I just read this fascinating post from Ron Miksha and I need to share it with you. Bees never stop to amaze me.
Just a few lines from Ron’s post, to whet your appetite:
“Workers that begin to lay eggs are probably more common than we realize. Even in normal, queen-right colonies, the many workers lay eggs. According to Jay and Nelson, 1973, ovary development in worker bees is least common in (1) queen-right colonies with brood, but increases in occurrence in (2) queen-right colonies without brood, in (3) a colony which has some laying workers and no brood, while the development of ovaries in workers is almost a sure bet in (4) a colony with no brood and no queen. Obviously, to avoid laying workers, keep a queen and brood in your hive.“