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General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #14062  by Ewen
 17 Sep 2023, 17:34
One of my colonies queen has been gone for a while I think,as my bees started to lay eggs.I wonder if it’s to late to do a split from my other hive and merge with this bee laying colony once queen has emerged?What are your thoughts?
 #14063  by JoJo36
 17 Sep 2023, 18:09
Hi Ewen
How do you know its the worker bees laying eggs not the queen hiding from you (like one of mine has frequently)??!!
Are the sealed cells all drone capping's or normal biscuit looking worker capping's, if the later then your queen is still there somewhere!
If you definitely have a drone layer you could shake them out in front of your other hives, so the bees don't get wasted and will boost your other colonies in winter?!
I think it's a bit late for a queen to get mated now especially with the change of weather but I could be wrong here?!
Maybe if you have strong colonies in the spring, then that would be a good time to do a split and create another colony?!
 #14064  by Ewen
 17 Sep 2023, 18:33
The egg laying pattern are on upper side of the frame with multiple eggs in one cell, even in the inside wall of the cell and bottom.
 #14065  by Ewen
 17 Sep 2023, 18:42
I’ll check them out again tomorrow and take some pics. I’ve only noticed by chance today that the activity on this particular hive was not as plentiful as my other ones .I went without the smoker today cause I went only to top up
on their syrup and have attacked me this lot, once opened the lid,got stung and all through veil.
 #14066  by JoJo36
 17 Sep 2023, 18:59
It does sound like a drone layer or laying worker bee??!!
Also, the fact that they are nasty may indicate that you have no queen!
I Think I would just shake them out and let them make new homes in your other colonies but maybe wait to hear what advice others give and decide on the best one for you??!!
 #14068  by Alfred
 18 Sep 2023, 17:24
Apart from the aggression a supercedure queen might still be figuring out the job

But it sounds like they could well be queenless and left long enough the workers can start laying but can only produce drones.
Once this happens they may not take kindly to any new queen they encounter.
Either way they are doomed.
Shake them out for the other hives and start afresh next season.
Better to take your losses now .
 #14069  by Ewen
 18 Sep 2023, 20:18
Thank you all for your advice.
 #14073  by AdamD
 19 Sep 2023, 20:46
Multiple eggs in a cell usually indicates laying workers.
Do you know how long there hasn't been a queen or any signs of worker brood? Are the bees allowing brood to develop or do the multiple eggs get removed before they develop? (A good sign that they are drone as a weak colony in September will not want to produce drones).
Is there one or more open queencells present (might look old by now?).

Laying workers usually lay eggs in splodges in various places on the combs rather than in a central sphere in the middle of the brood nest as you would expect of a queen.
If laying workers, there is no point in trying to recusitate the colony even in summer by the addition of brood or a queen and at this time of year it will be even more fruitless.
To combine it directly with another colony can be dangerous to the queen in the good colony. However if your colony does have laying workers and it is near another one, then if you move the LW colony to the other side of the good one, the flying bees will return to their old site and not finding a hive, will find the queenright one and boost it's numbers.
Depending on the weather, you might then shake out the LW colony a few metres away and more flyers will find a queenright colony. (Do a final check for a queen first, perhaps). Some bees won't make it of course.
Provided there is no concern about disease, the good comb can be kept.