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  1. #1
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    Sep 2009
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    Default Laying worker hive

    Looked at some of my nucs today and one of them appears to be a laying worker nuc.

    Can I just newspapper combine it to a hive?

    How long will they usually last if you do nothing to them?
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  2. #2
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    They can last several months slowly dwindling away. But sooner you deal with it the better. Long as it's laying workers not a drone laying queen you can combine with a hive simple enough just put it straight on top of the hive. I usually put a queen excluder between them for two or three weeks then remove it & rearrange the hive.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    Why the queen excluder oldtimer?
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  4. #4
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    Dec 2012
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    Polk Co, Oregon, USA
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    What would happen if you shook them into a screen box with some food and water. Then put them in the dark for a couple days with a caged queen and attendent bees on top of the screened box, also fed and watered of course. After a week or so, put them back in the hive. Just a thought from a novice.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    Why the queen excluder oldtimer?
    To stop the good queen accidentally wandering into a bunch of unfriendly bees, before they are used to each other.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
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    965

    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post


    Can I just newspapper combine it to a hive?
    Yes.

    Oldtimer's way works too.

    You'll probably have less fighting with the newspaper combine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    You could give them a queen cell.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2010
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    1,701

    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    Curious, what is the success rate doing a newspaper combine on a LW hive ?
    MOTJ3,,,,One has to consider that the bees treat a LW like a Queen and react accordingly.( the bees view is they have a queen even though we know they do not . One way to fix the LW is with open brood. My preference is to do a trap out.
    Rick

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
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    287

    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    Most of the bees in a laying worker hive are near the end of there lives. Depending on how many bees you're talking about you could take the hive away 100 feet or so and shake the bees on the ground and pack up your hive or use the equipment somewhere else. The bees with developed ovaries are not supposed to be able to fly and the others will drift into other hives in the apiary. If you want to replace this hive I would start fresh with new brood and resources instead of putting energy into a hive with old workers that may not accept a new queen.
    another way to think about it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    I was in some of my hives yesterday and saw a small amount of capped drones. If I put a frame of eggs in with the laying worker would they go ahead and draw out a queen cell. Also if I don't have many drones flying yet would the drones from the laying worker hive work for mating.

    MP I don't have any queen cells.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    The drones from the laying workers are stunted as they are raised in worker cells. However they do have sperm and in theory can mate. But if they are the only drones in your area, I would say your chances of getting a successful mating at this time would be pretty much zilch.

    The bees may or may not make queen cells. Laying workers make the rest of the bees think they have a queen so they don't usually feel the need to build queen cells, but, sometimes they do.

    However if you give them young brood, the brood pheremones suppress the laying workers and the bees then realise they are queenless and will build queen cells or can be requeened. But it takes a week or two for the laying workers to be suppressed, so you give them young brood once a week until they build queen cells, which is normally a week or two after you gave them the first frame of brood.

    But as per Papar, the by the time the hive has laying workers, the bee population is ageing and will slowly dwindle. The time involved in getting them to build queen cells then hoping one will mate successfully and start laying, plus another 3 weeks before the first brood to result emerges as adults, can mean that even if it all works there may be little left of your hive by the time it's all come together. Resources wise, you will generally make better use of the bees by one way or another, getting them into a queenright colony.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #12
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    Sep 2009
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    Thanks again oldtimer and papar.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm

    It's a tough time of year for them to be rearing a queen and getting her mated... I'd probably shake them out on the ground on a warm day and put the frames away somewhere.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
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    Sep 2009
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    I put a frame of open brood in and got lucky. I checked the hive last Sunday and had a new queen.

  15. #15
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    Did you check the hive you took the brood from to make sure it still has a queen? Been there done that LOL!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #16
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    Sep 2009
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    Default Re: Laying worker hive

    Yeah she was marked.
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