Queenless hive and nuc combine
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Montpelier, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    24

    Question Queenless hive and nuc combine

    Hi All,
    Here is my situation. I have a queen-less hive with a strong laying worker (meaning lots of drone brood in full patterns) that has lots of bees, yes drones, but plenty of strong Russian workers too.
    I have a nuc that has a really good queen in it but only two frames of brood and is just getting going. Good genes, good brood queen, beautiful brood, but few bees. This queen-right hive is right next to the Laying worker hive. My plan is to take the laying worker hive 100 feet away, move the queen-right hive into the spot where the laying worker hive was and then go empty out the laying worker hive down the hill from the apiary. My thinking is that most of the workers will fly back to their former location, find the now queen-right hive and join it relatively seamlessly.
    Opinions on the plan?
    Thank you.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,486

    Default Re: Queenless hive and nuc combine

    Should work, I've done it with good results.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    5,400

    Default Re: Queenless hive and nuc combine

    The theory behind shaking our a laying worker hive is the laying worker is a nurse bee who has not been outside the hive and thus has never oriented to the hive, This is not always the case, However one thing is for sure, only those bees that have bee orientated to the hive location prior to the shake out will return, Providing that they are not shaken out in a proximity so close that they can find it in a desperation search. A laying worker hive is always problematic, Once they become so confirmed that they have an admirable pattern it is hard to bring it around. and the last thing you want to do is have a laying worker hive hill your good queen. Your plan sounds good as drones do not defend the hive. Be sure to shake them out far away and Hope like heck

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,604

    Default Re: Queenless hive and nuc combine

    I've done shake outs just as you described and it's worked out well. If the hives are right next to each other you may not have to move the queen right hive. The returning workers will find it and join in.
    To everything there is a season....

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Montpelier, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Queenless hive and nuc combine

    Hi All,
    Thanks for the confirmation.
    Very helpful.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,942

    Default Re: Queenless hive and nuc combine

    >Here is my situation. I have a queen-less hive with a strong laying worker (meaning lots of drone brood in full patterns)

    First, any "laying worker hive" has thousands of laying workers. Second, I've never seen a full pattern of drone brood with laying workers. I have seen it with drone laying queens. Laying worker hives have ONLY drones, not just lots of drones.

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

    > that has lots of bees, yes drones, but plenty of strong Russian workers too.
    I have a nuc that has a really good queen in it but only two frames of brood and is just getting going. Good genes, good brood queen, beautiful brood, but few bees. This queen-right hive is right next to the Laying worker hive. My plan is to take the laying worker hive 100 feet away, move the queen-right hive into the spot where the laying worker hive was and then go empty out the laying worker hive down the hill from the apiary.

    In my experience (assuming it IS a laying worker hive) this results in the queen being balled and killed by the laying workers who return home angry and thinking they are in charge because it's their home. If you remove all the equipment from the laying worker site and shake them out, they have to beg entrance to other hives that they KNOW are not theirs. This has worked.

    >My thinking is that most of the workers will fly back to their former location, find the now queen-right hive and join it relatively seamlessly.

    Not in my experience.

    >Opinions on the plan?

    I think you have a drone laying queen in the "laying worker" hive. I think if it is laying workers they will kill the queen when they return. I think if it's drone laying queen, it might work as the drone laying queen probably won't find her way back and the bees returning, while they might ball the queen for a while, will most likely not kill her.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,740

    Default Re: Queenless hive and nuc combine

    There is always the slow way. Pull one frame of bees/ brood light shake and add to the nuc. Give them a few days to change loyalties and add another. Repeat till the nuc is the strong hive.

    Shake off all the brood frames and put above excluder, if you do not screen out a queen then it is LWs.

    Transfer a nuc frame back to the larger hive and see if they start supercedure cells.
    It is hard to design a safety net that some will not use as a hammock.

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