Laying workers 10 days after install??
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Cincinnati , ohio
    Posts
    10

    Default Laying workers 10 days after install??

    I could use some guidance from a more experienced beekeeper. I am in my 3rd year but have a problem I don't know how to solve. I installed a new package into a nuc 10 days ago. 2-3 frames of the nuc were already drawn out and may have had a little honey/pollen on them. On inspection today, I already found several supercedure cells. In fact, there is already one capped queen cell! I was amazed they could do this so fast. The worst part is I found cells on the outer frames with 5-6 eggs in them, so I am guessing I also have laying workers. I did not take the time to try to find the queen, but I did leave the queen cells intact. So how do I deal with this?

    1. Is there any chance they would try to raise a unfertilized egg to a queen and thus I have a drone in my queen cell?
    2. I see a procedure to rid the hive of laying workers it to take the hive a few hundred feet away and shake off all the nurse bees and then put the hive back so they can't find their way back. This seems like it may not work with a newly installed package in a nuc, as I would likely lose most of the hive this way, not leaving enough to be viable. Nights are still cold here in Cincinnati.
    3. I have also read that when the new queen emerges, the laying workers will kill her vs. accept her.

    So any ideas on saving this hive and the $109 I just spent on the package? The intent was for this to be my utility hive, thus the nuc

    thanks,
    jeff

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    washington, vermont, USA
    Posts
    374

    Default Re: Laying workers 10 days after install??

    Contact the package supplier immediately and tell him the queen is bunk. Try putting in a couple frames of open brood in if you have them then maybe try a new queen. Put her in on a frame of emerging brood under a small push-in cage. Weird it would happen that fast I'm sure someone else can chime in with more knowledge about this.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,481

    Default Re: Laying workers 10 days after install??

    Packages can be weird.
    The only way you have LW is if you received a major shake of LW bees. Very unlikely. Multiple eggs are a new queen without enough space or experience. Do the bottom or side egg test.
    Most likely it will fix itself by itself. What can you do? Depends on what you have. You have a few more days to see if they tear it down, though peaking can make them unsettled.
    Probably the package had more than enough non related drones with it to mate a new queen if you go that route.
    Safest ; Add drawn comb.
    Move the queen with her bees/comb to a new split using another hive's frame to hold her if possible.
    Riskiest; remove the QC without more brood available.
    Last edited by Saltybee; 04-09-2017 at 11:27 AM.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Laying workers 10 days after install??

    I don't believe the bees would be building a queen cell if the hive was laying worker. Sounds to me like they are superseding the package queen which I understand is not uncommon. I'm third year so I could be wrong. New queens lay several eggs per cell at first.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bay City, MI 48706
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Laying workers 10 days after install??

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffholland View Post
    I could use some guidance from a more experienced beekeeper. I am in my 3rd year but have a problem I don't know how to solve. I installed a new package into a nuc 10 days ago. 2-3 frames of the nuc were already drawn out and may have had a little honey/pollen on them. On inspection today, I already found several supercedure cells. In fact, there is already one capped queen cell! I was amazed they could do this so fast. The worst part is I found cells on the outer frames with 5-6 eggs in them, so I am guessing I also have laying workers. I did not take the time to try to find the queen, but I did leave the queen cells intact. So how do I deal with this?

    1. Is there any chance they would try to raise a unfertilized egg to a queen and thus I have a drone in my queen cell?
    2. I see a procedure to rid the hive of laying workers it to take the hive a few hundred feet away and shake off all the nurse bees and then put the hive back so they can't find their way back. This seems like it may not work with a newly installed package in a nuc, as I would likely lose most of the hive this way, not leaving enough to be viable. Nights are still cold here in Cincinnati.
    3. I have also read that when the new queen emerges, the laying workers will kill her vs. accept her.

    So any ideas on saving this hive and the $109 I just spent on the package? The intent was for this to be my utility hive, thus the nuc

    thanks,
    jeff
    Many packages supersede soon after install.
    The eggs were they on the side off the cell. [f
    At the bottom the queen is just learning to lay.
    They only have three frames of comb they are
    not going to swarm. I would just watch and learn.
    Paul 15 years 15 hives TF

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Cincinnati , ohio
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Laying workers 10 days after install??

    Thought I would post a followup on this in case it helps anyone else. I ended up doing exactly nothing until today when I did an inspection. All is well, lots of brood good laying pattern and a very calm hive. No queen cells anywhere. I could not find a lot of eggs as it was cloudy and hard to see, but I did see a few and I saw a lot of very new larvae.
    Thanks for the advice, just letting them do what they needed seemed to do the trick

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Greenbrae, CA, USA
    Posts
    743

    Default Re: Laying workers 10 days after install??

    Great.

    Doing nothing and waiting a week usually solves a large number of hive issues!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Joliet, il
    Posts
    1,875

    Default Re: Laying workers 10 days after install??

    Sometimez when a queen starts to lay especially a young queen she sometimes lays multiple eggs in cells untl she gets things right. The bees carry the xtras to other cells. Good move by giving it time.

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