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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Darrington, WA, USA
    Posts
    544

    Default Good advice i see isnt always good.

    Well a week ago I finally gave up on a hive when I found laying workers. I have been told and read about just shaking the bees on the ground somewhere away from the original location and let them find a new home. Well... it didnt work. There are 2 hives near the shaken hive's stand. As expected this is where the bees decided to fly to. Both queens were gone and supercedure cells are being drawn 4 days after.

    I also tried shaking a queenless hive in front of another hive a while back Same thing happened.... queen is gone so I newspapered a NUC over them. I havnt checked to see if that worked.

    :S

    JoeMcc
    "Slow Down and Taste the Vanilla" - My Grandma

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    Emergency cells....not supersedure.

    My advice for some time, and after results such as yours, has been to deal with laying worker colonies by combining and then breaking back out after a period of time. I have openly commented on this rubbish, in my opinion, of "shaking" bees, which from my experience just causes additional problems depending on how you do it.

    I think the whole "shake bees" for laying workers should be seriously considered as something hopefully the next author of some bee book would NOT add to the book, which at this point seems nothing more than repeated filler passed from generation to generation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    i agree with bjorn on this one
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    Actually, I have found that it isn't so hard to find the laying worker...it just takes some time.

    What you have to look for is a bee that is sticking its tail into the comb. I have found several this way. Sure it takes a little time, but when all the other bees are sticking their heads in and one is going around sticking its tail in they you can be certain its the laying worker. I have re queened on these hives with no problem. One thing I have heard but haven't experienced is that there may be more then one laying worker in a hive...I personally haven't encountered one of these.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Starkville,Ms,USA
    Posts
    516

    Default

    How long does it usually take you to find one bee which looks almost like all the others and spot it at the exact time it happens to be dipping its abdomen into a cell?
    Last edited by Dr.Wax; 08-03-2008 at 12:02 AM. Reason: beecause

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,869

    Default

    Shaking out a laying worker hive works, but only if you shake it out a long ways away from any existing hives, so that the laying workers will not be able to fly back to your existing good hives. I've shaken them out over 50 feet away with success, and 100 feet or more is better. As far as finding a laying worker, it's almost never just one, many of the workers will be laying.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pasco, Wa.
    Posts
    109

    Default

    I had a laying worker hive, as well. After much research, here, books and M.B.'s site, I first tried requeening, using all the tricks. They still killed her, found her in front of the hive in the morning.

    Next, I combined both hives, seperated by double screen. Let it go like this for a week. Next week, I combined using the newspaper technicque.

    Now, I'm down to one hive, but I have not seen any infighting. Opened up the hive yesterday, found a queen, and open and closed brood (I'm still not good at seeing eggs). Best of all, very few drone brood, where before it was plentiful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Byrdstown, TN Pickett Co USA
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Just out of curiosity, Are the drones from a laying worker capable of breeding now queens? Thanks cdowdy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,587

    Default Requeen With Ripe Cell

    One thing that often works is to give a laying worker colony a ripe queen cell. According to an article from a year or so ago...ABJ I think...about 75% of laying worker colonies will accept a ripe cell. The article compared acceptance rates between Italian and Russian laying worker colonies. There was no difference in acceptance rates.

    In my mating nucs, laying workers are common. If they don't accept the cell on the first round, some will go laying worker. I just give these a cell. On one round this summer...of 6 laying worker mating nucs, 4 accepted the cell and the queen was mated.

    Trying to salvage a laying worker colony is just a waste of time. Time and resources. If they've gone that far, you should give it up...in my opinion. Even if you can correct the problem, what do you have? A weak colony that needs resources given from another colony? I never liked to play the numbers game. Break it up, clean it up, put it away.

  10. #10

    Default

    Its interesting how much folks' experience can differ. I've shaken out countless laying worker hives and haven't had any problems with the remaining hives.
    Go figure.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    Dr. Wax. The last few times it took anywhere from between 20 minutes and an hour to find the laying worker. You can usually eliminate any frames with honey or filled with nectar and concentrate on the brood frames. The first time it was pretty difficult, but the second and third time it was quite easy because the different behavior jumps out at you. She will be the only one not sticking her head into the comb but her tail. I know it sounds like an impossible task, but once you see her activity it really jumps out at you. Oh, once you watch a frame and are sure its just normal bees put the frame with bees and all aside outside the hive and go on to the next frame. It won't hurt the bees and they usually stay on the frames.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Shaking out a laying worker hive works, but only if you shake it out a long ways away from any existing hives, so that the laying workers will not be able to fly back to your existing good hives. I've shaken them out over 50 feet away with success, and 100 feet or more is better. As far as finding a laying worker, it's almost never just one, many of the workers will be laying.
    Laying workers can fly, sometimes. I agree it's usually not just one, which is why I wouldn't bother looking for her.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default

    I never had any luck with shaking them out to get rid of the laying workers. But shaking them out and giving the equipment to other hives has never failed me. Requeening with a ripe queen cell often works. Requeening with a ripe queen cell and a frame of open brood with adhering bees works even more often.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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