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Virgin Queen Bee?

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Erichalfbee 

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Can you point us to any studies on that?
any worker is capable of laying eggs, many do, queeenless or not. They don't change in any way to do so. It's just in a queenright hive the other workers 'police' it and clear out any worker laid eggs. in a Q- hive they leave them out of desparation
Yes it’s a well known fact that there are laying workers in a normal colony. They look like any other worker. I’ll see if I can find anything in the percentages. Something is rattling around in the back of my mind but just need to check.
 
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Erichalfbee 

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From Tom Seeley “Wisdom of the Hive”

"Although worker honey bees cannot mate, they do possess ovaries and can produce viable eggs; hence they do have the potential to have male offspring (in bees and other Hymenoptera, fertilized eggs produce females while unfertilized eggs produce males). It is now clear, however, that this potential is exceedingly rarely realized as long as a colony contains a queen (in queenless colonies, workers eventually lay large numbers of male eggs; see the review in Page and Erickson 1988). One supporting piece of evidence comes from studies of worker ovary development in queenright colonies, which have consistently revealed extremely low levels of development. All studies to date report far fewer than 1 % of workers have ovaries developed sufficiently to lay eggs (reviewed in Ratnieks 1993; see also Visscher 1995a). For example, Ratnieks dissected 10,634 worker bees from 21 colonies and found that only 7 had moderately developed egg (half the size of a completed egg) and that just one had a fully developed egg in her body."
 

WildPrGardens 

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any worker is capable of laying eggs, many do, queeenless or not.
If ANY worker bee is capable of laying eggs then after a hive has been queenless for a few days the brood cells would be so full of eggs they would be falling to the floor of the hive.
 

Erichalfbee 

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If ANY worker bee is capable of laying eggs then after a hive has been queenless for a few days the brood cells would be so full of eggs they would be falling to the floor of the hive.
No not after a few days because brood pheromone suppresses worker bee ovaries but as brood reduces more and more workers lay eggs but the increase is gradual. It’s well known. Laying worker colonies can be a problem as soon as three weeks after the queen has gone but it usually takes longer
 

Erichalfbee 

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This is the beginners section. New beekeepers have enough to do just keeping up with simple management let alone being led astray by misinformation
 

Forester Doug 

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As soon as I saw the photo nosemia was my thoughts... @Forester Doug have you feed syrup and if so how did they consume it.. Time, quantity etc?
And as dani asked is there any other bees with swollen abdomens?
I haven't really fed these bees for a while, possibly not since springtime. I didn't see any other bees with swollen abdomens, but if there is a chance it is this nosema (fungal pathogen) I will be vigilant. I was hoping I would be able to treat for varroa before winter sets in too hard, maybe I need to add a fungicide to the treatment too.
What would feeding patterns with syrup tell me? I'm interested to know what to look out for.
I had fed a spatially close colony Candipoline if that makes any difference, they seemed to take it in as I would expect.
 

Forester Doug 

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No not after a few days because brood pheromone suppresses worker bee ovaries but as brood reduces more and more workers lay eggs but the increase is gradual. It’s well known. Laying worker colonies can be a problem as soon as three weeks after the queen has gone but it usually takes longer
This colony had emergency queen cells after I accidentally and unknowingly killed the queen and failed to check before they hatched out. I had 5 queen cells, a few had side holes which I assume was the first queen dispatching the others. Trying to find the new queen I discovered the bee in question with the swollen adoment with her abdomen pointing into a cell (I thought was queen like behaviour, but could be as a result of nosema??) And the darker bee which I established was the queen. I initially thought I had found 2 queens, though 1 was more obvious. The hive was free from brood, so maybe workers had started laying I am unsure.
 

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If ANY worker bee is capable of laying eggs then after a hive has been queenless for a few days the brood cells would be so full of eggs they would be falling to the floor of the hive.
It is estimated that between 7-45% of workers in Q+ colonies have developed ovaries between 2-12 with the potential to activate these in case the colony becomes Q-. In Q+ colonies only 1 in every 10,000 workers is a laying worker most most of whose eggs are removed by worker policing. Laying workers develop approx. three weeks after last brood has emerged.
 

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It may or may not be nosema, I'd expect to see more than a single swollen bee if that were the case. Have a look at the others and see if she is a one off.
 

beeno 

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I would say the first one is a diseased worker, seen a few of those entering my hives. The other one looks a nice queen in the last picture, but with recent emergency cells she will remain a virgin. Good luck with the unite.
 

Forester Doug 

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It may or may not be nosema, I'd expect to see more than a single swollen bee if that were the case. Have a look at the others and see if she is a one off.
Well I haven't seen any more, but I wasnt looking for them the first time, just the queen. So I will pay more attention next time I can poke my head in. Think I will treat for nosema as a precaution either way.
 

Forester Doug 

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I would say the first one is a diseased worker, seen a few of those entering my hives. The other one looks a nice queen in the last picture, but with recent emergency cells she will remain a virgin. Good luck with the unite.
Are darker queens favourable? I mean she has bitten the dust now, and was never a viable option, but for future reference, can colour denote quality? I never had a queen emerge so dark, the previous queens I had from this colony were much lighter than this one.
 

beeno 

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Are darker queens favourable? I mean she has bitten the dust now, and was never a viable option, but for future reference, can colour denote quality? I never had a queen emerge so dark, the previous queens I had from this colony were much lighter than this one.
If you look at colour that is phenotype, it may give you at best an inkling of genotype. It is often said that dark coloured colonies will not accept a ginger queen, but recent study found that some colonies will not accept any new queens. Some Buckfast queens turn out black as they are hybrid.
 

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