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A couple of eggs in honey super

Hi everyone

I am entering my second year of having our bees and was hoping to get some friendly advice please. I live in Perth Western Australia and we have just started spring. We have had a week or two of warm weather lately so I though I had better do some spring maintenance after not doing much over winter. I have a brood box, langstroth honey super and then the flow hive on top. To give the bees some more room I removed 5 honey frames from the langstroth honey super and replaced them. However, when inspecting the frames before extracting honey I notice 6-10 uncapped eggs on 2 of the frames. … the others were all capped honey. I could not see the queen in there when removing them however, does this mean she is in my honey super?? Or because there was so few eggs had she gone back down?? Should I be worried?

Please help this amateur.

Thank you,

Libby

Hi Libby, welcome :cherry_blossom: I don’t know of a friendlier place to get advice than here :blush::+1:

Are you using a queen excluder under your Lang honey super? If not, that makes it very possible HRH has trekked up there. Also you said the eggs were only on two frames, I’d guess the middle two if we’re talking about a queen bee laying them. She could have gone back down to start laying in the main brood area after her trek, since newly hatched bees might have just cleared out some of those cells by then.

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Hi Libby and welcome to the forum where you find lots of people happy to help you with tips and advice.
If the queen has got up into the super to lay eggs there then you have an issue.
The first thing is to check the QX for any distortion or fractures if you have a plastic QX fitted, frankly I won’t fit a plastic QX on any of my hives, use a metal QX.
If the queen was able to get up there and lay a few eggs then the QX has not done its job. It is sad that Flow Hive don’t offer a metal QX as an optional extra if they insist on selling the plastic ones.
So all you need to do is buy a metal QX and fit it above the brood box, an easy fix.
Cheers

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If you are not using an excluder the queen often goes up so she can lay some drones if there is no drone comb in the brood nest. If you are using an excluder, then very many eggs would worry me that she got through the excluder, especially if they are all close together. If there is an egg here and there but the brood nest has all stages of brood and plenty of worker brood (flat cappings) then I would assume it’s just a laying worker. All hives have some laying workers. A typical queenright hive will have 30 or 40 of them. In a “Laying Worker” hive half the bees are laying workers…
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm#multiple

So in any hive an occasional laying worker lays an occasional egg and these are usually removed by the egg police.

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Hi Libby, it’s important to note whether the eggs are in drone comb or worker comb. I frequently find a few drone larvae in drone comb above the QX, in honey frames. I’m extracting honey today, I’ll take a photo & add it to this post later on.
cheers

PS Here’s a couple of photos to show what I’m talking about.

One bee wanted to come home for the ride.

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Hi everyone,

Thank you for all of your replies - I’m feeling very supported! My comb looked very similar to the photos, with a couple of larvae too. Now knowing this, do you think I should be concerned? What would be my next steps of action?

PS I have also contacted my mentor to come and have a look just to be sure everything is operating as it should be, however, he isn’t available h t Sunday.

If the brood above the QX is all drones then it is because you have a laying worker up there.
If the number of drones is an issue then @JeffH has explained how to ‘weed out’ laying workers in good detail and if you do as he describes it will work.
As for the plastic QX, if it hasn’t failed already then it will at some time as it becomes brittle so I would fit a metal QX and then you know it will last more than a lifetime.
Other than that Sunday is not too long to wait till your mentor can advise you further.
Cheers

If your hive is queenright there is no way to weed out the 30 or so laying workers every queenright colony has.

We don’t seem to have the same degree of a problem with laying workers in Australia as in the US. It is not a concern in a queen-right hive here if she is going strong. I take a laying worker as a sign of a failing queen.
Cheers

Laying workers in any significant numbers are caused by a lack of open brood pheromone. The queen or lack of one is only indirectly responsible. Even a poor queen if she is laying some worker brood will keep them under control.