Steve Butterfield

Drone laying queen

Monday, 5 August 2019 16:05

Drone laying queen - I have one colony in one of my apiaries where the queen has turned into a drone layer. she was a new queen earlier this year, but was probably not mated correctly. For seeeral weeks I’ve been trying to find her -without success. There are no eggs present but some larvae (uncapped) whihc suggests that something has happened during the last week.

Today I took some drastic action and shook all the bees out of the hive onto the grass about 3m away from the hive in the hope that the drone layer will not find her way back. I then gave the colony a frame of capped brood and with eggs from the adjacent colony. I will now leave them for a week and see whether they will produce a queen cell (or more than one) and ultimately a new queen.

I’m a little concerned that it is getting late in the season to get the queen mated. Fingers crossed. I’m going to leave it to the bees to sort it out.