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Help! Should I be worried about drone laying workers?


#1

I am now on week 4 of mine first hive. I’ve done two inspections so far and I am still unable to find the queen since the first time really seen her from her box. She’s unmarked so it’s very possible I am missing her. After the inspection today I see eggs and cells but most of the cells have multiple eggs in them. I know that sometimes a new Queen takes a while to get the hang of it. The eggs are put all the way into the bottom of the cell. When I looked today there is capped brood but they all look like drone cells. Do I need to give it a little bit more time? Or do I need to act fast to save my hive. Thank you for any help or advice. I’ll try to upload pictures that I took, but I’m still trying to figure out this website.


#2

Drone cells? https://imgur.com/gallery/9W43m


#3

Those are drone cells and you very likely have laying workers or a drone laying queen.
You have to make a decision on if that hive is worth saving. Where are you located?

If it were mine, I would start over but this time get two nucleus colonies or two packages and start two hives, this way if something like this happens again, you’ll have resources from the second hive to fix the first.


#4

Hi Lauren, don’t rush too early to judge your hive, a laying worker can take some time to develop in a hive and a queen can lay drones in cells that she thinks are not the right size or are damaged in some way. Your hive is still very young and getting established, give it some more time ( a few more weeks) Make another inspection in a week and methodically go over each frame looking for the queen, she may run to the opposite side of the frame as you inspect so check each side a couple of time before putting it down again and inspect the frame over your hive in case she falls or flies off.


#5

Hi Lauren, as @Rodderick said, give it a bit more time. I can see drone brood mixed with worker brood. Take a look in a weeks time when there is more capped brood. That way you’ll get a better idea which brood is workers & which brood is drones. Sometimes a single capped worker looks like a drone. It’s not until you get them all joined together that it becomes more obvious.


#6

I’m located in central Minnesota, I would like 2 hives but my boyfriend is really apprehensive about one hive.


#7

Thank you, I will keep waiting and hope for the best. I’m tryinhbto find a mentor in my area, but no luck yet.


#8

Hey Lauren, hope it works out with your colony. About having two, I strongly second that recommendation. I started out with just one package last year, it died after what seemed a decent season (varroa) and I decided to restart this year with two nucleus colonies. It’s hard to explain it, but I already feel more secure & confident having two. And nucs are far more securely established than packages - no comparison.

If it’s stings or other bee-behavior your bf is worried about, but you definitely want to be a beekeeper, that’s a subject of its own debate - if the decision is for beekeeping then you gotta do what you gotta do :sunglasses::+1:


#9

I hope I’m wrong but I don’t believe you have time to wait this out. Good luck.


#10

Nice Pictures. Very clear and great resolution. I can’t believe you took them with your phone.