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K

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Thanks for being there for me!! It has been a reassurance to have all of you ready to answer my inane and not-so-inane questions and I appreciate it immensely.

I checked my bees Saturday, and sure enough, there are the eggs and newly hatched larvae.

Being not quite trusting yet,I checked tonight, and while there are still eggs and larvae, things don't seem quite right. Feels like a laying worker.

1. Scattered newly capped drone brood. Looks like worker cells with drones in it. Round ball like cappings. Most are still uncapped, though

2. emergency/swarm cells still there, still eggs and larvae in them. (if they try to raise a drone in there, will that be a "drag queen"???
) Do they still try if they have a laying worker?

Question: Will laying workers develop before a virgin queen can fully develop and mate? MB has been mentioning the ~4week number as the egg to laying time for a queen. It has been 3.5 weeks.

Question: If I have a laying worker does it work to give them a real capped queen cell from somewhere else?

If not, I do this from everything I've gleaned here,correct the wrong parts, please:
Buy a queen. Put her with 2 frames of brood (even if it is drone brood?) and a few pollen/honey (5 brood/store total) into a nuc box, let them accept her, then put the whole kebosh on top of the parent hive with newspaper between. Question: Will this work?

Here's my sequence of events:

April 10: Hive check, everything normal, but did notice an empty swarm cell.

April 17: uh-oh no eggs or larvae, only capped brood, noticed swarm/supercedure cells.

April 20: short look, noticed at least one capped supercedure cell.

May 1: Short look, eggs
and newly hatched larvae. In retrospect, there seemed to be some drone brood that seemed a bit young to have been missing a queen for 3 weeks (not capped yet?)

May 5: quick peek, mostly the same, but some capped cells, all capped cells are drone.

Thanks for your assessments and opinions!!
Rick
 

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>1. Scattered newly capped drone brood. Looks like worker cells with drones in it. Round ball like cappings. Most are still uncapped, though

Are you sure it isn't just drone brood?

>2. emergency/swarm cells still there, still eggs and larvae in them. (if they try to raise a drone in there, will that be a "drag queen"??? ) Do they still try if they have a laying worker?

The bees will NOT even TRY to raise a queen from drone eggs. If they have eggs or larvae in a queen cell then they are rasing a queen. Don't confuse one protruding drone cell with a queen cell though. A queen cell is pointing DOWN.

>Question: Will laying workers develop before a virgin queen can fully develop and mate? MB has been mentioning the ~4week number as the egg to laying time for a queen. It has been 3.5 weeks.

If you don't have a queen then were did the eggs for the queen cells come from? You must have a queen. Maybe she's not very well mated and laying a lot of drone, but the bees are trying to remedy that with the supercedure. I would let them.

>Question: If I have a laying worker does it work to give them a real capped queen cell from somewhere else?

Sometimes. Laying worker hives are a real pain and hard to predict. I don't think that's the case. A laying worker doesn't lay one egg per cell and a laying worker hardly every lays a viable female egg.

This has occasionally been documented by Snelgrove and others over the years but is the exception and not common.
http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/bsmay1991.htm


>If not, I do this from everything I've gleaned here,correct the wrong parts, please:
Buy a queen. Put her with 2 frames of brood (even if it is drone brood?) and a few pollen/honey (5 brood/store total) into a nuc box, let them accept her, then put the whole kebosh on top of the parent hive with newspaper between. Question: Will this work?

Most likley, yes. But by the time you order a queen. Get her delivered leave her caged for four days while the nuc accepts her, leave her in the nuc to lay for several days so she's a laying queen and then do a combine how much time will you have lost? I think you have a queen who is not very well mated but is laying some worker brood or they wouldn't be making queen cells. If you leave them alone and let them raise the supercedure queens they will replace her.

>April 10: Hive check, everything normal, but did notice an empty swarm cell.

Empty as in emerged with the cap cut off or empty as in abondoned?

>April 17: uh-oh no eggs or larvae, only capped brood, noticed swarm/supercedure cells.

If the old queen swarmed (which can happen when you aren't looking) and the swarm cell you spotted above had emerged, then you now have a virgin queen.

>April 20: short look, noticed at least one capped supercedure cell.

Good.
 
K

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Thanks!
Sorry didn't realize that was such a posting till later.

I'll check again saturday. All the capped brood on the 2 brood frames I checked was getting capped into drone brood. (big balls on top of the cell. It could be just drone brood, but it looked like it was scattered throughout the worker comb.

And there were still supercedure/swarm cells - very distinctive, and they have eggs and larvae. One had 2 eggs, the only double I noticed.
It is very possible to have runty/poorly mated queen. It has only been 3 weeks from the point of when I think the queen was killed and the point that the eggs appeared. And we haven't had what I'd consider ideal mateing weather. (from the bee's perspective!!)

>>April 10: Hive check, everything normal, but did notice an empty swarm cell.
>Empty as in emerged with the cap cut off or empty as in abondoned?
I think it was probably abandoned. I can't tell a new one from an abandoned one yet.


I'll keep an eye on it. Thanks for the help. I'll keep letting them do their thing and try to keep from worrying.

[This message has been edited by kookaburra (edited May 06, 2004).]
 

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A queen cell starts out as a cup. Soft new wax and white. Then it developes and gets capped and it's still soft, white new wax. As it gets close to emerging it gets more papery and more fiberous and darker, especially on the tip. In order to emerge the queen chews the cap off of the bottom and there is the dark cocoon left in the cell and it's all papery. This is what one looks like when she has emerged.
 
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