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New queen drone layer, but emergency queen cell present.

 
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Heartstone
Guard Bee


Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 65
Location: CO Sligo, Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:32 pm    Post subject: New queen drone layer, but emergency queen cell present. Reply with quote

I have a nuc from a hive that was about to swarm, they produced a queen and she started to lay just over a week ago.

However, all of the larvae are drones. She must have not mated well.
Given the timescales involved and the fact that the laying pattern is good (with only single eggs in the centre of the cells) I have assumed it is a drone laying queen rather than laying workers. I can't find the queen or any worker cells at all. What is odd is that there is a fully sealed queen cell that was not there a week ago. I have never heard of bees attempting to make a queen out of a drone egg but that is what appears to be happening.

I have left the 'queen' cell in the hive for the moment but removed all the drone brood and added a frame of brood from a strong hive with larvae at all stages and also eggs. I have also shaken a full frame of nurse bees into the hive as well.

So the questions are:

1) has anyone ever seen a hive try to produce a queen from an infertile egg? ( although I have heard of one race of bees that can raise a queen from laying workers, as these are buckfasts I assume it will be a dud if they do).

2) should I leave the questionable 'queen' cell in the hive or remove it and force them to start again.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adding eggs to the hive and providing the opportunity to raise a new queen is absolutely the right thing to do to rescue the colony. If you could remove the drone layer then so much the better.

You are right that cape bees can raise queens from unfertilised eggs but the european honey bee cannot. They may have just recapped an already emerged queen cell.

best of luck
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