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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Roxbury, MA
    Posts
    81

    Default Laying worker or just panicking?

    I wrote this whole enormous blog post last night thinking that maybe I have a laying worker and that the queen didn't take:

    http://honeyintherox.wordpress.com/2...-the-question/

    but it's a new package and it was installed three months ago, so if I never had a queen they'd all be dead right now, right? I'd have known... I think I've talked myself into maybe that I'm just panicking. I'm still going to open up the hive on Saturday, take the queen cage out, and probably put some lemongrass oil in the box below to see if I can coax them to build down...but I'd love a little back up. Any thoughts?
    HoneyintheRox.wordpress.com
    1 KTBH / 4 Foundationless Lang / 1 Warre

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    121

    Default Re: Laying worker or just panicking?

    Anymore photos of the combs and brood? the ones on the blog doesn't show enough. One does look like it had capped drone brood.
    And 3 months is too long if you haven't seen any worker brood. My guess is that either it's queenless or your queen is laying infertile eggs. And now possibly laying workers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,285

    Default Re: Laying worker or just panicking?

    You don't have to diagnose the problem to fix it...

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,372

    Default Re: Laying worker or just panicking?

    If your hive is still bustling after three months, you should be fine. A laying worker hive goes down hill really quick and is very noticable, especially if it is a package install. Im no expert, but by looking at the pictures and if it is current, it looks like young bees in some of the photos to me.

    As far as the comment of bees still fanning at the entrance after being established, they always do that during orientation flights to let the other first time fliers know where their hive is!

    As a new beekeeper I strongly suggest going into the hive atleast once a week so you can see whats normal and what is not. You dont have to remove all the frames but maybe even stop at the first frame that you spot eggs or very young larva on. You may even see the queen but locating her is not as important as being able to spot eggs, which takes practice at first.

    Ive only been doing this for a year but because I am nosy I have learned to spot some potential problems, not all of them, but enough to know things are either right or wrong. Suit up more often, get hands on and you will be surprised how much you can learn in a short period of time!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Roxbury, MA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Laying worker or just panicking?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGhost View Post
    As a new beekeeper I strongly suggest going into the hive at least once a week so you can see whats normal and what is not. You dont have to remove all the frames but maybe even stop at the first frame that you spot eggs or very young larva on. You may even see the queen but locating her is not as important as being able to spot eggs, which takes practice at first.

    This is the warre forum - there aren't frames in my hive, and warre's method is intentionally un-interventionist, which is why I chose it. I look into the windows and observe the hive entrance about once a week, but opening the hive up is something that is only done in extreme need...or not at all if you're being a true purist....which I'm definitely not.
    HoneyintheRox.wordpress.com
    1 KTBH / 4 Foundationless Lang / 1 Warre

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Roxbury, MA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Laying worker or just panicking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    You don't have to diagnose the problem to fix it...

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm
    '

    It's my only hive and frameless as it's a warre - so adding a frame of anything is not going to be possible.
    HoneyintheRox.wordpress.com
    1 KTBH / 4 Foundationless Lang / 1 Warre

  7. #7

    Default Re: Laying worker or just panicking?

    Rox, the queen will lay drone eggs around the perimeter of the comb. As many bees as I see in your box pics, don't worry. My first year with a Warre hive, I want to go in all the time. But I did not, I stuck it out and let them bee. It was my third month and they finally started moving down into second box. Hang in there and watch from the front as well as the windows. Funny, my first one had windows too. Now I dont fool with building Warre's with windows at all. I still have my original Warre, it has a salvaged tree colony in it now. I am watching them about every 2 weeks. Good luck and hang in there, resist the urg.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,372

    Default Re: Laying worker or just panicking?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoneyintheRox View Post
    This is the warre forum - there aren't frames in my hive, and warre's method is intentionally un-interventionist, which is why I chose it.
    Oops!! My bad!! I usually just read new posts and dont even pay attention to what forum they are in!!LOL

    I have no experience with Warre hives let alone seen one, so they are new to me!! I run all Langs so I can manipulate frames and learn about the bees and their behavoirs. Maybe you could start a hive using Langs and you could then learn what to look for to see problems just by watching the bees actions at the entrance which might help with your Warre hive keeping.

    Im all for letting bees do their thing, but I also want to learn their habits and be able to be hands on, and of course migratory for different honey flavors, so that is why I chose Langs.

    Take care and I hope all is well with your hive!!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Roxbury, MA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Laying worker or just panicking?

    Quote Originally Posted by chaindrivecharlie View Post
    Rox, the queen will lay drone eggs around the perimeter of the comb. As many bees as I see in your box pics, don't worry. My first year with a Warre hive, I want to go in all the time. But I did not, I stuck it out and let them bee. It was my third month and they finally started moving down into second box. Hang in there and watch from the front as well as the windows. Funny, my first one had windows too. Now I dont fool with building Warre's with windows at all. I still have my original Warre, it has a salvaged tree colony in it now. I am watching them about every 2 weeks. Good luck and hang in there, resist the urg.
    I needed that! I sat on my hands and waited. Everything looks good. There's a bunch of capped honey on the edges and good population. They've already moved down once - when I installed the package I used a quarter box as a weird funnel (which was a bad idea) and they built comb in it and on the bottom of the feeder I have installed...newbee blunders. So I'm hoping it's only a matter of time before they move down again. There seems to be a lot of chatter in this forum about bees not moving down. I'm thinking of nadiring the hive soon hoping that the extra distance will help draw them out a little more....we're almost in month 4 for these girls.
    HoneyintheRox.wordpress.com
    1 KTBH / 4 Foundationless Lang / 1 Warre

  10. #10

    Default Re: Laying worker or just panicking?

    Quote Originally Posted by HoneyintheRox View Post
    I needed that! I sat on my hands and waited. Everything looks good. There's a bunch of capped honey on the edges and good population. They've already moved down once - when I installed the package I used a quarter box as a weird funnel (which was a bad idea) and they built comb in it and on the bottom of the feeder I have installed...newbee blunders. So I'm hoping it's only a matter of time before they move down again. There seems to be a lot of chatter in this forum about bees not moving down. I'm thinking of nadiring the hive soon hoping that the extra distance will help draw them out a little more....we're almost in month 4 for these girls.
    I just did that 2 weeks ago, for the same reason. Thinking it might speed them up a little. I now have 2 Warre's 5 boxs high, and 1 thats 2 boxs high. My swarm I caught absconded on me, funny they left about 10lbs of honey. So I supered it on my package hive. Bees are like a box of chocolates, you never know what your gonna get.
    Last edited by chaindrivecharlie; 07-02-2012 at 12:07 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Ralph Waldo Emerson "To map out a course of action and follow it to the end requires courage". John 3;17

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,285

    Default Re: Laying worker or just panicking?

    >It's my only hive and frameless as it's a warre

    Call it a "comb" then. It's the same principle.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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