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Thread: Laying worker

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Perry, Florida, USA
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    Default Laying worker

    Can a hive with a laying worker be used as a cell builder or will they tear them down?

    psisk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Laying worker

    I have put cells in laying worker hives to try to fix them. Sometimes they accept it and sometimes the tear them down. That's just trying to get them to take one cell. The idea of a cell builder is to have bees enthusiastically building queen cells. A laying worker hive will not do that.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    Default Re: Laying worker

    IMHO,,,,Bear in mind that the hive treats the laying worker like she IS a queen. Work with them with that in mind.

  4. #4
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    Perry, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Laying worker

    thanks guys. that was my concern, I will just shake them out and then requeen.

    psisk

  5. #5
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    Default Re: Laying worker

    I get these situations more often than I care to admit. Most of the time my fault. I do not know what resources you have, but here is what I choose to do and it works for me. BTW, there is debate as to whether the laying worker will return to the hive on a shake out. I don't know. If you have a weak hive(s), or you want to make a Nuc with a new queen, then you an get the "good" bees to join that hive leaving the laying worker(s) behind. Basically, it is a trap out. (good experience if you never have done one, but want to do one some time). Put you weak hive or nuc (probably should be a full size), right next to the LW hive. Fashion a cone so one bee out, has to be a cone so the bees can't figure out how to get back in, and that covers the entrance of the LW hive. Be sure no spaces or the bees will find it and you will waste your time till you figure it out. Bees go out, can't get back in. They will go in the nearest hive. Never had any serious fighting. The LW hive will dwindle to nothing. As long as you have no SHB or wax moths, you should be ok. This takes about a couple of weeks. The young bees have to get to foragers. Once the majority of the bees are out, you can dump the rest in front of the hive. The new and improved hive will not tolerate a LW. IMHO,,,Like I said, this works for me. Then, all the resources from the LW hive, go to the new hive. You really haven't lost too much. In fact, many of mine, I end up a little ahead. The resources are coming in but the brood rearing rate is less. More honey and pollen. Don't recommend this as a honey management practice, but for me, it makes the best out of a crummy situation.
    best
    Rick

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Stromness, Scotland
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    124

    Default Re: Laying worker

    If you are desperate to save the colony you can add a frame with eggs every 3 or 4 days. A big colony can have a whole frame of eggs at a time, a smaller one just small batches. The bees will be very pleased to have regular brood again and rear them enthusiastically.

    The pheromones from these eggs will stop the activity of the laying worker eventually and they'll rear an emergency queen after a while.


    If you want to add a queen cell it has to be a sealed one and the upper part has to be protected with tinfoil or something similar, or else the bees can tear it down.

    As the young queen emerges she'll take on the colony scent and should be accepted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Perry, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Laying worker

    I like the trap out idea. I would like to save the hive and I can put a queen cell in it in a few days. I have plenty of hives to get brood from but we are in the middle of gallberry season and this hive is doing well without a queen except for raising a lot of drones.

    psisk

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Laying worker

    That "window" is short term IMHO.

  9. #9
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    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Laying worker

    Took me 3 weeks and 6 frames of eggs/larvae/capped to get rid of the laying worker in one of my hives.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Stromness, Scotland
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    Default Re: Laying worker

    Quote Originally Posted by rwurster View Post
    Took me 3 weeks and 6 frames of eggs/larvae/capped to get rid of the laying worker in one of my hives.
    Ideally you would give them only eggs, not larve and capped brood.

    If you keep adding an empty comb with a marker on top into the broodnest of a strong colony regularly you can keep harvesting combs with only eggs a few days later every time. This egg donation will hardly weaken this colony as it has 'invested' very little into these eggs in terms of feeding.

    What you are doing is make the queen in the good hive lay for both colonies, which she should easily be capable of. Within a three week period you'll have created a new generation of bees in your queenless hive which will give it a good start once their new queen is laying.

    You are using up the older bees for rearing some brood while they still can, if you don't do that you soon end up with some very grumpy bees with a very toxic sting: my most painful experiences with beestings were with ancient bees from laying worker hives. And shaking out the colony in the grass didn't recycle those bees either, when these bees tried to run into another colony every single one of them was stung to death at the entrance of the receiving colony.

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