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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got an overwintered queen and what appear to be laying workers. Diagnosis and solutions requested. For now, I've added a frame of open brood in the assumption I'm going to have to requeen. There is plenty of room for the queen to lay. Thanks!

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Looks like it is time to requeen. This one appears to be a dud. Open brood may or may not help. Probably the best bet is to shake them out and make a new nuc with the resources.
 

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I've had that happen. I'd shake them out, and pinch the queen. I don't think you will suceed with requeenng.
 

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It is hard to see in the photo, but are all of the eggs in the bottom of the cells and none on the sides of the cells? If the adult population is small, and they can not cover the comb adequately, a queen just starting to lay will put several eggs per cell in the cells the workers have prepared for her. Is there no sealed brood to show if the eggs are making drones?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It is hard to see in the photo, but are all of the eggs in the bottom of the cells and none on the sides of the cells? If the adult population is small, and they can not cover the comb adequately, a queen just starting to lay will put several eggs per cell in the cells the workers have prepared for her. Is there no sealed brood to show if the eggs are making drones?
There were the right questions, but sadly I saw this post too late. It was indeed a colony that barely survived winter. Sounds like the right course would have been to boost it with other resources instead of shaking it out. Live and learn. Thank you.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I do not disagree.with AR Beekeeper, but I have overwintered several small nucs and have never seen a good queen lay that many eggs in a single cell. A boost in bee resources may have fixed the problem, but just as likely, it would have confirmed it.
 

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Ive never seen laying workers when a live queen was in the hive.

I have also never seen more than 3 eggs in a cell from a laying queen, and rarely see multiples in a concentrated area as that.

Might never find out, but I'm extremely curious what was actually going on here...
 

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I don't believe it's a laying worker. They are not typically able to place an egg clear in the bottom of a cell and you will usually see an egg off to the edge of the bottom or on the wall of the cell. I have had a new queen lay multiple eggs in a cell, but she grew out of that in about a week's time.
 

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I have had a new queen lay multiple eggs in a cell, but she grew out of that in about a week's time.
Have you ever had a mated overwintered queen lay five and six eggs in a single cell with empty cells nearby? I have not. Virgin queens we all understand might take a week to figure it all out, but not an overwintered one. Something was wrong with this queen, or there were long abdomen laying workers able to reach the bottom of these cells.
 
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