Author Topic: Laying Workers  (Read 295 times)

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Offline Jen

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Laying Workers
« on: May 30, 2021, 01:36:56 am »
When a hive has been queenless long enough for the laying workers to develop ovaries and then lay eggs, is it one worker that develops ovaries and lay the eggs, or is it many workers that lay the eggs?
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Offline iddee

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2021, 06:03:37 am »
Many, and then some more.
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Offline Jen

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2021, 11:58:23 am »
Hi Iddee, that's what I thought as well, it's a bee science thing, I can't see how one bee could develop ovaries and lay as many eggs as a queen can.
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Offline Zweefer

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2021, 10:55:36 am »
Do you have laying workers Jen?


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Offline Jen

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2021, 01:50:26 pm »
No! thank goodness! But I have had laying workers in the distant past, when I didn't know better. A beek friend and I were discussing the worker bee dilemma, she thought that one bee was picked to replace the missing queen.

But I remember when I was first on this forum when that situation happened in my hive and I was bamboozled on how many eggs were in the cells. I learned then that it is many bees that develop ovaries and lay eggs.

I thought this would be a good question to post for learning purposes.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2021, 07:01:10 am »
Jen, you posed an interesting question.  "They" talk about a laying worker developing in a queenless colony, but never say it could be multiple laying workers.  I guess it doesn't matter whether you have one or more, the end result is the same.  You end up with a colony that is very difficult to requeen even after a shake out.  Or does anyone have any words or wisdom that would make requeening a colony with laying workers easier?

Offline Jen

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2021, 11:37:11 am »
"You end up with a colony that is very difficult to requeen even after a shake out."

Yup, not only do you have a box of only drones to deal with, all the bees themselves are already old.

I have had success tho catching a hive that is 'just' starting to lay multiple eggs, requeen right away with an already mated queen, and they have pulled thru.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2021, 01:08:32 pm »
So, does a laying worker situation start 2 weeks after losing the queen or 2 weeks after there is no eggs, larvae, or brood left in the colony?

Offline iddee

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2021, 01:35:38 pm »
Sometime after the brood is gone. Forget 2 weeks. Nature isn't that exact.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline Jen

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2021, 06:28:16 pm »
I agree with Iddee.
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Offline Zweefer

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2021, 11:13:16 am »
does anyone have any words or wisdom that would make requeening a colony with laying workers easier?

There has been much discussion on how to do this best. I’ve heard that adding frames of open brood will help curb the problem, to the point where eventually they will create their own queens.
Personally while this may work, I feel it takes too many resources from other hives, as it may take several frames before this occurs.
I have found if you take a hive and shake it out, replacing it with a queen right one, usually a split from another that can afford a frame or two with a new queen added. The other bees that were shanked out will supplement that hives numbers making it stronger again, with the a sense of laying workers due to the queen that was introduced.   
Hope this makes sense?


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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2021, 01:32:28 pm »
I have 2 colonies located on private property in a rural setting.  It's really a good location except to get there I have to pass over a major river.  The state has closed the bridge for repairs and I have to travel miles out of the way to check on the colonies.  Ok.  That's my excuse.  ;D
I knew one colony was in the process of requeening the hive.  I'm pretty sure they swarmed.  The other colony looked great and I put honey supers on.  I checked on them a couple of days ago.  Because of the constant rain and cold temps they failed and the colony trying to requeen was totally out of capped brood and there were no queen cells.  The strong colony probably swarmed as well.  Capped queen swarm cells were everywhere.  I moved a frame with a capped queen cell to the weak queenless colony to hold them for a while and keep a laying worker(s) from developing.   Maybe they will even be successful in requeening!

Offline rober

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2021, 06:30:19 pm »
my understanding is that even in a queenright hive there are usually a few laying workers. so long as there is a queen it doesn't matter. i & others I know have found that trying to fix a hive of laying workers is a waste of time & resources. just shake them out & move on.
 my daughter has taken up beekeeping. she has 2 hives. i gave her 2 nucs to get started. 1 ended with laying workers. we shook them out & removed the hive later that day there were a lot of bees on the hive stand where the hive had been. the following day they were gone. i assume that they begged their way into the other hive. i started another hive for her with a swarm.
what are the odds?? my daughter is 50 miles away from me.  i saw an ad for queens. the seller lives near her, is a friend of her husband, & is helping to mentor her. since i'm so far away this really helps me. also it turns out her next door neighbor keeps bees. WE"RE EVERYWHERE

Online Wandering Man

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Re: Laying Workers
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2021, 06:18:22 pm »
WE"RE EVERYWHERE

I've decided beekeepers are like bees.  They are everywhere.  You just don't notice them until they start flying in and out of your house.  Or in this case, in and out of your life.

When we started our local club I thought there would be five or six of us.  We had 20 to 40 show up every meeting. As they restart face to face meetings, we are still getting around 20 beeks.  And they aren't all the same as the ones we had two years ago.

We went to visit a friend in Concan, Texas who had tried to keep bees for a while.  They complained there were no other beeks in the area.  I assured them there were more than they new.  The next week, I ran across for an ad for a honey festival in Uvalde, a nearby town.  There must be a lot of beeks in the area to support that kind of event.
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