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Discussion Starter #1
I've asked this question in a couple of other post, but have yet to get an answer. I lost a queen in a hive of package bees about 5 weeks ago and have yet to get a queen. I purchased a new queen and she was assassinated shortly after her release of day 4 in the hive. I have a laying worker or workers in the hive, so I was told to place a frame of open brood in the cell and do this times 3 weeks.
- Will they produce their own queen from these frames or do I need to get another queen ?
- If so how long will it take before she is laying after I see queen cells.
 

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Hey Wild-B,
I have put a frame of brood in a laying worker hive about three times. They have yet to make a new queen. However, I think it has minimized the laying worker instinct, because last weekend there was much less drone brood. I think the hive would eventually weaken and die without an influx of brood every two weeks. For me, I'm okay if it dies, but I'm treating it like an experiment to see if they will ever raise a new queen on their own. So, I don't know the answer to your first question. I think they will eventually raise one.
After you see capped queen cells, I think it is about 21 days until you could see eggs according to what I've read.
 

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It is difficult to give a queen to a laying worker colony which is why you got the open brood suggestion. What is generally suggested is that you give them a frame of open brood a week for three weeks minimum - that will have the effect of keeping the package population viable and provide them the resources to make a queen - and I feel bound to write this - should they be so inclined as to make one.

It is hard to state exactly how long it will take for a queen from a spotted queen cell to hatch and start laying as there are many variables involved. To mention just two, what was the age of the queen cell when you spotted it and were the weather conditions favorable for mating in the days following emergence? To put an outside number on it you probably should not panic for 25-30 days following spotting a cell. Depending on your observational skills the first visual evidence of the new queen laying will be eggs followed by larvae and capped brood.
 

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>I have a laying worker or workers in the hive

Every hive has SOME laying workers. A laying worker hive has thousands...

> so I was told to place a frame of open brood in the cell and do this times 3 weeks.

That will work.

> - Will they produce their own queen from these frames

Yes.

> or do I need to get another queen ?

No.

> - If so how long will it take before she is laying after I see queen cells.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm

When you see a cell you have a four day old (from when the egg was laid) larvae, which will be capped four days after that and emerge 12 days after you first saw the cells. It typically takes two weeks after that (another 14 days, making it 26 days) until you see eggs, but could be as soon as four days after emergence (total of 16 days) or as long as three weeks (total of 33 days) depending on the individual queen and the weather. So the range is between 16 and 33 days after you see cells.
 

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Mr. Bush...I never knew every colony had laying workers. I love the forum because I learn new stuff all the time. Could you elaborate a little on the fact that every colony has laying workers? Specifically: why? I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but I find that very interesting,,

GH
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I added my second brood and larva frame today 1 week after the first. The first had hatched out some of the capped brood and must have capped the larva. No queen cells that I could see have started yet, but I did notice that some of the drone cells look like they had dried out larva in them. Is that normal ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
After inspecting the hive yesterday and finding very little activity I thought I would feed them some sugar today at a ratio of 5:3. They seemed hungry and I thought since the hive was suffering without a queen and trying to make queen cells from the brood that I introduced a little feed wouldn't be a bad thing. Was it the right thing to do?
Thanks
Mike
 

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It shouldn't do any real harm (do you have the entrance reduced to inhibit robbing?) My (4 wk) pkgs are still getting restricted feed, as they are drawing some new comb.
 

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> Could you elaborate a little on the fact that every colony has laying workers? Specifically: why?

"Why do birds fall in love..."

"Anarchistic bees" are ever present but usually in small enough numbers to not cause a problem and are simply policed by the workers UNLESS they need drones. The number is always small as long as ovary development is suppressed.
See page 9 of "The Wisdom of the Hive"

"Although worker honey bees cannot mate, they do possess ovaries and can produce viable eggs; hence they do have the potential to have male offspring (in bees and other Hymenoptera, fertilized eggs produce females while unfertilized eggs produce males). It is now clear, however, that this potential is exceedingly rarely realized as long as a colony contains a queen (in queenless colonies, workers eventually lay large numbers of male eggs; see the review in Page and Erickson 1988). One supporting piece of evidence comes from studies of worker ovary development in queenright colonies, which have consistently revealed extremely low levels of development. All studies to date report far fewer than 1 % of workers have ovaries developed sufficiently to lay eggs (reviewed in Ratnieks 1993; see also Visscher 1995a). For example, Ratnieks dissected 10,634 worker bees from 21 colonies and found that only 7 had moderately developed egg (half the size of a completed egg) and that just one had a fully developed egg in her body."

If you do the math, in a normal booming queenright hive of 100,000 bees that's 70 laying workers. In a laying worker hive it's much higher.
 
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