Looking for suggestions about a queen-right hive with persistent laying worker.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,036

    Default Looking for suggestions about a queen-right hive with persistent laying worker.

    I've been battling with a queen-right hive with laying worker(s) for a while now. The hive presently has a queen excluder on it with the queen sequestered in the two bottom deeps. The queen has been sequestered for three weeks, but I'm still finding drone brood in the supers, including uncapped drone brood. Not one or two, probably over a hundred. I also have some drones in worker cells in spots below the queen excluder, but also frames with worker brood.

    Since the hive is queen-right with a 2018 queen (marked) I'm not enthused about doing a shake out, and since there could be a laying worker below the queen excluder then just shaking out the supers isn't going to do much good.

    This hive swarmed earlier this year but was queenless. I requeened successfully five weeks ago (queen was last seen this week), but at about the same time laying workers developed. I had hopped that having brood would suppress it and am disappointed at still seeing unhatched drones in worker cells above the queen excluder.

    Suggestions?
    Zone 5B

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Brevard County, Florida, USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Looking for suggestions about a queen-right hive with persistent laying worker.

    Take this for what it's worth. Next month will be my 2 year mark in beekeeping. I had a similar situation to what you describe this spring though. Had a hive go queen-less in a failed split. Started to go LW. Got it queen right by adding a frame with a capped cell. Got the queen mated and marked. She started laying well (seemingly), So I added a 2nd box with some drawn comb and foundation. Checked up a week or so later and the queen had stalled, but the laying workers were really ramping up. At this point there seemed to be ample room for the queen to be filling , but she wasn't.
    So, I broke them back down to a sIngle box. after doing this the laying workers vanished quickly. The hive seems to be in balance now, but it's still not booming. I've got 16 hives, and if I requeen any, this will be the first. She's just not a prolific queen. Maybe this is the case with your queen also. Maybe it's not, in either case I suspect that if you took some space (boxes) away from them, the LW would be suppressed.
    Good luck. Please let us know what you do and how it progresses.
    Zone 9B - Central Florida Space Coast,
    Second Year - Treat with OAV - Plus or Minus 16 Hives

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Delhi, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,511

    Default Re: Looking for suggestions about a queen-right hive with persistent laying worker.

    As per Michael Palmer use a queen cell in a laying worker hive.
    Western Catskill Mountains
    Proverbs 16:24

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,419

    Default Re: Looking for suggestions about a queen-right hive with persistent laying worker.

    Quote Originally Posted by JConnolly View Post
    I've been battling with a queen-right hive with laying worker(s) for a while now. ..........
    Suggestions?
    So a hundred of drones...
    What is there to battle?
    Certainly, not a high priority as for me.

    It has been reported that it is normal to have few laying workers while being queen-right.
    So normal, in fact, that every hive has laying workers.

    Here is a quote from our local, experienced beekeeper:
    First, every hive has some laying workers. The latest journal article by Colison says some researchers found that 7% of eggs laid in a hive come from workers - but the other bees remove them rapidly, so we don't see them.
    I am too lazy to google the original source up for you.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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