Multiple eggs in a cell

Do not assume that seeing many eggs in a cell is a sure sign that there is a laying worker.  At the Association apiary we saw multiple eggs in a few cells where we were waiting for queen to start laying.

When a young queen comes into lay she can lay multiple eggs in a cell, after a few hours she gets the hang of it a procedes to lay normally.  So if you see multiple eggs especially in a hive which has been queenless for some time do not assume that it the eggs are being laid by a worker.  As yourself:

  • Have you seen the queen?  Workers are unlikely to start laying eggs with her around.  Even a drone laying queen will only lay one egg in a cell.  Don’t destroy the queen unless you are sure she is infertile.
  • Are the eggs at the bottom of a normal depth cell?  If so it is probably the queen laying them. Laying workers usually lay eggs on the side walls of the cell.  Come back in a couple of days and check the laying pattern again.

Be patient and wait and see how the cells are capped.  In eight days if you see worker  cappings you will know that all is well.

  • House bees will tidy up the multiple eggs.  No action is needed on your part.