Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,868 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I overwintered some nucs (3 high, medium 5fr) and have been putting them into full sized equipment. In one of them there was 6 or 7 frames of capped brood, nice pattern, no drone brood at all. I found a frame of eggs where each cell, quite a few of them, had 4-5 eggs laid on the bottom. Should I be concerned?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
cg3,
With the eggs being on the bottom I would have to guess that you have a new queen in your hive, a sure fire method of knowing for sure is to place a frame of young open brood into this hive and see if they build queen cells.

I had a hive requeen itself a few weeks ago and I have no idea where she found drones to mate with but she did find them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,868 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I hear ya, Bill. I'm stumped. If it was a new queen, Where'd all that capped brood come from? I looked for the remnants of a queen cell. If it was a laying worker, where are the drone cells?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,373 Posts
Re: Laying workers?

First, it's "laying workers", since its rarely, if ever, just one.

Nearly all hives have laying workers. They're usually not a problem, since they only lay unfertilized eggs, which can only develop into drones (except in the very rare instance of thelytoky), and the nurse bees police the brood, removing any worker laid eggs that are deposited in worker cells. When a hive has been broodless for extended periods of time, the lack of brood pheromone is said to interfere with nurse bees ability to properly police their brood nest, and laying workers seem to take over, with their drones being raised, even in worker cells. The hive bees also seem to begin treating some laying workers almost as if they were queens.

Due to these various complicating issues, colonies that have developed uncontrolled laying workers, are difficult to straighten out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,868 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Re: Laying workers?

Due to these various complicating issues, colonies that have developed uncontrolled laying workers, are difficult to straighten out.
Well, sure. That's why I'm trying to figure it out. What I saw was most of a frame with multiple eggs in every cell. If it were one per cell, I'd have called it a nice pattern. I'll go back and take a better look tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,373 Posts
Re: Laying workers?

If this is on a single comb or comb surface, it might just be queen frustration. They can lay cells with multiple eggs, especially if they're new to egg laying.

The first thing I would do, is to carefully examine every inch of the hive (inside and out), to be sure there isn't a queen present. If there is normal, open worker brood present, then it isn't likely to already be uncontrolled laying workers, though it can happen.

I haven't yet seen uncontrolled laying workers develop in a hive that had a living queen. They are usually hostile to queens, not allowing queens to survive in their midst.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,126 Posts
Re: Laying workers?

Did she just run out of prepared cells? Too much brood too fast for the hive to raise and also prep for the next round.
Like keeping a queen in a Jenter too long?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,868 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Re: Laying workers?

Well, I went back in. My impression of yesterday was somewhat wrong. I had visitors in the beeyard when I opened the nuc and did not want to show them an atypical colony, so I just took a peek. Upon today's closer inspection, here is what I saw. 4 frames of bees, lots of capped honey, not a lot of pollen, probably 2 frames capped and open worker brood, no drone brood. I did not see the queen, but with my record, that doesn't mean much. On one side of one frame I had single eggs in the cells- https://www.dropbox.com/sc/ox1ijze78v0194q/v2GdpJ1--b. On the other side, multiples- https://www.dropbox.com/sc/jlaks8nxugzwog1/roc9seliTH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,625 Posts
Re: Laying workers?

Sounds like your hive is okay, time to get the supers ready for the coming flow. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,868 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Re: Laying workers?

It'll be a while before that one needs supering but I've been getting them ready!
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top