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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Lincoln County, Maine, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Weak hive, laying worker(s), with queen - What to do?

    I have a hive started this spring from a locally wintered nuc that is drawing comb and building up quite slowly--at least a box behind another such hive, with only a small amount of brood and far fewer bees. It has two or three eggs in many cells and a high proportion of drones, but there is definitely a queen (the same marked queen that came with the nuc). The nuc was built on foundation, but the frames I have added have been foundationless.

    Is it possible to have an unpoliced laying-worker hive with a queen? Does that suggest the queen is weak? If so, is it worth trying to requeen? Or should I introduce some brood from another hive to provide pheromones to bring the laying workers under control? Other ideas?

    Many thanks,
    mainubeek

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,941

    Default Re: Weak hive, laying worker(s), with queen - What to do?

    you may have a drone-laying queen. i would consider adding a frame with eggs and see if they make queen cells on it. also, contact the supplier of your nucs and explain what is happening, they might replace that bad queen.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #3

    Default Re: Weak hive, laying worker(s), with queen - What to do?

    Shake the bees out and put the boxes on the other hive.Bees will find the way to join the other hive, drone layer wont.
    "Do nothing. Time is too precious to waste." Buddha

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Weak hive, laying worker(s), with queen - What to do?

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Lincoln County, Maine, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Weak hive, laying worker(s), with queen - What to do?

    That was my diagnosis, too, even though the old queen is still there. Glad to have it confirmed.

    If I put in a frame of brood rather than requeening, should I destroy the old queen first?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Weak hive, laying worker(s), with queen - What to do?

    Could be a drone laying queen as well. In theory, since it is open worker brood that suppresses laying workers, you might get laying worker issues with a drone laying queen, eventually. I would give them a frame of open brood and dispose of the old queen. Then repeat the frame of open brood every week until you have queen cells.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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