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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Post Falls, Idaho

    Default Good hive gone bad with laying worker

    Forgive the length of this post but needs explaining:
    Great hive in June went bad in July. So good I added a third deep to handle incoming nectar and superb laying queen. All of a sudden no queen but tons of bees trying to re-queen themselves. Stood back to let them do that, nothing developed, and soon saw evidence of laying worker. Multiple eggs in cell, spotty pattern of drone cells on frames.

    I then took a strong single deep hive and put it below, did the newspaper combine, and waited a couple of weeks.

    Went in this morning and saw lots more drone cells in same spotty pattern, paper was eaten away between boxes. A little bit of new egg and larvae in bottom two boxes and queen in bottom box. Still lots of bees and packing in nectar in two supers on top of three deeps.

    So I took as many of the frames out that had the most drone cells and very little else figuring they were not adding anything to the hive this time of year. I shook bees off and put them in freezer like I do with drone frames. The remaining frames with drone cells also had capped brood of regular worker bee height and some honey in corners so I left it. Put the hive back together with remaining frames to let them settle down after being viscous by the time I got to the bottom box.

    So now I have two deeps and two supers with mostly capped honey. A queen roaming around, very little worker brood, lots of bees wondering what is the best approach now.

    So, after finding the above evidence, I do not know what to do since cooler weather in around the corner here in No. Idaho. Still don't know if the laying worker is active or resuming her role as a worker. She was the most prolific laying worker I have ever experienced but the newspaper combine has worked well for me in the past when this situation has come up.

    I would appreciate your thoughts on what to do next. I have other single box hives I can combine, I can wait another week or more to see is this queen performs. I am guessing she is the one from the strong hive I combined with.

    I can also distribute this hive amongst other hives to build them up.

    Anyway, your thoughts please. Sorry again for the long winded post.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Wright, MN, USA

    Default Re: Good hive gone bad with laying worker

    As long as there is a queen in there I would just wait and see where things go.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Tucson, Arizona, USA

    Default Re: Good hive gone bad with laying workers

    I believe you meant, "laying workers", because there is rarely, just "one".

    If you can, replace one or two combs with combs of eggs or very young larvae, that should help. Otherwise I hope your queen can complete her mating and begin laying properly. Sometimes laying workers will let that happen, other times, not. Many times I've had a laying workers colony where they had grown themselves a young virgin queen, but before she started laying, she'd just disappear.

    At this time of year, in your area, getting this colony corrected in time for them to successfully Winter, is probably going to be difficult.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Calvert, Md,USA

    Default Re: Good hive gone bad with laying workers

    The crust of the biscuit here, from what I get from your post, is you combined a queen right small hive with a lw hive. IMHO risky business. Depending on circumstances, rarely works. For what ever reason, the lw syndrome seems to be a dominant issue as far as the bees are concerned. Just my experience. Crazy but it is like gang warfare. Any solution needs to be approached from that understanding. There are those among us that have had different experiences with this. Can only advise what has worked for me. IMHO, you still have a lw hive. Do a trap out to combine the lw hive to a queen right hive so you waste no more of their resources. Tough scenario. Search the forum ,,,,,,,lots of info on this


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