff to expand the broodnest is shown in this picture…multiple eggs in queen cups.



And the way laying workers deposit their eggs is very obviously different that a queen trying to find additional cells in which to lay eggs. Sometimes she can't find any and lays in cells containing an egg. You should try grafting larvae from such a colony, when there are a couple eggs and a nice young larva all in the same cell.

Laying Workers…


Thank you for the lovely photos...it really helps. The eggs I saw did not look like that! They were very neat, well arranged and didn't touch each other. They were flat on the bottom of the cell.
 
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