What should I do with this laying worker hive?
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 55
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Oakland County, Michigan
    Posts
    71

    Default What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    I have a queenless hive with laying workers, it's not packed full but has a good amount of bees still. It sits like 3 feet from another hive that is doing well. My plan is to take it 50 ft. away and dump all they bees. Should I just let them combine with the healthy hive or do you think it's worth trying to save?

    If it's possible I'd like to keep it going. I don't mind buying a queen for them and I have a couple other hives that I can pull some brood from. Thanks in advance.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    915

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    Shake them out and go about your day. Assuming the other hive has the numbers, the guard bees will prevent a laying worker from entering.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    the other method i red about (but never had a chance to try) is adding frame(s) of sealed brood from other hives in order to suppress laying workers.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by dvorai View Post
    the other method i red about (but never had a chance to try) is adding frame(s) of sealed brood from other hives in order to suppress laying workers.
    That should be frames with eggs and youngest larva, NOT frames of sealed brood. It's the open larva needing feeding that helps to suppress laying workers, not sealed brood, and it's the eggs that will get them to draw queen cells once the laying workers have been suppressed. It may take 3-5 weeks of adding a frame once a week in order for the situation to be turned around. By then, the hive will be greatly reduced in numbers. If it has just recently gone over to laying workers, then they can turn around more quickly than if they've been that way for some period of time.

    A purchased queen, in a push-in cage on a frame of emerging brood, beside another frame of open larva so that the queen is between the middle of those two frames, may help turn it around more quickly.

    Good luck with whatever you do, laying workers can sometimes be fixed quickly, but most times take more time than it's worth to fix.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Floyd, VA, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default

    I've not tried it but I'm told a laying worker hive will accept a queen cell and allow her to emerge and mate, thus solving the problem

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    That should be frames with eggs and youngest larva, NOT frames of sealed brood. It's the open larva needing feeding that helps to suppress laying workers, not sealed brood, and it's the eggs that will get them to draw queen cells once the laying workers have been suppressed. It may take 3-5 weeks of adding a frame once a week in order for the situation to be turned around. By then, the hive will be greatly reduced in numbers. If it has just recently gone over to laying workers, then they can turn around more quickly than if they've been that way for some period of time.

    A purchased queen, in a push-in cage on a frame of emerging brood, beside another frame of open larva so that the queen is between the middle of those two frames, may help turn it around more quickly.

    Good luck with whatever you do, laying workers can sometimes be fixed quickly, but most times take more time than it's worth to fix.
    of course you are right, i should refresh my memory before posting. sorry.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Florida, Gilchrist county
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    Another method to handle laying workers is to put a hive on top with a queen, separate the two hives with screen with a 1/2 gap between the two screens so the bees cannot touch each other, the top hive will need a door. After 2-3 weeks you can combine the hives and carry on.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    Yes, a queen cell between 2 frames of open larva may do the job.

    I've fixed some by putting them over a queen excluder over a strong queen right hive. This can be risky though.

    Enjambres ( a user on beesource) has posted about fixing them with a snelgrove board. Perhaps she will sound in on her way of using it.

    Sometimes shaking them out works, sometimes they overwhelm the closest hive to it when they fly back and it ends up queenless.

    There are several options that can sometimes work, and sometimes they do not. Good luck with what you choose.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Oakland County, Michigan
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    Thanks for the advice guys.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    washington, vermont, USA
    Posts
    404

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    If you can get a virgin queen run her into the hive with a little smoke.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,598

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by dvorai View Post
    of course you are right, i should refresh my memory before posting. sorry.
    It's OK, I feel I'm in good company with you, because many is the time that I myself have posted without "refreshing my memory" before doing so. I like that term, "refreshing my memory", it fits me well as I need to do that myself more often.

    I just felt the need to clarify that it was young larva and eggs needed, not just sealed brood. Many times "Frames of Brood" is stated, but sometimes a clarification is needed whether that particular instance needs eggs/youngest larva, or older open larva, or sealed brood frames, which all three can be considered "Frames of Brood".

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Sometimes shaking them out works, sometimes they overwhelm the closest hive to it when they fly back and it ends up queenless.
    .
    Yes they'll fly back instantly. Nearly all the bees in a laying worker hive have had time to orient. They will either go to the stand where there hive was located or like raymarler says to the hive next door. Ive never had a problem with shaken bees overtaking a hive or kill queen. Usually these are small nucs and declining by the time theyve becoming laying worker.

