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Quick question re workers laying

Good morning brains trust,
we thought for all money that our Hive was queenless, but his morning saw some tiny larvae.

My question is if it’s workers laying then the laying pattern would be all over the place, right? These larvae are in a good pattern on about 10% of 1 frame. Didn’t see any eggs, but didn’t look terribly hard as it was a quick inspection and I have to get to work. I struggle to see eggs without a magnifying glass at the best of times.

Cheers
Ron

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Hi Ron,

Thanks for posting.

Would it be easy enough to get a photo for us visual folk?

This might assist any potential responders.

Many thanks :slight_smile:

Sorry, I’m on the other side of Sydney now so afraid not.
I thought that workers laying is mostly hasp hazard and a bit all over that place. What we saw was larvae rightly bunched with no empty cells. Looked like a queen laying pattern but just want to confirm my theory.
Cheers
Ron

ronmolnar.com.au

No worries Ron.

Yes scattered/haphazard larvae can be a sign that workers are laying.

Another common sign is multiple eggs per cell, and also specifically queen cells with multiple eggs (as the colony will want to boost their chances of generating a new queen).

Given you haven’t seen any eggs or haphazard laying, maybe your queen is in hiding.

What were your reasons for thinking your colony was queenless?

No, we split that Hive about 5 weeks ago and there was definitely a queen in it at that point. Once the existing brood hatched, for the last 3 weeks there has been no eggs no larvae no brood no queen cells. That’s why we thought it was queenless.
With small larvae now present it seems maybe she was out mating. It looked to me like a queen laying pattern rather than panicking workers.
Ron

ronmolnar.com.au

Usually, yes. Sounds like you have a queen in there, but more evidence and perhaps photos, would help to confirm. :wink:

Thanks Dawn. It’s been a while, hope you’re well and plague free.
I’m going to leave them alone for a week or so, and there’s some rain coming anyway.
I’ll try of offload the queen we bought to someone in my be club. Surely someone will want it.
We were very happy to see larvae, our original Queen was a beauty, calm and a great layer, so we’re very happy to still have a descendant. The split we did 5 weeks ago is building nicely too, with another descendant in it. We found her this morning and marked her before the population got too big.
Not great at finding Queens on a crowded hive.
Cheers
Ron

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Nobody is. I once had to split a vicious crowded hive into 4 nuclei to find the queen. It took a week for them to reveal what was going on by showing queen cell production… They can be a real pain in the behind to find! :wink:

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Great to hear you found her :slight_smile:

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If the larvae are in a coherent group, then I’d say the chances that you have a laying queen are good. Look for eggs in the cells surrounding the larvae as the queen usually lays outwards in a concentric fashion.
Laying workers often lay mltiple eggs per cell, all over the comb, but to confuse things a new laying queen can do the same until she settles down, though generally in a better pattern.
If you can see the eggs well, the queen usually lays in the centre of the cell whereas the worker lays more towards the side. This is because of the queens longer abdomen.

Thanks for the truly Jim.
Starting to relax that we’re all good in the queen department.
We stuffed up last year and the beettles took over. It was just inexperience. Lessons learnt…
Cheers
Ron

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