Re: Laying worker hive..I thought that I did everything right.
The straight up answer is that doing a shakeout then introducing a laying queen, by whatever type of cage, has a pretty low probability to work. Although a push in would have better chance than other types but still slim. If you consider the cost of the queen expendable you could try it but don't get your hopes too high.
With winter approaching, as I see it you have two main options. first, let them die & restock next spring. Or secondly, purchase a nuc. Set the nuc up right next to the lw hive and leave for a few days for them to settle. Then move the lw hive a few yards away so some of the bees will start drifting to the nuc. Then maybe a week later move the lw hive at least 20 yards away & each day shake a few of them out so they will drift to the nuc.
The theory is, to only have smallish numbers of bees added to the nuc each few days so there are always enough good bees to protect the queen should a lw show up.
Eventually, transfer all honey etc from the lw hive to the nuc, which should now be a decently sized hive and ready to be set up for winter.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).