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#### Rishi

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Hey all are saying laying workers think themselves as a queensright colony. If there are multiple laying queens then they have to kill themselves just like 2 virgins emerged at same time. But why they won't kill themselves. Or do they kill?

#### little_john

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In Beekeeping there are lots of puzzles still remaining to be solved. That's a good one. Another one is: if a queen lays in a pre-made queen-cup (either swarm or supersedure) - why doesn't she lay a drone egg, in view of that cell's large size ?
LJ

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In Beekeeping there are lots of puzzles still remaining to be solved. That's a good one. Another one is: if a queen lays in a pre-made queen-cup (either swarm or supersedure) - why doesn't she lay a drone egg, in view of that cell's large size ?
LJ
It's a different size and shape. If she can discern the difference between a worker cell and a drone cell, it's no stretch to think she can tell that difference as well.

#### little_john

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No stretch ? Distinguishing between a worker and drone cell only involves a simple 'go/no-go' binary decision: greater or less than one particular measurement. But the introduction of a third size - when the 'drone decision' then becomes reversed - involves an awareness of a range of measurements: below a value, and above another value = fertilised egg. Between those values = unfertilised egg, which is a far more complex decision-making criterion. That is, if the queen does indeed lay in a pre-made queen-cell, rather than a worker transferring a fertilised egg into it ...
LJ

#### JWPalmer

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Compared to the other mathematical calculations that bees make, the fertilized egg/non-fertilized egg decision making process seems simple. After all, bees measure distance by elapsed flight time and direction based on the sun's azimuth.

#### MattDavey

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Even though Queen Cups are wider, they are also more spherical. Have a look at the size of the hole in Queen Cups, they are actually the size of a Worker Cell. So it results in a fertilized egg.

I have seen 2 Queen hives. May be that laying workers develop slower and at the same rate, also their pheromones are not as strong as a a Queen. Any of these factors may contribute to them being more tolerant of each other. Or they may fight it out as well.

#### ffrtsaxk

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Hey all are saying laying workers think themselves as a queensright colony. If there are multiple laying queens then they have to kill themselves just like 2 virgins emerged at same time. But why they won't kill themselves. Or do they kill?
The workers have a different set of instincts activated during development than a queen does. Laying workers emerge as regular workers with their "must get along with all my sisters" instincts active and then later their ovaries develop because of the lack of queen pheromones in the hive. A queen emerges with the kill all rivals instinct activated.

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Waitaminit, gotta clean the coffee off my screen...

That is, if the queen does indeed lay in a pre-made queen-cell, rather than a worker transferring a fertilised egg into it ...
LJ
So, you're trying to say that it takes less 'decision' for worker bees to move an egg to a queen cup, than for a queen to simply lay in the prepared cup...and promoting the idea that this actually happens?

🤦

#### little_john

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Waitaminit, gotta clean the coffee off my screen...

So, you're trying to say that it takes less 'decision' for worker bees to move an egg to a queen cup, than for a queen to simply lay in the prepared cup...and promoting the idea that this actually happens?
I'm not trying to say anything, and I'm not promoting a novel idea ... I find your above comment somewhat abrasive.

I've no idea what "less decision" means - how on earth does one quantify such things ? I was suggesting that an additional size, which results in yet another variation in behaviour, changes the decision-making process from a single 'either/or' criterion to a more complex conditional decision - think 'case statements' if you're into programming. I'm really surprised that no-one has raised the obvious (well, obvious to me) observation that queen-cell cups differ by being vertically oriented and it could possibly be this feature which over-rides otherwise simple either/or measurement-based decisions - that is, IF the queen does indeed lay directly into queen-cups. Has this actually been observed, or it is simply being assumed ?

In recent days, a paper indicating the existence of 'Royal Patriline' genetic lines was discussed. These lines appear to be correlated with emergency q/cell egg selection, in which the worker bees clearly play an important role. Within that paper the researchers made the observation that worker bees appear to play no part in the egg selection for swarm or supersedure events. This would seem to run counter to the claim being made that these 'Royal' lines are important
in the selection of 'high quality' (undefined) queens.

The idea that worker bees can move eggs from one place to another is a very old idea - it's been around for as long as I can remember, and I've yet to hear a definitive answer to whether they do or not. If indeed the 'Royal Patriline' theory has any real merit, then the inserting of worker-selected eggs into an empty q/cell by worker-bees would seem at least plausible, To emphasise - this Is NOT my own 'plucked out of the sky' fanciful idea.

Talk of 'more-decision' and 'less-decision' is as meaningless as talking about 'instinct'. Instinct is simply another way of describing a phenomena, the basis of which is not understood. Egg selection is most probably driven by pherormonal detection - a great many examples of bee behaviour is known to result from this.
LJ

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