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laying worker situation querie

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gill68 

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I have a colony that it seems just has a laying worker. The only brood that would appear to be there is sealed drone ( spaced out on 3 frames) I was waiting on another 'spare' queen to start laying but her colony has been robbed out by wasps and I assume she has been killed by them as there was no evidence of her or many of her bees. (This was through a horsley board opening so I thought they would defend that ok as there were plenty of bees- anyway thats an aside)

When I looked at the laying worker colony, they had built queen cells ( 4 around the edges) Has anyone else had this happen as a desperate bid for survival from the bees? Or could it mean there is a queen hiding in there somewhere and my assessment of their condition is wrong?
I intend to unite this colony with another so do I take these 'queen cells ' off?

Apologies if this topic has already been covered but I couldn't see it anywhere.
Thanks
 

justme 

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Hi, are the eggs laid in the bottom of the cell or part way down? If they are at the bottom and mainly single eggs then you may have a drone laying quee
If you have laying workers do not put a queen in or she will more likely be killed.

I expect some one else will be along soon more experienced than me an quicker typing so a wiat more info from them:.) Di.
 

oliver90owner 

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How long has this colony not had worker brood? How was the queen lost without them building emergency cells? Solid blocks of brood?

I would not besurprised if there were still a queen in there. If so she would need removing before introduction, by any means, of new queen.

I would suggest a test frame after attention to the present brood situation.

RAB
 

Midland Beek 

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A laying worker colony or one with a drone laying queen quite usually attempts to raise queen cells.

You have got to decide whether 'laying workers' or whether 'drone laying queen'. Has been talked about on this forum loads of times before.
 

gill68 

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Thanks all for the advice; The brood is dotted around the frames, rather than in a solid block. The eggs seem to be singly on the base of the cells, but I have to say I still have difficulty if the light isn't great making out what is going on egg- wise. This colony had a frame with a couple of q cells on it about a 6 weeks ago. I have never seen a queen in there though but it did look like the she had hatched rather than been killed.


This colony is sort of an 'extra' that we tried to build up from a frame with queen cells on it.
Thinking of just uniting it with one of my other hives.
As the varroa breed particularly in drone cells, would it be wise for me to shake the bees into another brood box to put on top of the existing hive when uniting. I don't have enough frames to just replace the drone brood ones as this is a national and mine are commercial.
 

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