How do they know?

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House Bee
Apr 20, 2010
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Ballyronan (Northern Ireland)
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Can anybody tell me how the workers know if an egg is fertilized or not. What i mean is, if a queen turns into a drone layer. How do the bees know to make drone cells out of normal worker cells if you understand where i'm comming from.

Scent, pheromones? Their world does seem to be governed by them. But I'm happy to be corrected:eek:
i have aslo wondered how the know a drone is a diploid drone and kill them rather than rear them....lots of incest in my hive :angelsad2:.....about two years ago, beek near me had empty cells in drone brood, wondered waht was going on..he was told to re queen as possible diploid drones..never heard of it before
The simple answer to the original post, as far as I know, is: They don't.

Why would they? Why would they need to know?

The last part of your question can now be answered simply by yourself.

Regards, RAB
Finman may be able to explain it as he is a university graduate in bee genetics.

Whether we will understand the translation is a different matter..
then why do they put a big domed lid and seal on the cells instead of just sealing them as normal as they would do for a normal worker larvae??
incest in the hive

hapliod drone mother & grandfarther

dipliod drone mother & farther

virgin queen mating with hapliod is one generation removed

virgin queen mating with dipliod drone is sister & brother

please correct if I'm wrong
It may seem obvious but would not the size in the cell tell the worker bees whether the cell needs a dome capping. A drone laying queen will lay eggs in a worker cell but the workers will stil put domed capping on these. so its not the cell size that dictates it it therefore is in all probability dependendant upon how much of the cell is occupied by the lava.
my point exactly,

No. That is my point exactly.

Perhaps you have not noticed that drones are larger than worker bees?

drone larva will fill the cell it's head protruding from the cell,

workers build a domed cover to seal it in, and will assist it to remove the

cap and help the drone out of the cell

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