Laying Worker Bee

A laying worker is a worker bee that lays unfertilized eggs in the absence of a queen. Only drones (male bees) develop from the eggs of a laying worker because drones only have one set of chromosomes from the mother.

This is one sign that you have a laying worker in your hive and that the hive is queenless. You can see multiple eggs in a single cell.

This particular hive we knew was queenless because we were trying to let the hive rear a new queen, but they were unsuccessful.  We bought a queen and introduced her to the hive. All is well now.


Another queen is seen, plus a drone that attempted to mate

After seeing the damaged queen, we were waiting for the hive to get another new queen.  And it did!  Here she is:

We also came across a very interesting dead drone bee that had attempted to mate.  Drones are the male bees and their main purpose in life is to mate with the queen.

A drone dies immediately after mating, that is because their sex organs errupt from their body.  This particular drone in the pictures above looks a bit immature.  The sex organs do not look fully developed.  I found this out by looking at this PDF from the entomology department at UC Davis.

In other good news, we have plenty of honey! Looks like next weekend we might be able to extract some. Check back because I will have lots of pictures to post about the extraction process.