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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Need some help figuring out next move. I have a 2nd season hive that wintered great but swarmed last month. I have another wintered hive that's doing great and 2 rapidly growing queenright nucs. I requeened the swarmed hive with a mated queen. Took her a while to start laying, and when she did I noted several multi-egg cells. But given the many single-egg cells I racked it up to young queen learning the ropes of laying.

Today I inspected and was surprised to see LOADS of capped drone brood. There is some worker brood but I'd say 90% is drone. I found the queen (she's marked so it's definitely the original introduced mated queen). There are also a few supercedure cells- one capped.

So I'm thinking the possibilities are that I've either got a laying worker OR a poorly mated queen who's mostly laying drones. I remember reading that laying workers will usually kill an introduced queen?
-Do they even co-exist with a queen?

My options at this point, as I see it:
1) let nature take its course- if they're raising a queen from one for the few fertilized eggs then great. (Would they ever try to raise a queen cell from drone larva?)
2) smush existing queen and queen cells and swap in a proven laying queen from one of the nucs. But- if there is a laying worker, would I be back to square one if laying workers can co-exist with queen?

Here's a few pics of some brood frames.

Thanks for any input.

Brad Bee Honeybee Honeycomb Insect Beehive
Bee Honeycomb Honeybee Insect Beehive
Bee Honeycomb Beehive Honeybee Insect
Bee Honeycomb Beehive Honeybee Insect
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks Rod.

Yeah I'm really having a tough time figuring out best move here. My fear is that I combine the nuc and then find out that there is a coexisting laying worker (which I understand is unlikely, but possible).. and then I've blown a good nuc as well.

Maybe best move here is to go sacrifice existing queen. Then check in 5 days-- if there are eggs then there's a laying worker. If no eggs then I squash the queen cells and combine nuc. Ok, I think I just talked myself into it.

Does this make sense?

thanks

brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok-- that's helpful. I guess best plan is just to combine then. It's a relatively small nuc with a good laying queen (started about 3 weeks ago.. full 5 frame deep, 2 full frames of bees top 5 frame deep). To combine should I dispatch queen in drone hive, and move my best nuc frames into 8 frame deep box and put on top of drone hive/separate with newspaper? Or.. should I cage the good queen from the nuc and sugar spray/introduce the best nuc frames/ and introduce the queen in a cage to be released? HAven't done a nuc combine before

thanks

brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
just dispatched the queen and QC's.. will give them a day of being queenless and then combine tomorrow. I have 2 supers on the hive so I figure I'll condense nuc into single 8 frame deep box and stick this under the drone filled hive separated by the newspaper.. then I can just keep the supers on the hive. fingers crossed

thanks
 
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