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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Worker laying Hive. Is this a beek's worse nightmare?

    Hey Joe, nice! I am hoping that I will be as daring next year. Being in the Northeast I am concerned about weather getting the best of me. I talked with one local beek and his opinion it was too late to have them raise a new queen. I tried this a month ago and this is where I am at now. I am actively searching for some new queens and I will attempt to make a couple nucs. What's the worse that could happen?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Worker laying Hive. Is this a beek's worse nightmare?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    cool cool. see if you can find the video of mike palmer giving a presentation re: overwintering nucs. it's really good and would be relevent to you being in the northeast.
    SP, I found a recent thread where you were dealing with a similar situation. The question I have is I cannot get queens until next Sunday August 5th... Should I wait until Saturday to put the nucs together or should I shake the laying worker hive out now, let them determine there own destiny and then wait for the queens and start the nucs? I have two other hives in the yard with the laying worker hive. I also have two additional hives; one in my backyard and the other at my Mom's house.

    If I shake out do I do this a distance away or right in front of the other hives.

    Sorry for all the questions.

    D-

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: Worker laying Hive. Is this a beek's worse nightmare?

    We had a hive go that route this spring, early april, which is a little early to try raise queens here. I did everything we have read about to try fix the hive. First, we gave it a frame of brood/eggs for 3 weeks in succession. At one point, we did see a cell, but, they never did get queenright. So, mid may, I shook them out a few hundred feet from the hive stand, and re-assembled the hive with yet another frame of brood/eggs. After the shake out, I checked back in a couple weeks. No sign of a laying worker anymore, no cells, and dwindling population.

    In mid june, we were doing an inspection of the hive beside the troublesome one, looking for qeen cells and / or other signs of swarm preps. I pulled up one frame from the center of the brood nest, and there was the queen, walking on the frame. We made a snap decision to try something different, and moved that frame, complete with open brood and a laying queen into the troublesome hive. By that time, the troublesome hive was down to about 2 frames of bees, but still had lots of honey left over from the winter. I put the new frame in, with one frame of honey separating it from the two frames of bees, then walked away. We popped the lid a week later to see what happened, and found 1 and a half frames of open brood in there. That hive is recovering fine now. The donor hive was 2 deeps and 3 mediums at the time, they raised a replacement queen, and she has a brood nest packed with brood again. We have harvested 2 medium supers already, and, the two that are still on it, are in process of being capped. We plan to take them off next weekend.

    This weekend my wife and I did the 'what have we learned this year' exercise with regards to our bees. With a very small hive count, it's tempting to try everything to recover the laying worker hive. In the end, time / effort / resources are better spent elsewhere. We started a couple nucs this summer, intending for them to go over winter, essentially 'spare queens for the spring'. If a full size hive goes into laying worker mode again next spring, we wont spend much / any time trying to recover it. We'll just introduce the nuc, and call it done.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,082

    Default Re: Worker laying Hive. Is this a beek's worse nightmare?

    Quote Originally Posted by dnichols View Post
    Lee, that is exactly what I am thinking about doing. It was suggested that I use this hive to make some nucs. Now I need to find some queens ASAP. ;-)
    Contact Alan at Full Bloom Apiaries for excellent Carniolan queens. Not too far from you.

    Wayne
    Last edited by waynesgarden; 07-30-2012 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Misspelled my own name. Jeez....

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Worker laying Hive. Is this a beek's worse nightmare?

    Thanks Wane,

    I have an email off to him now. It looks like he doesn't pull queens until Sundays. I asked if he could make an exception and allow me to come down earlier. We will see.

    D-

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,774

    Default Re: Worker laying Hive. Is this a beek's worse nightmare?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    ... I'd find a store bought queen or a local beekeeper with an extra queen and requeen it ASAP. ...
    If this is full-blown laying worker colony, then simply sticking in a mated queen will likely result in failure. Personally, I'd had near zero luck introducing a mated queens to a laying worker colonies. You'd have much better luck creating a nuc off your queenright colonies and giving it a new queen. My approach these days is simply shake the bees to the ground about 100 ft away and redistribute the frames to other strong queenright colonies. Make a nuc from your queenright colonies using a purchased queen and latter you can give them more resources as their population dictates.

    A yard full of AFB would be much closer to a beek's worst nightmare

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,747

    Default Re: Worker laying Hive. Is this a beek's worse nightmare?

    Astro bee is right. You can't just requeen laying workers.

    First you need to decide if the hive has enough bees to make it worth while saving. If you are going to try and save it Mr.Bush's method of adding a frame of young brood each week for three weeks absoultly does work. I have done it several times. Once they start making queen cells you can knock down the queen cells and requeen or go ahead and let them make a queen. It just depends on how much time you may have left in the season. It may not take three weeks. Lots of times they will start cells on the second frame.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,929

    Default Re: Worker laying Hive. Is this a beek's worse nightmare?

    d, sounds like you have thoughtfully considered your options, and i agree with what the other posters have said.

    i guess if it were me, and if i had four other strong hives, and i had access to a good queen, i would do the one frame of mostly capped brood per week, (which actually only takes two weeks from the first frame to the third), taking one frame from each of the strongest of the four hives, destroy any queen cells they make, and then introduce a new queen.

    this should suppress the laying workers, and this hive will be good and strong in a month. plus i wouldn't have to worry about buying nuc equipment and getting nucs through the winter.

    ps: mr. bush is michael bush who has an amazing website and books available.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Worker laying Hive. Is this a beek's worse nightmare?

    I went by today and went through the hive in question.

    Good news is that it isn't a laying worker, just an inexperienced queen who has eggs in every open cell in two deep boxes. I would be proud to have a queen which was laying that many eggs... Some developing open brood is present and two supersedure cells about to be capped.

    We didn't spot the queen, but the hive population is pretty good and we did not go through the honey super, and there is no excluder on the hive, so she could have been up in that box.... or we just missed her.

    She has single eggs in more cells than she has doubles and triples in. Did see a few with 5-6 eggs in them, but I think she will come around and the bees will take down those supersedure cells.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: Worker laying Hive. Is this a beek's worse nightmare?

    Thanks again to bluegrass for making the trip up to check out the hive. My anxiety has been lifted! I will keep a close watch on this hive. I have some queens coming at weeks end so I have options. I am still thinking of producing some nucs. Working towards sustainability and I like what Mr. Palmer has been doing! thanks again for everyone's help. This is a great community. I will post a follow up in a couple weeks.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,929

    Default Re: Worker laying Hive. Is this a beek's worse nightmare?

    sigh of relief to you d, and way to step up to the plate bluegrass!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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