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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Pepperell, MA, USA
    Posts
    37

    Default laying worker / hive destined for failure...one possible fix.

    So I seem to have a laying worker in my TBH. I've heard the advice to give them a frame of brood but I'm having a very difficult time locating any locally (and kind of concerned about accepting brood (tho I've not found any) from beekeepers I don't know).

    (This is my only TBH, and my first time as a beekeeper).

    I'm reading that buying and introducing a new queen is not the way to go as they will most-likely reject her.

    I have no other hives that I can use the "shake out" technique so they reintegrate into other hives.

    Feeling at a loss and destined for failure.

    I was browsing and found a technique that I wonder if anyone has heard of, or thinks might be successful. I'd love some feedback.
    *
    Carry the hive about 20 or 30 meters away from its place and brush all of the bees out onto the ground. Take the empty equipment and frames back to their spot and set them up again. The laying worker(s) cannot fly and will not be able to get back to the hive. The rest of the bees will return to the hive and then you can try to:

    1. introduce a new queen or capped queen cell
    2. unite it with a queen right hive
    3. give the colony a frame of eggs and larva so bees can raise a new queen.*

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: laying worker / hive destined for failure...one possible fix.

    it is a system that works, I have done it... you loose a lot of nurse bees also though. there is another thing called a laying worker eliminator... basicly a cage for your queen(you could make one) the idea is that a few days to a week or two with real queen phermones will stop the laying worker.... never tried it but it used to be the method....

    I would do what you have outlined....
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 06-14-2009 at 09:01 PM. Reason: Unnecessary quoting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,030

    Default Re: laying worker / hive destined for failure...one possible fix.

    Whatever other gyrations you perform to address the laying workers, only a queen will allow the colony to survive now. It sounds like the manner of queenrighting isn't really your problem as much as finding a potential queen! I've had a couple laying worker colonies that were easily united (and incorporated) by a regular newspaper combine.

    At this point take some help from whomever you can find! Your colony has zero chance of surviving currently. Brood diseases aren't likely to take down your colony from one comb; if the beek is responsible and the colony looks healthy what do you have to lose? Just find a beek whose management style is OK with you before putting his comb in your colony. I think the vast majority of beekeepers run healthy colonies and you'd be fine with borrowed brood. Maybe you'll meet a mentor. If you're really worried about the comb let the colony start a queen on it and then replace the questionable comb. It takes time (not to mention $$ for a rush mailorder) to order a queen, and as you say they may still reject her. If I had access to a beek I'd try to buy a whole nuc from the guy/gal (certainly brood if not!). If the laying workers are advanced, they may not accept a sudden queen cell or even sometimes brood (but then they might too). Combine with a queenright nuc and you'll have a good chance of a queenright colony IMO. Plus dragging colonies around and shaking bees out seems like a LOT of work .
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: laying worker / hive destined for failure...one possible fix.

    Do you have a Langstroth hive, or have a friend who would let you have a frame of brood every week for 2 or 3 weeks?

    Cut a chunk of brood and comb out of the Langstroth frame, and rubberband/tie it onto your TBH bar.

    It may not be pretty, but it will be a functional way to give them a frame of brood every week.

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