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New queen laying only in drone comb

1028 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Ruthz
I have split a number of hives this spring, putting frames with swarm cells into nucs for queen raising/mating purposes. I checked on one nuc today that had a virgin queen at last check, ten or so days ago. So I expected to either see eggs today or find that the queen didn't make it back. But what I saw, and have never seen before, was that there were neatly laid eggs in only the drone-sized cells, and none in the worker cells. One egg per cell, placed upright. And the bees had drawn more drone comb on the bottom of the one medium frame I had in the deep nuc. And all of its cells heads eggs as well. But not one egg in any worker cells!

So is this a drone laying queen (maybe poorly mated), or maybe she is just getting started laying and hasn't figured it out yet? Or maybe she never bothered mating before laying? But why lay only in drone comb? The failing queens I've dealt with lay drone eggs into worker cells as well. Any ideas?
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It sounds to me that the queen may not have matted for some reason; either weather or time but from my experience when the queen starts laying she is part time for mating and if she is laying only drones you may need a replacement (before your hive ends up drone bound). You can give her another couple of days and see but if she lays only drones I'd suggest not allowing it to go too long as drones are a heavy burden on a hive if allowed to exist in significant numbers.
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