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Author Topic: Laying worker in queen right hive  (Read 372 times)

Offline JurassicApiary

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Laying worker in queen right hive
« on: May 08, 2021, 12:51:42 am »
I'm afraid I already know the answer to this, but I figure I'd put this out there to be sure.  I inspected a hive from a removal I did last year and noticed that there's signs of a laying worker as there are multiple eggs in many cells.  Some cells have only one egg, however majority have multiple.  In all cases, however the eggs are on the bottom of the cells, none are on the sides.  Some cells have multiple larvae that have recently hatched. 

I can attest that the queen is present--100% positive--witnessed.  I presume at this point that she is aged and has stopped laying.  I'm surprised they did not supersede her as of yet.

I suppose the best course of action is likely to dispatch the queen and shake the hive out at a reasonable distance away from the apiary--perhaps several hundred feet--to rid the laying worker, pull the offending frames with multiple eggs, and either merge them with another hive, or add donor frames form another hive to try to rear a new queen--they're good on numbers so they can handle the brood cycle break I think.

Am I correct in these assumptions or are there other alternatives I should consider?

Online .30WCF

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Re: Laying worker in queen right hive
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2021, 12:55:09 am »
Is it a new queen possibly that hadn?t straightened out her pattern yet?


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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Laying worker in queen right hive
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2021, 01:00:37 am »
Is it a new queen possibly that hadn?t straightened out her pattern yet?


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I agree with that possibility. Since no eggs were on the side and you see multiple eggs, (on the bottom), sounds like the one year hive has swarmed and you have a new laying queen; or the old queen has been possibly superseded.
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: Laying worker in queen right hive
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2021, 02:39:39 am »
Is it a new queen possibly that hadn?t straightened out her pattern yet?

Correct. Very young queens will lay [up to] several eggs per cell. I've seen it. They'll quit doing that in a few days.

Laying workers lay on the sides of the cell.
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Online TheHoneyPump

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Laying worker in queen right hive
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2021, 03:28:04 am »
I'm afraid I already know the answer to this, but I figure I'd put this out there to be sure.  I inspected a hive from a removal I did last year and noticed that there's signs of a laying worker as there are multiple eggs in many cells.  Some cells have only one egg, however majority have multiple.  In all cases, however the eggs are on the bottom of the cells, none are on the sides.  Some cells have multiple larvae that have recently hatched. 

I can attest that the queen is present--100% positive--witnessed.  I presume at this point that she is aged and has stopped laying.  I'm surprised they did not supersede her as of yet.

I suppose the best course of action is likely to dispatch the queen and shake the hive out at a reasonable distance away from the apiary--perhaps several hundred feet--to rid the laying worker, pull the offending frames with multiple eggs, and either merge them with another hive, or add donor frames form another hive to try to rear a new queen--they're good on numbers so they can handle the brood cycle break I think.

Am I correct in these assumptions or are there other alternatives I should consider?
JA,  do not dispatch the queen and hive just yet. One piece of information is missing. What is the size of this hive and many frames of bees does she have?
I see this happen often at this time of the year. Sometimes it is a newly mated queen getting her equipment figured out.  But for me most of the other times I see it the situation is a high performing queen during spring/summer buildup period that is trying to expand her nest without enough bees to polish enough cells to keep up with her.  So she back tracks and lays over into the polished cells. Thus some extra eggs in cells. The third scenario, much less often is a supercedure taking place where there are two queens laying. Again with not enough bees to keep up and one queen is laying over top of the others eggs.
A laying worker problem level and a witnessed queen do not usually coexist. One or the other takes over quickly. The queen surpresses the LWs or the LWs kill the queen.
So what I am saying is before taking drastic action step 1 is to give her more support staff, give her a bunch more bees and see what happens. If the multiple eggs disappear and down to singles there you have it and the short of bees problem solved.  If the queen disappears and multiple eggs still exist, then there you have a confirmed LW problem to solve - or you need fo find that 2nd queen.

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 03:50:05 am by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline rast

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Re: Laying worker in queen right hive
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2021, 06:40:53 am »
May I presume there was no worker brood of any stage?
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Laying worker in queen right hive
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2021, 07:18:04 am »
Quote from: rast link=topic=54458.msg494900#msg494900 d HoneyBee7 ate=1620466853
May I presume there was no worker brood of any stage?

That was my prescription rast. I presumed little brood. I might has perceived wrongly. 😊 we will see what he says.  That is why I mentioned the hive might have swarmed to begin with.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2021, 12:34:42 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online BeeMaster2

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Re: Laying worker in queen right hive
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2021, 07:48:50 am »
If you saw your marked queen then you probably have a mother daughter 2 queen hive and that is a good thing. I would add a frame of drawn comb just above the brood box to give them plenty of space to lay. Is this hive full of bees with little open cells for your queens to lay eggs.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Laying worker in queen right hive
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2021, 12:47:54 pm »
If you saw your marked queen then you probably have a mother daughter 2 queen hive and that is a good thing. I would add a frame of drawn comb just above the brood box to give them plenty of space to lay. Is this hive full of bees with little open cells for your queens to lay eggs.
Jim Altmiller

If there is plenty of brood then there is a great possibility of two queens. If shy on brood the hive may have swarmed leaving only queen cells behind, (no queen), the cells have to have time to hatch, time to mature, time for mating which can take up to two weeks is my understanding. This would leave brood a little shy and a new mated queen could behave as described by Jurassic.


Quote from: rast link=topic=54458.msg494900#msg494900 d HoneyBee7 ate=1620466853
May I presume there was no worker brood of any stage?

That was my prescription rast. I presumed little brood. I might has perceived wrongly. 😊 we will see what he says.  That is why I mentioned the hive might have swarmed to begin with.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline JurassicApiary

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Re: Laying worker in queen right hive
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2021, 02:40:06 pm »
Thanks for the input everyone.  There is one open queen cell in the hive on the side of the frame (open--I may have mistaken it for a practice cell as I thought it was unused).  There's a solid 3 frames of bees (it's a 5-frame NUC)...they were a winter removal I was going to upgrade this week 2 frames of stores and 1 frames of eggs and young larvae only...rast, there's no capped brood.  It does sound like a supercedure has possibly occurred.  I think the lack of capped brood and multiple eggs in many cells made me think they went queen less (maybe they were for a short period) and so I thought they developed LW, but indeed, as you are all leaning, I may just have a new queen who needs a little more time and support.

I had not given thought that it may be a recently mated queen--I didn't realize that they may overlay in cells as .30, BF, CB and HP have noted as they get revved up (and the workers prepare more cells). 

Jim, I've got about 2/3 of my queens marked now.  She wasn't yet so I don't know if it's the original or the daughter in this case.  I have a queenless swarm in the apiary right now that I obtained the same day when doing inspections (the homeowner had hosed the swarm and then called me for help when they all wouldn't leave...ugh...it's about 1lb-1.5lbs so it would be a nice little boost and mutually beneficial), so I'll likely upgrade them to a 8-frame hive and merge them to give them boost in numbers as Jim suggested while they get the queen settled into laying. 

Thank you all for your knowledge and insight.  Will keep watching the thread--a great leaning one for me.