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Author Topic: Multiple eggs in cells - advice please  (Read 6176 times)

norfolk newbies

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Grantham
Multiple eggs in cells - advice please
« on: April 19, 2011, 06:09:31 pm »
Hello all
OH has recently bought a new hive at a local auction, due to losing our colony to a wasp attack last year (we went on holiday at the wrong time apparently!).

We left the new hive alone for a week, but a quick peek made OH think that hive was looking 'full' so he added a super. Closer inspection last weekend and we found a few larvae and some eggs, but surprised that there was more than one egg per cell.
[We did not find the queen, but were not too concerned at that stage].

Foundation has not yet been drawn out in the super (but it has only been there max 2 weeks), but there are plenty of stores and bees seem busy and happy.

So Question....
At this time of year what is the most likely cause of multiple eggs in single cells, is it lack of space, or is it more likely to be  laying drone??? What if anything should we do in either case?

The weather been a bit cold last couple of days so we have not gone queen hunting again, but we are still relative novices ( 3rd year) so never guaranteed to spot the queen even if she is there. ;)

All handy hints and tips greatfully received
thanks

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Multiple eggs in cells - advice please
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 09:37:03 pm »
That's not the queen laying, it's either drones (unlikely as there shouldn't be any around), but probbaly laying workers. Sorry, that hive is probably doomed.

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Multiple eggs in cells - advice please
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 10:15:55 pm »
Just been reading bee books, after my disastrous winter.

 I remembered this multiple egg thing - laying workers, as Anke says. They can only lay drones, which is no good. You need to buy a queen (and then find out from someone who knows, ie not me, how to introduce her successfully.
Good luck.

lazybee

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Multiple eggs in cells - advice please
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2011, 09:21:29 am »
Hello,
I wouldn't be too hasty. A young or vigourous queen will sometimes lay more then one egg in a cell. the house bees usually sort this out when they do their rounds. Laying workers tend to lay lots of eggs randomly. You didn't mention how many eggs were in the cells. If it's 4 or five it might be a laying worker. If it's 2 occasionally I wouldn't worry. Keep an eye on it and see that the brood is normal. Good luck

A tip fro finding the queen....don't look too hard :D

LB

LASDER99

  • Joined Apr 2011
Re: Multiple eggs in cells - advice please
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 12:59:41 pm »

LB is spot on --- I have one doing that but she was late mated last year ( August ) then had a dose of Nosema and has gone ballistic trying to make up for lost time. Give your lot a week just to see if they are all drone brood .

LB is also correct about finding the queen -- just finding evidence is usually enough unless doing something special ( like an AS) and even then there are ways....

Only last week finally saw a queen for the first time that was mated back in May last year  --- thought she must be a little scrub queen all year until one the size of a queen wasp decided to casually walk in front of me last weekend :-)


norfolk newbies

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Grantham
Re: Multiple eggs in cells - advice please
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2011, 01:26:27 pm »
OK then .....i think we're doomed.
OH has just been into the hive  with my report back from you lot ringing in his ears.

  • Yes more than one egg per cell ( approx 4)
     they are laying near the bottom (?)
    and
he thinks they are being capped as drones (taller???)

He has contacted someone he met at the auction ( we moved at Christmas so too far away from previous BKA) who will sell him a queen, so we will go the 'introducing new  queen' route hopefully during the week.

I will let you know how we get on.

thanks for the advice so far.......

norfolk newbies

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Grantham
Re: Multiple eggs in cells - advice please
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2011, 05:28:10 pm »
Latest update is that local BK says on reflection, current hive likely to attack his new queen, even with vanilla scented candy etc, so he has suggested combining colonies.

He has inspected our  hive and agrees that we have laying drones, and that usually means doomed hive. A
s they look so healthy and have so many stores we will try to avoid losing it.

Plantoid

  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: Multiple eggs in cells - advice please
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2011, 12:56:49 am »

LB is spot on --- I have one doing that but she was late mated last year ( August ) then had a dose of Nosema and has gone ballistic trying to make up for lost time. Give your lot a week just to see if they are all drone brood .

LB is also correct about finding the queen -- just finding evidence is usually enough unless doing something special ( like an AS) and even then there are ways....

Only last week finally saw a queen for the first time that was mated back in May last year  --- thought she must be a little scrub queen all year until one the size of a queen wasp decided to casually walk in front of me last weekend :-)



 MY mentor in bees told me to only look for the unusual in the hive and you soon find out what is wrong...it soon became easy to spot the queen but after a while I soon lost this fixation .
I occasionally marked queens ( never clipped their wings though ) and one day found two marked queen in a hive ( should have kept detailed records like I did later on . .. I discovered a while later it is not as uncommon as people would like to think it is.

 If Thornes of Louth Lincolnshire are still on the go you can buy a queen and a few attenders all in a simple  transportation block with food for ..next day delivery or so to requeen

 It's worth  making a few queen transporters if you have several hives .

 The easiest way to grow queens is to carefully slice  the bottom inch of egg filled comb off a brood frame where the open cells are a queen will be grown check it at day five to see how many .
 To remove a queen cell carefully cut the wax about 1/2 inch above and around the fully sealed up new cell   durin gthe  whole operation of harvesting and grafting a new queen don't leave the cell in the cold or strong heat ,  be as quick doing it as you can .

So you then take a frame of open & closed  brood , bees and eggs  fix on two queen cells by cutting the brood frame comb down at the bottom  and carefully inserting the two queens in holes near the bottom secure /hang the new cell in place by using some paper clip wire but be carefull to only pierce the wax above the queen cell and not the actual cell ( thus killing any queen inside ) insert it the correct way up .
Now put it all into a neuc box with buffers of drawn  combed frames on the outside and  some capped & open brood on the inner one either side of the frame that hasthe grafted queen cell . add  a feeder crown board along with a cup full of bees plug it with foam sponge for the jquick ourney .. take it at least three mile away  pull the foam , feed the bees some syrup incase the weather turns nasty or very dry and return in a fortnight  . With good fortune you will have a strong neuc box on the go the stronger of the queens will have killed the weaker one and be laying like mad
 
the other way I know is to remove a frame with brood & the queen on it . put it in a neic box with the buffer frames .. leave in place by the host hive for about half an hour as bees will seek the quens pheromones but the nurse bees will stay in the host hive .
 Block the entrance of the nuc with foam .. take it  else where in the apairy or better to another apiary at least 3 miles away and feed the nuc box .. reduce the  opening entrance with a wooden block specially made when you make your neuc box or hives to one bee access only else robbing out will happen .

Check the visual appearance next  apiary visit and open it 5 days after the initial  setting update . The original hive should have started to make queens  remove  all but one queen cell recheck a couple of days later  ( the bes will be touchy being queenless ) and let nature do its best.

 Part of my education /research with bees over the years gave  me this little gem ..... There are some who think that  a colony of bees may well be able to make a new queen from laying females on occasions for after all they say it is just an egg that gets special treatment . There is also said to be reputable evidence of it happening
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 01:30:32 am by Plantoid »
International playboy & liar .
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Queen Cells - help!

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