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.

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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.  http://entomology.ucdavis.edu/courses/beeclasses/drone.pdf

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.