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Discussion Starter #1
So I've read quite a bit about the two, but I don't understand how you differentiate the two.

I know the signs and symptoms of both are pretty similar. Multiple eggs, droney brood, eggs off center etc.

Of course if you have those signs and you see a queen you know you have a drone laying queen. But what if you dont see the queen or miss her...do you treat them both the same?

Two questions:

How do you differentiate the two?

Do you fix them differently?
 

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I don't know where you ever read about "worker layers". I never heard that term before.

Justin, beekeepers use some shorthand terms that may throw one off if not fully informed of their meaning. I heard a guy on the radio last week who had assumed that nuc was short for nuclear colony.

Any way, Drone layer is a term that can be applied to a queen who is not laying fertilized eggs. Only unfertilized eggs. Which produce drones. Fertilized eggs produce workers. Or in the correct cell, queens.

Some people call "Laying Workers" "drone layers" also and they are technically correct, but not fully.

I guess by "Worker Layer" you were refering to a queen that lays worker eggs? Or were you refering to a laying worker or a worker bee, a not fully formed female bee, who has developed the ability to lay eggs?

In either case I don't do much different w/ each one. If there are lots and lots of adult bees I might shake them all out in front of the hive some distance, add brood of various stages and a queen if I have one.

If it is late in the season I combine them w/ another colony w/ newspaper.
 

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Drone laying queen.
A failing queen, or queen which never got good fertilization, will lay mostly to all drones. A queen will lay drones in drone cells. If she has fertile eggs she'll lay those in worker cells. The eggs will be centered in cells and only one egg per cell. She won't lay drone eggs in worker cells.

A Laying Worker
A worker is not fertile, but she can develop the ovaries and lay unfertile eggs. This can be triggered when a hive is queenless and has been so for a few weeks, usually 3 weeks, but different conditions can change the timing of things. And there is usually more than just one laying worker, when the condition arises. Laying workers will lay multiple eggs in cells, in all cells, worker sized and drone. They won't be centered as her abdomen is not long enough to reach and center the egg in the bottom. As the cells cap you'll notice that drones are being raised in worker sized cells.

Drone laying queens lay eggs in center of cells, laying workers mostly don't
Drone laying queens lay single egg per cell, laying workers mostly don't.
Drone laying queens lay unfertilized eggs in drone sized cells, and
laying workers lay unfertilized eggs in worker sized cells, and
if drone laying queens do have some fertile eggs, they will be laid in worker sized cells.

Sometimes freshly mated queens will lay multi eggs in cells as she gets started laying, if she's well mated, it'll clear up as she gets into the groove of things.
 

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So let me get this straight...

A drone layer pretty much looks like a normal queen laying???....except she will lay mostly drones. So if you looked at a drone laying queen you would see a lot of drone brood around the edge and a few good brood in the middle? The eggs appear normal in the cells.

I definitely am cleared up with a laying worker. And yes I meant a worker that has developed ovaries and began laying. I recently had 3 of my hives out of 20 that appear to have laying workers.

I dumped the bees out in a field a 100 yards away or so and then a few days later ran new queens. It appears only 1 of the 3 took the new queen. The other two still appear to have a laying worker. (and the queen disappeared) I'm just going to scrap the hives and disperse them to the apiary.

I think people get laying workers and drone laying queens mixed up or they just lump them together in one. But it seems how you deal with them is almost the same....Right?
 

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Generally, you just remove a failing queen and replace her. It isn't usually that simple with laying workers. They do not look like queens, so removing them isn't as straightforward, and they are usually much more prone to be successful at combat elimination, or having the other workers reject any potential replacement queens.
 

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I had laying workers big time in my one hive. I shook them all out, removed all the comb except for the honey and pollen frames and pu the hive back and added the queen and bees from a Nuc into the 2nd box as well as the frames and all was well. they are still my strongest hive.
 

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So let me get this straight...
A drone layer pretty much looks like a normal queen laying???....except she will lay mostly drones. So if you looked at a drone laying queen you would see a lot of drone brood around the edge and a few good brood in the middle? The eggs appear normal in the cells.
Not "mostly drones", only drones.
No, you wouldn't see a lot of drone brood around the edge and a few good brood in the middle.

To me, and I am only one person, the term "drone layer" refers to a queen honey bee that lays eggs that only produce drones. She lays these eggs in worker cells and drone cells. One of the easiest ways to tell you have one is seeing capped drone cells protruding out of worker comb.

One nice thing about a drone layer, aka drone laying queen, is that you can find the queen and pinch her head, get rid of her.

A "laying worker" is just that, a worker bee who can lay eggs. Her eggs will only produce drones. She is harder to identify, but not impossible. Do like you did.
 
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