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wintered or new drones

1131 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Wolfer
Checked my hive last week. I had a few drones hatching out with others still capped. I did not see any eggs, larvae, or capped worker cells. This made me wonder, were these drones laid last Fall, over the Winter or this Spring. I am trying to get a feel if my Queen is still around and hasn't started to lay much or if these drone cells were laid longer ago and maybe something has since happened to her. Thanks, juzzer
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Drones take 24 days to hatch. So that rules out being laid as an egg last fall/winter. The drones are from this spring. Without the presence of all the rest of normal brood, it would seem that your hive has already swarmed at this point. That would mean you have most likely got a virgin queen in the box (If the bees weren't loud and meaner than normal), however if they were loud and meaner than normal you may be queenless. Did you check the box closely for the presence of a queen cell, swarm cell, supercedure cell?
 

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Thanks for those great responses/thoughts. I did notice that day they seemed to be fairly quiet and low in bees, not for sure. I do remember seeing what I thought might have been a queen cup??? about halfway up a frame(supercedure??). I guess I should wait a few more days/weeks and see what happens. If no eggs, then hope for a virgin and let her do her work?? Thanks again, juzzer

**If it happened to have swarmed, ha great. I am just finishing up my swarm boxes that I am planning to put up this weekend. They could have been nicer and given me a few more days!!!
 

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If she wasn't mated correctly.

And if Watertown is anything like it has been down here in Eastern Iowa, I don't think there's much breeding weather going on... let alone hives to the point of making many drones just yet.
 

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> How and why in the world does a queen lay drones only?

An unmated queen can lay drones. Drone eggs do not require any semen, so eggs laid by a queen exhausted of stored semen will be drones.
 

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> How and why in the world does a queen lay drones only?

A late mated queen or a queen who runs out of sperm in her spermatheca will lay only drones. This is because drones all come from unfertilized eggs and are haploid (have only one set of genes), while workers and queens come from fertilized eggs and are diploid (have a pair for each gene in the set).
 

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Here where I am any queen I've raised before the black berries bloom has failed before fall. Most became drone layers. Since I'm always antsy to get started I've seen several.
I've never had laying workers. I inspect probably too often and can nip that in the bud.

I suspect queens could be mated earlier in an area with a higher hive per sq mi ratio.
 
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