i know there was a small thread on this near the bottom of the page, but wanted answers specific to my question (i know, selfish of me, isn't it?).
i had a hive that had swarmed earlier this year, and i thought it had a virgin queen. i was waiting for her to mate and begin laying, but when i opened it up today, i found that it has a laying worker. after coming home and reading up, i think i did the wrong thing and am hoping for some reassurance.
i divided the hive (2 stories) and gave one story to each of 2 single story hives, with perforated paper inbetween, the tops propped open so bees on top could come and go.
is this going to work or did i make a big mistake?
how long do i leave them like this before returning to close the tops and remove (what's left of) the paper?
I would have closed the top, but it probably doesn't matter. There will not be anything left of the paper to remove. Don't worry about it. I assume you are saying you put two halves of the laying worker hive on two queen right hives? I think it will work out fine. Some times it doesn't and the laying worker continues, but more than likely this method will insure acceptance of the queen from the queenright hive and the laying worker will be supressed by the pheromones from the queen. If you continue to have multiple eggs layed in worker cells, you can try the shakedown method, but I think it will work out fine.
yes, i placed the two halves on queenright hives. thank-you for the reassurance. i think it will work out. i didn't have the problem with multiple eggs to a cell so much as just very spotty laying of drone brood only. i will close the tops up tomorrow.
one more question: there seemed to be several instances of dead larvae/bees in cells. i wondered if this was just because there are no new workers to clean up & properly care for the brood? it didn't look like any disease that i am aware of.
There are always a few dead larvae being cleaned up. If they look mostly white or a little grey I don't worry. If they are nasty looking then you might have some other problems.
There will always be some laying worker colonies to deal with after swarming.They are a real pain in the ...I agree with Michael,what you did is probably OK.The queeenright colony will most likely deal with the laying workers.Its common to find sickly drone brood in the laying worker hives.It too will get cleaned out.The worst mistake people make is trying to introduce a new queen in a cage to the laying workers.I have given them old queens as an experiment so it will sometimes work,but the odds are against it.
I've had the laying worker hive kill the queen being introduced in a cage several times. Once in a while I've had it succeed if I was patient enough to leave the queen in the cage for several days before pulling the cork on the candy end and putting a hole in the candy. I wait until I see some attendants and no bees trying to interfere.
I haven't had the acceptance problem when combining with a queenright nuc or hive. But I have heard of people having a problem with it. From my experience, I think it's the most likely method to succeed at getting them queenright again.
But then maybe I've just been lucky.
thanks everyone! i'm glad to hear that i made a good decision. i hadn't a clue what to do, but figured it might work. thanks again!