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Queen or laying worker?

1381 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  fish_stix
I have a nuc that I put 3 frames into that had capped queen cells in each. I left it for 2 weeks believing that a new queen should be mated and laying by then. I opened it up this weekend and found eggs everywhere. Some were centered, some weren't, and +80% of the cells had more than one egg, sometimes 4 to 5. I noticed that there were at least 5 supercedure cells with 3 or 4 eggs in them as well. I did not find a queen.

I've got this nuc in my main apiary and I'm considering simply shaking them out and letting the workers find new homes in the hives there instead of letting them try to raise another queen from these supercedure cells.

My main questions is, would a hive try to raise a queen from a drone cell (obviously unsuccessfully) or are these fertilized eggs? Is the bee laying these eggs a laying worker or a Queen whom the hive knows has problems?
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I have seen newly mated queens lay multiple eggs in cells especially in Nuc’s because of limited egg lay area and they are cranked up in high gear. But you situation seems extreme, also since you couldn’t find the queen in a nuc I would suspect the worst ( laying workers) I have never seen them go crazy in supercedure cells. When workers start laying eggs they can do some crazy things. I like the idea of shaking the hives out, make sure you are far enough away so the laying workers don’t find their way back to the yard and start doing crazy things in a new hive.
A newly mated queen will take a few days to get her mojo working properly. She may lay some on the side walls and she may lay more in one cell.
How does the hive behave, are they quiet and going about their work? give them a few more days, and then see.
As for the supercedure cells, if they are in a grape like formation, your queen died or was killed and the bees were taken by surprise and are going nuts to make sure they have a queen. If there is one cel, they will kill the existing queen when they are ready to.
If there was poor weather when she was to be mated, she might not have gotten enough drones to "service" her. When that happens a queen does not give off enough pheremones to keep the hive happy. They will then supercede her.
BB, I'm decent at finding queens. In a nuc I'm actually pretty good. I was thinking it is a laying worker until I saw that some of the cells were all the way down and centered and they were making supercedure cells out of some of them. I'm assuming those cells are fertilized.

HS, The cells are not tightly bunched 4 are on one side of one frame the other is all alone. I may just see what they do with these Q cells as learning opportunity. If I don't like the looks by next weekend I'll shake them out. The hive acts like it's queen right.
I had LW's and let me assure you that most of the cells had a single egg....centered. These were full drawn cells. search for Pheremone reboot and you can see how i fixed mine. Worked GREAT!!
It normally takes several weeks to get laying workers, though that's not written in stone. I would bet you have a new queen. Just wait awhile and see what happens.
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