    When I make up a batch of nucs I usually have 1 where the queen didn't turn out. Ill move box away so they don't fly back inside it and just shake em out right in front of where their box was. They may cluster for the day but end up dissipating into hives next door. I freeze the frames to kill the drone brood (mites) and then put it on a strong hive to be cleaned.

    Im inpatient, and ide rather just make another fresh split with capped brood than baby a laying worker.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Brentwood, Ca USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    I'm dealing with the same thing, but this afternoon I'm going to shake them out a few hundred yards from my other hives.
    This was a swarm I caught a few miles away that was queenless, and had laying bees.
    I added frames they capped 4 queen cells and then tore them all down, I tried adding a virgin queen inside a cage that bees can't go into, they killed her by pulling half of her through the cage.
    So shaking them out I hope works. I need the hive to use for others.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ozark, AL
    Posts
    834

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    Shake them out and go about your day. Assuming the other hive has the numbers, the guard bees will prevent a laying worker from entering.
    Save yourself time, trouble and resourses from other hives. Tote them off and shake them off.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    915

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    I have tried on 3 hives to turn them around and could never do it. I even tried one method of putting a screen between a queen-right hive and a LW and left it for 3 weeks with no luck. Now, I just shake them out and let nature take its course.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,942

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Columbus, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    If you have the time an patients to make a consistent effort, it can be done. But like in all things, no method is going to be 100% successful, and the success rate on fixing this particular problem is abysmal. At least for me it is.

    And if you're like most, putting in a lot of time and effort only to have it fail is most discouraging. By the time the problem is noticed, there aren't just few laying workers, a significant percentage of the worker population can be laying. It's a real mess.

    It's probably wise just to suck it up, and dump the bees, freeze the frames, and let your strong hives clean them up. Focus on building and splitting your strong hives.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Turnbow Hollow, Tennessee
    Posts
    469

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    If you have a strong queen right nucleus colony you don't mind donating to fix the problem, install all 5 frames of the nucleus colony in the hive with the laying worker. Put all 5 frames of the nuc in the hive just like they are in the nuc box but center the 5 frames in the 10 frame hive. If the hive is 2 boxes you might want to lay a sheet of newspaper between the boxes depending upon how many bees are left in the hive and if the bees are not already in both boxes. The bees from the nucleus colony will take over the hive and dispose of the laying worker and any other remaining bees that don't "get with the program". Depending upon the nectar flow in your area now you may want to feed this hive sugar syrup to get it well established. If the nectar flow is anything like it is in my area, the bees will ignore it.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Ponca City, Oklahoma,USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    take the top and inner cover off the queenless LW hive lay a single window screen on top , then set any queenright nuc without a bottom board but with a entrance facing opposite of the LW hive, on top of the screen then lay a board over the exposed side of the LW hive that the nuc did not cover, wait 3 weeks then remove the window screen to combine, when the queen goes down and she will, she will lay up a lot of brood, then make sure there are eggs but no queen in the nuc put the top cover back on and set the nuc back on its bottom board on top of the big hives top cover then the nuc will re queen its self , be sure to only use a single window screen so the top bees feet can rub the bottom bees feet to transfer the pheromones to the Lw bees window screen is fine enough that the two colonies will not be able to fight through it

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: What should I do with this laying worker hive?

    My experience with trying to fix a laying worker hive.

    First time, I got lucky. I picked up a frame in the hive next door, saw a queen, set the whole frame with queen, open larvae and eggs into the LW hive spaced a couple frames away from where most of the bees were. It worked, but, in hindsight, that was just luck.

    A couple years later, I tried the 'frame of brood and eggs once a week for 3 weeks' trick. Ended up with a laying worker hive that had lots of bees, and still not making queen cells. Hindsight says, would have been better off to just put those 3 frames into a box by themselves and let them raise a queen.

    A couple years later, found a couple LW hives in the early spring when it was to early in the season to raise queens. Bought queens and did the candy introduction. Ended up with dead queens.

    My final conclusion on LW hives is, you can spend a lot of energy, time and resources trying to fix them, success happens less often than failure. In the end, they consume tremendous resources in the form of brood frames, time, and anguish. Today I wont even bother trying to fix them. I'll just shake it out in the far corner of the yard and make sure there is not box in the original location. Put the boxes with good comb on top of a good strong hive and let the queen move up and start laying in them. Later I'll take them back off as a split and give them either a cell or a fresh queen depending on what is available at the time. My opinion today is, the amount of time and effort going into fixing the LW is not worth it, the only valuable resource left in that stack is the drawn brood comb, and it's best utilized by a strong colony making lots of brood. I can get my numbers back faster and more reliably by simply giving that comb to a queenright hive that's making lots of brood, then split it later.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •