Reply To: DRONE LAYING QUEEN

#4139
David Jones
Participant

Hi Judy.  If you are absolutely certain that you have got a queen and that the queen is only laying drone brood, the only thing you can do is find and remove her, and then either acquire a replacement queen to requeen the colony, or combine the bees (having removed the queen!) with another queen-right colony, to boost numbers for the summer honey flow.  Or, if you are patient, move a frame of eggs from another colony into the hive and wait for them to produce a new queen

Drone brood can be (and more often is) the result of the colony being queenless and one or more of the workers developing the ability to lay eggs in her absence.  However workers, being unmated, can only lay drone eggs.  Usually, you can distinguish between drone-laying queen and drone-laying workers (DLW) by looking at freshly laid eggs – unlike the familiar single eggs in the bottom of the cell, DLWs frequently lay multiple eggs per cell and deposit them on the sides of the cell (because they can’t reach the bottom!)

It is considered very difficult to recover a colony with DLWs.  The usual advice is to completely remove the hive and shake out the bees 20 metres or so from other hives.  Workers that are not drone-laying will generally, and eventually, be able to beg their way into another colony.  Individual DLWs will not be permitted entry

I hope that helps – no-one else replied, so I put what I know.  Hopefully, someone might confirm or add to it

David