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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Laying worker hive when too late to requeen

    I have a five frame nuc with bees covering 4 frames, but it has laying workers. I feel like it's too late in the year to try to get them to raise a new queen. I hate to let them die. What should I do with the bees? Can I combine with other hives? Maybe a frame to each of 4 or 5 strong hives? Add a frame to strengthen other nucs? Could I shake the bees out away from the nuc and not set the nuc back up so they have to go into other nucs?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Laying worker hive when too late to requeen

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    Could I shake the bees out away from the nuc and not set the nuc back up so they have to go into other nucs?
    You've been at it longer than I have, but that's what I would do. Distribute the frames around the beeyard as needed and be done with it.

    Honestly, I would probably fight with the hive for weeks to make it queenright, mostly because I'm stubborn, but in the end your option is much better.
    Try it. What could happen?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Laying worker hive when too late to requeen

    As was mentioned, I'd shake the bees off the combs, out of the box. Then place the beeless combs where it appears they will be most useful. If any of the combs have drone brood in worker comb, just put them in the freezer, overnight, then thaw them and place, as above. Once the bees clean out the dead brood, a properly queenright hive will restore the comb to worker comb.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,284

    Default Re: Laying worker hive when too late to requeen

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    I have a five frame nuc with bees covering 4 frames, but it has laying workers. I feel like it's too late in the year to try to get them to raise a new queen. I hate to let them die. What should I do with the bees? Can I combine with other hives? Maybe a frame to each of 4 or 5 strong hives? Add a frame to strengthen other nucs? Could I shake the bees out away from the nuc and not set the nuc back up so they have to go into other nucs?
    I'd combine all of them w/ another colony. I wouldn't try to distribute frames amongst a number of other hives.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Re: Laying worker hive when too late to requeen

    I would shake them out at least 100 yards from their location, I would then place the nuc back in its original location. and allow the foragers to return. at which point I would do a combine. In that way you will be sure not to have any battles.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Laying worker hive when too late to requeen

    One thing for sure is, everyone has an opinion, and mine isn't worth much. However, what I did twice with queenless nucs this summer worked great for me. I put each nuc on a weak queenright hive with a double screen board between them and left them that way, for 10 days or so, then I pulled the screen board and combined them. That ended the worker laying problem. Then in a couple of weeks I split them again and added a queen cell, and all was happy ever after. I know you wouldn't want to re-split the bees this late in the year, but I think this would work for stopping the laying worker and strengthen one of your weak hives also.

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