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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never seen anything quite like this before . . .

Inspecting one hive I can see nearly every cell has two or sometimes three eggs in it. I found the queen, all fat and happy, on the frame. And, there's not an inordinate amount of drone cells present. Also, the eggs are right in the middle of the cell (except for one which was on the side). So, I don't think I have a laying worker problem. However, this just seems kind of weird. Maybe she woke up from winter on the wrong side of the hive, or something.

Ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's sure what it looks like. I've seen it for a short time w/ new queens, but this is just a little weird.
 

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I have also heard that every hive has a few laying workers in it. I found that interesting when I read it.

Is this happening in many cells or just a few? Are the eggs at the bottom or up on the sides? I read that is one way to help you tell if it is a new/young queen ramping up or if it is a Laying worker;as the worker can't get her abdomen all the way to the bottom on most cells.

I am interested to know because I am new to Beekeeping, and a nice fat queen and multiple eggs is a head scratcher for me.:scratch:

RKR
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Eggs are centered at the bottom of the cell. At a rough guess, at least 80% of the cells with eggs have multiples.
 

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80% :scratch:
I'll be interested to see how this one turns out.
 

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Iwombat,

I looked through 4-5 hives yesterday and found a lot of brood (a few hives had 7-8 frames mostly covered with brood in the upper deep. I didn't look in the lower), but I didn't see one capped drone cell.

I think that our climate would be pretty similar. I would keep my eye on that hive to see if all of a sudden you do have a lot of drone cells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
beedee that's just what I'm going to do - keep an eye out. I'm pretty convinced this isn't a laying worker. I'm not getting 4 or 5 eggs on the side. Always 1, 2, or 3 dropped dead center in the bottom of the cell. I'm tempted to put her in my observation hive and watch her lay eggs.
 

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But if so, why would the queen lay more than one in a cell. That doesn't make sense to me. If she doesn't have wenuf cells to lay in, wouldn't she just lay in what she has? Laying more eggs in each cell just means that even the ones that are layed properly, on the bottom, but w/ others present too, will just get cleaned out by the workers.

Are you seeing this happening in a colony w/ capped worker brood? I guess it is possible that you may have a virgin queen that is laying multiple eggs in each cell. Either way, this cenario isn't viable. Combine it w/ another hive using the newspaper method.
 

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One of the things that I learned last year raising queens was that double eggs don't necessarily get taken care of. I was using a Jenter system and left the queen in there for about 18 hours. I noticed that there were some double eggs when I let her out, but figured that the workers would deal with it.

When I was pulling the plugs with the young larva to put in the cell bars I noticed that about 1/3 or more of the plugs actually had two larva floating in the jelly.

I only picked single larva plugs for my cell bars and just put the Jenter back in the hive with all of the double larva plugs. I don't know what happened after that. I was quite surprised to see the double larva.
 

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I've read the same thing, If the queen is ready to ramp up production & there aren't enough empty cells, she might do just that.

IMO, the workers aren't giving her as many cleaned up cells to lay in as she "wants". It will clear up shortly.
 

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New queens and queens in Spring have upward of 25% egg failure rates. But, the workers find these multiple eggs or somehow defective eggs and remove them from the hive or cannibalize them. As the season progresses, the properly laid and healthy egg rate moves up to about 96%.

Laying workers are usually are found in hives with a weak or no queen. A laying worker with a queen present typically "hides" her eggs in a top super of side corner of the hive body. She can lay her drone eggs, but over 90% of them get pulled out of the hive within a day. But that does not stop all of it, as a small percentage of drones will make it through. Of course, they are not good stock and are likely quickly gobbled up in nature if and when when they take flight from the colony.
 

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I don’t think you have laying workers. If the queen is running out of empty cells she will lay several eggs in each one. Give her a few empty combs or better a few frames with foundation. Bees take care of the eggs; they remove the “overdose”.
Laying workers have not the long body like a queen and can’t reach the bottom of the cell, you will find the eggs on the side walls from the cells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The shortage of empty cells theory sounds reasonable to me. I'll check it this weekend and see if things have cleared up somewhat.
 

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If she doesn't have wenuf cells to lay in, wouldn't she just lay in what she has?
I don't believe she can think it through that well, when that eggs coming out it's gotta go somewhere! :shrug:

I see it regularly in early spring, it's never been laying workers, IME.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, whatever she's doing they don't like it. Two supercedure cells are just starting out. She's now off in a new nuc to get in touch with herself while the new queen(s) get started.
 
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