Putting a swarm in a laying worker hive
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Franklin, IN, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Putting a swarm in a laying worker hive

    My package bees I installed in my top bar hive balled their queen last month. I tried putting in a frame of eggs from another hive to raise a new queen, but I ended up with laying workers who then killed the new queen they raised. I've left it alone pretty much since then...just over a month. Now, I've caught 2 swarms. I'm not sure if this was a good idea or not, but I decided since the laying worker hive had grown weak and fairly small (and I didn't have another hive available to put the other swarm in), to shake and brush all of the laying workers out and throw out the comb that they had lain in. I then dumped one of the swarms into the hive and blocked the entrance with some beeswax to keep the old bees from coming back in. I'm hoping that as evening closes in, they'll head into one of the other hives instead of coming back to the blocked hive. Was this a terrible idea? If I open the entrance back up tomorrow morning, do you think the old laying workers will come back?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Nacogdoches, TX, USA
    Posts
    62

    Default

    I think you did right by shaking the laying worker frames. I think you could go ahead and open the entrance. I battled a laying worker hive a couple of years ago. I took the frames about 200 to 300 feet away and shook them hoping the layer wouldn’t know the way back to the hive. After that I requeened and she did fine.

    You said you threw out the frames - save them for later, they will still be usable.

    Hope this helps!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
    Posts
    888

    Default Re: Putting a swarm in a laying worker hive

    agreed your method should work. Open the entrance.
    I have only had one major issue with a laying queen. I shook the bees out in front of another hive at the other end of the apiary and put a nuc into the hive where the laying worker(s) had been.
    -> no issue whatsoever.

    Laying worker hives a real PITA and shaking them out seems to work.

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