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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    510

    Default safe procedure for shaking out 2 hives

    I have 2 hives that are queenless. I see 10 -20 open larvae in each of last three inspections. I have come to think that shaking out these two is better than any thing I can think of. I put a frame of eggs in one of them about three weeks ago & nothing.

    Question; What to look for as far as finding a laying worker?

    What happens if a laying worker ends up in a hive w/a good queen?

    I plan to shake hives out a couple hours before dark a hundred yards from original site near other hives expecting that they will ingratiate themselves with hives @ original site.

    Will these workers bolster the colonies that they try to move in or cause trouble?

    I would paper combine to make use of the workers if I knew that the laying worker would not have a detrimental affect on the new hive. not liking that potential.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,919

    Default Re: safe procedure for shaking out 2 hives

    From my experiences with this It seems that the laying workers have never oriented so if you put a new hive in the old location they won't find there way to it. If they do try to enter a queen right hive they will be seen as a foreign queen, and the workers will kill them.

    The foragers won't cause trouble under any kind of normal situation - unless their numbers overwhelm a small hive. For example don't shake out a big hive and put a mating nuc in it's spot - I've tried it and it doesn't work out. Better to completely remove their hive setup so that they disperse into strong hives. You don't really even have to go too far away to do the deed - 50 feet is plenty.

    At this time of year I shake out hives at the first sign of a queen issue and use the resources to boost nucs that I started in May. Way better than messing around and letting hive beetles ruin your comb.
    since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: safe procedure for shaking out 2 hives

    Thanks Dave.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,697

    Default Re: safe procedure for shaking out 2 hives

    If it were me, I'd put a moderate sized hive in their place before shaking them out, they will boost those hives like you are thinking. You can't really spot 'the' laying worker, there are usually multiple laying workers once it gets to that point. All brood will be drones, and you typically find cells with more than 3-4 eggs and they lay everywhere, on pollen, queen cups etc... There is risk losing a laying queen with either method, but making them beg into a hive is probably safer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,445

    Default Re: safe procedure for shaking out 2 hives

    >Question; What to look for as far as finding a laying worker?

    You don't have "a" laying worker. You have thousands of laying workers.

    >What happens if a laying worker ends up in a hive w/a good queen?

    Usually absolutely nothing.

    >I plan to shake hives out a couple hours before dark a hundred yards from original site near other hives expecting that they will ingratiate themselves with hives @ original site.

    That's what I would do.

    >Will these workers bolster the colonies that they try to move in or cause trouble?

    They are poor, humble, homeless bees. They usually cause no trouble.

    >I would paper combine to make use of the workers if I knew that the laying worker would not have a detrimental affect on the new hive. not liking that potential.

    In a paper combine they are not poor, humble homeless bees begging to be let in. They are bees who found some other bees in their house...

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,919

    Default Re: safe procedure for shaking out 2 hives

    Another option is to put the old hive setup back where it was - but completely empty. No frames, no comb, nothing. The foragers will initially go back, but with nothing to stay for they will quickly drift to other hives over several days instead of all at once.
    since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,445

    Default Re: safe procedure for shaking out 2 hives

    >Another option...

    I never tried that, but that is an interesting and appealing solution. I may try that sometime.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,278

    Default Re: safe procedure for shaking out 2 hives

    another option,

    a couple of days ago i discovered a hive that had a non-laying queen that was worthy of shaking out. the only brood i found was three queen cells with jelly that were most likely started with unfertilized eggs anyway. there no eggs and no signs of laying workers. i pinched the queen and added her to my queen juice bottle.

    this hive had a couple of honey supers on with mostly capped honey that was getting close to being harvestable, so i shook the bees out of those and gave them to queenright colonies to finish.

    i started some nucs in june that were moved from five frame boxes to ten frame boxes a couple of weeks ago but haven't filled them yet. i wanted to newspaper combine one of these nucs with the queenless colony but i was concerned that heat and humidity are too high now and the box above the paper would get overheated.

    what i did instead was bring a nuc home at sunset yesterday, set in on the spot were the queenless hive was, and screened its entrance down to a one bee opening. i then set the queenless hive right on top of the queenright one.

    what i see happening today is the drifting of the queenless bees down into the queenright nuc with minimal fighting. i'll give this a day or two and then shake out the rest from the queenless hive. i'll then use those ten frames of comb to replace frames of foundation in this nuc and my other nucs.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,445

    Default Re: safe procedure for shaking out 2 hives

    I just thought of something that I've never tried before... when you find a laying worker hive or drone laying queen hive with queen cells, maybe the thing to do is just graft some larvae from a queenright hive into the cells... it wouldn't be too hard if you kept a Chinese grafting tool in your pocket or eve whittled a small twig into a grafting tool... maybe I'll try that one of these days.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: safe procedure for shaking out 2 hives

    'thousands of laying workers'???
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,445

    Default Re: safe procedure for shaking out 2 hives

    >'thousands of laying workers'???

    See page 9 of "The Wisdom of the Hive"

    "Although worker honey bees cannot mate, they do possess ovaries and can produce viable eggs; hence they do have the potential to have male offspring (in bees and other Hymenoptera, fertilized eggs produce females while unfertilized eggs produce males). It is now clear, however, that this potential is exceedingly rarely realized as long as a colony contains a queen (in queenless colonies, workers eventually lay large numbers of male eggs; see the review in Page and Erickson 1988). One supporting piece of evidence comes from studies of worker ovary development in queenright colonies, which have consistently revealed extremely low levels of development. All studies to date report far fewer than 1 % of workers have ovaries developed sufficiently to lay eggs (reviewed in Ratnieks 1993; see also Visscher 1995a). For example, Ratnieks dissected 10,634 worker bees from 21 colonies and found that only 7 had moderately developed egg (half the size of a completed egg) and that just one had a fully developed egg in her body."

    If you do the math, in a normal booming queenright hive of 100,000 bees that's 70 laying workers. In a laying worker hive it's much higher. You can see the progression as they go from scattered drone larvae but no multiple eggs (because the egg police are keeping up) to multiple eggs eventually. So the egg police reach the point they can't keep up. If a normal queenright colony has 60 or so laying workers, what does a laying worker colony have?

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

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