Drone Laying Nucs

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Flyman, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Flyman

    Flyman New Member

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    Ok, I know this is chancey, but I tried it anyway. So, somebody tell me the chances of success. I found 3 out of 50 nucs that turned into drone layers. Five frame nucs have about 2-3 frames of bees and a patch of drone cells about to be capped. Can't find a queen or any sign of her. Yesterday I put a queen cell, that was within hours of hatching, into each one. At first, it looked as though they might reject the cells because they were biting at them. I came back about an hour later and they seemed to have accepted it. This morning, about 7, I looked and they have all hatched (the end of the cell has a round hole instead of being torn down).

    So, what is the probable scenario now? Will they throw the new queen out or will there be a fight to the finish with the drone layer. I know time will tell, but just wondering what to look for along the way. I usually just shake drone layers and start over. This time I had a few spare cells and decided to play a see what happens game. It's how you learn.
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    "Ok, I know this is chancy, but I tried it anyway"
    "I had a few spare cells and decided to play a see what happens game"
    "It's how you learn"

    It is when folks such as yourself experiment, we all learn and benefit. For that ......... Thanks!

    My question would be are they actually drone laying queens or laying workers? If they are drone laying queens you should be able to find and pinch them, leave it queenless for 24 hours and then if the cells hatch you may be alright.
    If it is laying workers (eggs on the sides of cells, multiple eggs) your struggle for acceptance of the hatching queens would be difficult.
    I shall watch for your findings.
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I'm guessing the nuc's were queenless for a short time and a laying worker hadn't taken over yet.My 86 yr. old beekeeping buddy says there are laying workers in queen right hives and the workers allow it? I'm a skeptic about about this, but i have found drone brood many times above the queen excluder. I'll be intrested in your experiment. :confused: Jack
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I'm guessing the bees know best, meaning you will have worker eggs in 7 to 12 days.
     
  5. Flyman

    Flyman New Member

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    Cant, find a queen in any of them. So, I will assume a laying worker. Going to give the new queen a few days before I look for her again. I hate looking for small queens that like to run everywhere.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    one egg/cell = drone laying queen

    multiple eggs/cell = laying worker

    if you see lots of multiple eggs = multiple laying workers

    it takes about 10 days (from what I have read) for a laying worker to develop. after that time with no queen in the box you are likely to see more and more laying workers.

    A drone laying queen looks like a queen or sometimes much like a virgin. often time (it seems to me) drone laying queens have some of the characteristics of virgin queens in that they flit around and are runny.. not so easy to catch or kill. You should be able to spot a drone laying queen. Prior to placing a cell or queen in a box you should kill the drone laying queen or with laying workers start over once again from scratch.

    A cell might work with a poorly mated queen if the old queen doesn't tear the cell down before hatching (thus the closer to hatching time likely the better). With laying workers any time lapse means you have more and more laying workers to contend with.... thus my suggest that it is time to start over.

    it would seem to me 3 of 50 is quite acceptable. I would guess anywhere here along the edge of the Great Plains (and I include Flyman's location in this same geography) excessive high winds (most especially during the afternoons) is the limiting factor in regards to mating success.
     
  7. Flyman

    Flyman New Member

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    Here's an update on the drone laying nucs. I still can't believe this myself. After the last post I looked through the nucs several times, looking for any improvement. Actually, they seemed to have gotten worse. Probably went throught them 4 times, at least once with a helper, trying to find the queen or any sign that the nuc was being saved.

    After probably a week of just letting them sit while I contemplated what to do, I went out yesterday to shake them to the wind. I opened the first and noticed it had the calmness I attribute to a queenright hive, so I looked for her. I noticed the drone brood was gone or almost gone. Looked a little more and found a nice tiger stripped queen, albeit young, and a small patch of eggs.

    Same scenario on 4 more nucs (total of 5). What I thought was a hopeless drone layer, is now queenright with a patch of eggs. Can you believe this.... 5 out of 5.

    I am now trying to reconstruct the timelines for possible explanations on why adding queencells to drone layers resurrected them. Maybe just one of those things, but it sure worked this time.
     
  8. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    Glad to hear everything came out right. I was also curious on the result, so thanks for letting us know. There's always new things to learn with bees...
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    just a guess Flyman.... but perhaps you disturbance of the drone laying nucs resulted in the bees in the box killing the drone laying queen.

    5 of 5 is exceptional.. perhaps you need to think about playing the lotto?