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Greetings! Long time lurker, finally have something to ask. Not sure what's going on with this nuc I made 21 days ago.

Here's the timeline:

5/25: Found a newly emerged queen wandering around so I made up a weak nuc(frame of comb, frame of nectar, small frame of emerging brood with a tiny bit of open brood I think) and threw her in.
6/7: Found single eggs and closed it up.
6/13: Found one frame that appeared to have single eggs, and one frame had several per cell. I know new queens can be a little enthusiastic sometimes but most cells had 2-4 and there were a couple cells with 6 or 7. Queen was spotted on the same frame... a little puny but I hoped she was just figuring things out.
6/15: I went today with the intention of giving them a frame of capped brood to boost their numbers. Took a peek and almost every cell has multiple eggs now. What little brood is being capped appears to be drones in worker cells. Most eggs are on the bottoms of the cells, but at least one was on the side. Started leaning toward laying worker after what I saw, so I gave them a small frame of eggs and young larva instead.

I'm assuming this is laying workers, but the presence of the queen is messing me up. Can you even tell if she's mated when they're throwing eggs all over? :scratch:
Don't want to waste a bunch of resources on a weak little LW nuc, but would hate to waste a queen that's potentially viable. Hoping the frame of open brood may reverse this since it hasn't gone on for long but setting my expectations low. Thoughts?




 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Are you sure the queen is still in there? Sure looks like an LW situation.Let it play out and see what happens. Do not waste any additional resources on this colony. If it is a drone layer or LW it will peter out quickly enough and you will gain some experience by obvservation. For the record, laying workers do not always lay eggs on the sides of cells. Some are quite capable of getting an egg down into the bottom. They are a little less capable of centering the egg, so my observations suggest: drone in worker cells coupled with off centered and/or multiple eggs, equals LW. Drones in worker comb and single centered eggs is a drone laying queen. Regardless, drones in worker cells always indicates a serious problem. YMMV.
 

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It does look like laying workers and your queen is either no longer present or she is a dud. Drone brood does not produce the pheromones necessary to suppress laying workers. I am 99% sure this is a LW situation, but it is also maybe possible that the queen has run out of room and is going over cells again double and triple laying in each cell. That happened to me this year when I split a queen out from a full hive hive to a nuc. But based on the pictures I don't think that is the case.

Best thing to do now is shake all of the bees out and take down the hive, the bees will redistribute themselves among your other hives and the queenright colonies will kill the laying workers when they enter.
 

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Don't want to waste a bunch of resources on a weak little LW nuc, but would hate to waste a queen that's potentially viable.
The queen is not viable. Wether it's a drone laying queen or laying workers is of no consequence at this point. It's been 3 weeks, there is no capped worker brood and you are seeing occasional capped drone brood. Does it matter if those were set in place by a laying worker or by the queen ? Not really, end result is the same, queen is not viable. Shake them out, move on.
 

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Greetings! Long time lurker, finally have something to ask. Not sure what's going on with this nuc I made 21 days ago.

Here's the timeline:

5/25: Found a newly emerged queen wandering around so I made up a weak nuc(frame of comb, frame of nectar, small frame of emerging brood with a tiny bit of open brood I think) and threw her in.
6/7: Found single eggs and closed it up.
6/13: Found one frame that appeared to have single eggs, and one frame had several per cell. I know new queens can be a little enthusiastic sometimes but most cells had 2-4 and there were a couple cells with 6 or 7. Queen was spotted on the same frame... a little puny but I hoped she was just figuring things out.
6/15: I went today with the intention of giving them a frame of capped brood to boost their numbers. Took a peek and almost every cell has multiple eggs now. What little brood is being capped appears to be drones in worker cells. Most eggs are on the bottoms of the cells, but at least one was on the side. Started leaning toward laying worker after what I saw, so I gave them a small frame of eggs and young larva instead.

I'm assuming this is laying workers, but the presence of the queen is messing me up. Can you even tell if she's mated when they're throwing eggs all over? :scratch:
Don't want to waste a bunch of resources on a weak little LW nuc, but would hate to waste a queen that's potentially viable. Hoping the frame of open brood may reverse this since it hasn't gone on for long but setting my expectations low. Thoughts?




I disagree with the other comments. the egg placed in the center of the bottom of the cell is "queen laid"
This to me looks like a new queen getting in her grove.
I would let it ride for 2 weeks then look again, My bet is the single egg in a cell is more prevalent and the multi eggs slowly go away.

Sometimes queen need to get their act together. this looks like that to me.

Laying worker has eggs on the side of the cell as their butts are too short, most of these are on the bottom.
the bees will eat the extras.

the cells do look "short/new" so I may be off but IMO 85% chance laying queen and ok.
Check in 9 days to see if these eggs have worker cappings or the bullet shaped drone cappings. if yes then could be a drone laying Queen.


GG
 

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I have seen a new Queen lay multiple eggs in some cells or a few cells, but not five eggs and never in a cell with a grub. And not for more than a part of a deep frame. If she is so crowded that she has to lay that much area with multiple eggs, I believe there would be swarm cells.
I also believe laying workers will keep laying eggs with no regard as to whether there are enough nurse bees to care for the brood whereas a Queen will shut down without enough nurse bees in the colony.
I vote laying workers.

Alex
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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GG, you did read the part where the OP states, "What little brood is being capped appears to be drones in worker cells."?
That, in conjunction with multiple eggs scattered across the bottom of the cells, tips the scale heavily in favor of laying workers. I do believe in giving it at least another two weeks to see what is really going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone! I'll let it ride for 2 weeks just to be sure before shaking out.
 

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The eggs are all placed on cell bottoms except for one picture where they appear to have been shook loose to one side. I also see grubs shook loose so I expect perhaps you shook the bees off a bit vigorously;) In this respect it appears queen laid eggs but seems like it has gone on for too long.

I think I would wait a bit and see if the larvae are indeed drones in worker cells and if any of them are being capped worker. If laying worker, they will all be drone. Perhaps it is possible that a drone layer queen and LWs could both be laying but that sure is not common.

Do a bit more detective work just to satisfy curiosity but I would not put much faith in that queen becoming a winner. Like M. Palmer says, give them the hive tool test!
 
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