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Author Topic: multiple eggs per cell  (Read 16911 times)

Offline dermot

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multiple eggs per cell
« on: August 20, 2013, 06:30:28 am »
I opened 9 hives here in Canberra on the 11th of August- the first warm day of late winter- 17c. 2 of the weakest hives showed somin strange.




   I had a look on a few forums and it seems that sometimes queens coming out of winter seem to take a little time getting back into the swing of laying individual eggs in individual cells. From Michael Bush talking about myths:

"Queens will never lay double eggs.

(In other words, all multiple eggs are a sign of a laying worker).
I've often seen double eggs from a queen. Rarely I've seen triples. I've never seen more. Laying workers will lay from two to dozens in one cell. I look for more than two and eggs on the sides of the cells and not in the bottom. Also eggs on pollen. These I consider signs of laying workers."

   It looks like 6 or 7 in some cells. The queen was present in both of these hives and the eggs are in the centre of the cells. My guess is that this time of year the queen has an imperative to lay but the small cluster size has reduced the area warm enough for her to lay in so she just keeps laying and the workers will eat the extras.

   Hopefully I'll be able to check again in a week or 2 and see if she's settled down.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 06:48:37 am by dermot »

Offline Lone

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2013, 07:07:50 am »
Dermot, that's what I'd do.  Give the queen a chance for a little while but if it turns out to be drone brood only or continues with multiple eggs then I'd change the queen.  I had a similar situation, multiple eggs but not much brood in total. The hive just got weaker.

In Queensland, queens don't really stop laying in winter so I don't know about what happens when they are "coming out of winter", but sometimes new queens will also lay multiple eggs for a while.

Lone

Offline 100 TD

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 08:16:52 am »
Interesting, I recently had a laying worker, lots of eggs in cells, and on the sides, if it is a queen, then she's a good layer, and I'd make sure she has plenty of room to lay.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 04:25:37 pm »
Judging by the number of eggs I would have guessed laying workers.  I've rarely seen a queen lay that many in one cell.  But you saw the queens.  Perhaps the bees just haven't opened up enough room for the queens to lay yet.

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Offline edward

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2013, 07:01:11 pm »
"Queens will never lay double eggs.

"Older Queens that may start failing sometimes lay 2 eggs in the same cell" according to Ole 88year old beekeeper,queen breeder, and still going strong.

I have seen it myself, but never more than 2 , most likely worker bees laying eggs  :-x

mvh Edward  :-P

Offline 100 TD

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013, 11:37:43 pm »

Quote from: dermot
2 of the weakest hives showed somin strange.
This statement would lead one to think laying worker

OP sighting was 11th, he'll sure know buy now if they're drones..........

Interesting though, can't see any on the cell walls.........

Offline Lone

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2013, 01:36:39 am »
My multi-layer queen layed more than 2 eggs per cell, maybe up to 5.  But even though bees were hatching, I don't think there was more than about 10 square cm of brood at a time.  The multi laying never resolved.

Lone

Offline 100 TD

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2013, 02:56:13 am »
Interesting, second pic, no laying on pollen, singles on outside, none on cell walls, could be a queen, will be interesting to find out, specially if only small cluster area to keep warm, I wonder what is on the other side of that frame?

Offline dermot

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Re: Multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2013, 05:24:55 am »
So we opened the boxes again on the 27th August (16°C). We found the queen again in both hives & both clusters were so small that they were contained within 3 frames. In 1 hive the queen reverted to laying single eggs per cell & there was a small area of very nice capped brood.
In the second hive the queen had improved & instead of laying 6-7 eggs per cell, is now down to laying 2-3. It seems as though the workers cleaned up the multiple eggs as the brood in the second hive is also very neat.
It was 16 days between visits & there is now no drone brood, which would seem to indicate multiple eggs from the queen rather than a laying worker.




The first image shows the queen on the frame & the second shows a close up of the same image with the multiple eggs almost transparent with the light shining through the wax.


The frames were removed for the purposes of picture taking to show the size of the cluster.

Offline prestonpaul

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2013, 05:39:55 am »
Would it be worth re-queening those 2 hives, just to be on the safe side?

Offline dermot

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2013, 06:26:35 am »
I'm not sure that re-queening would help that much, as the problem seems to be much more to do with the size of the colony and the resultant area covered by the cluster and the "heater bees". The first hives' queen has already returned to single eggs per cell and I think the second is well on the way.

   I have enough healthy hives and access to swarms that I'm not reliant on these 2, and so I can afford the luxury of seeing if they can pull through the early spring and become productive hives. The queens have shown a great ability to lay and may prove to be tough genetic stock, worth continuing with.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2023, 12:26:22 am »
I learned , I think it was from idddee,  that multiple eggs laid on the sides of the cell walls were most likely worker bees, laying workers. Multiple Eggs laid in the bottom of the cells are most likely a newly laying queen.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2023, 08:01:03 am »
Because of queen rearing I've seen a lot of laying worker hives and I've observed the transition.  There are no multiple eggs at first.  At first there are queen cells, almost no eggs and very spotty brood.  I mean like big gaps and just a few larvae scattered broadly.  Next they tear down the queen cells, cap the scattered brood as drones and you get a bit more scattered brood.  The last stage is when you start seeing multiple eggs.  At the first stage where there are queen cells, you can introduce a queen or you can give them brood to make one.  Once they torn down the queen cells, it will take a bit more to fix things.  Open brood probably for a couple of weeks should work.  But once you have multiple eggs on the sides of the cells and on top of pollen, it will take at least three weeks of open brood to set them right and odds are they are old enough that that may not be able to turn things around.
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Offline max2

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2023, 05:58:04 pm »
Michael,
you say: "Because of queen rearing I've seen a lot of laying worker hives "

Can you please explain?

I make up a reasonbale number of nucs each year and let them make their own queens. I do get the occasional laying worker but not many.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2023, 07:04:41 am »
You set up a mating nuc and sometimes the queen doesn't emerge or sometimes she doesn't come back from mating.  If this happens once it's fine.  If it happens two times or three times in a row, you often end up with laying workers in the mating nuc.  I usually have 200 mating nucs and every year at least a few of them end up with laying workers.
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Offline max2

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2023, 12:00:04 am »
Thanks!
"every year at least a few of them end up with laying workers."

2 to 3 %?

I used to " fix" these laying worker hives.

I used different methods and never had uniform , positive results. Too time consuming at a busy time of the year.
Now i let them die out and then use any good frames before the moths find them.



Offline Michael Bush

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Re: multiple eggs per cell
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2023, 10:53:14 am »
With mating nucs, mine are my standard frame (medium depth frames) and two frames, and I just shake them out on the ground and give the frames to some other strong hive and steal a frame of brood, a shake of bees from a frame of brood and a frame of honey from a strong hive along with a queen cell.

https://bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
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