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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dothan,Alabama,USA
    Posts
    3

    Question Laying workers-queenless hive?

    Hello form lower Alabama,
    Michael, I just read what you had on "laying workers" and I think I have the same problem. I only have one hive (three full supers) and found it to be queenless in April. There were two swarm cells that had hatched but I could not find a queen and there were no eggs or brood in the two lower supers. I waited two weeks and rechecked. Still no eggs. I ordered a new queen and it took three weeks to get one. When I went to put the new queen in, I found 80% of the cells with eggs, larva, or capped bees. Some caps appeared flat and others were rounded caps like a drone. There were only single eggs in the cells, but some were on the sides of the cells and some were laid on top of pollen packed cells. I made two complete searches of every frame, but could not find a queen. Usually I can find the queen around frames with fresh eggs. In this case there were fresh eggs in both supers. When first found out I was queenless, I removed the top honey super and extracted all of the honey out of it and out of the top brood super, closing down a three super hive to a two super hive. They cleaned up the top brood super and have since started filling it with honey. Saturday, I swept all of the bees out of the top super into a single super. I then took five frames of brood and honey and five empty frames and put them in an empty super to start a new hive. I carefully checked six frames for a queen and the swept all of the bees off the frame into the new hive. I have blocked it off off and set the new queen cage inside. I plan on keeping them caged for four more days and then setting the new hive in new location and turning them loose. Question of the day: I am I on the right track and is there a chance they will accept the new queen. If so, and I am right about the other hive being queenless, do you think I might be able to order another queen and try re-queening the old hive?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,397

    Default

    i'm betting you have a new queen already, and she just got started laying in the last week or so. New queens take awhile to get lined out, so they may lay two eggs to a cell or other odd ball stuff the first few days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Dothan,Alabama,USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Laying workers

    That is what I thought at first. Several things support that. First, the tone of the hive was quiet. Second, the bees were working the field and bringing in honey. The odd part of this was the number of eggs and larva within in a two week period. If she is there, she is one heck of an egg layer. I also noticed that they had cleaned off both of the used swarm cells and the several superceedence cells that were never used.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Default

    >Some caps appeared flat and others were rounded caps like a drone.

    Flat caps would indicate a laying queen.

    >There were only single eggs in the cells

    Which also indicates a laying queen.

    > but some were on the sides of the cells and some were laid on top of pollen packed cells.

    Which would indicate a laying worker.

    > I made two complete searches of every frame, but could not find a queen.

    Which means nothing as some queens, especially recently mated ones, are quite runny and hide.

    The standard solution is to add a frame of open brood every week for three weeks. By then things will have straightened out somewhat as that's long enough to suppress laying workers and the bees will either start queen cells or the new queen will have taken her rightful place.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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