reclaiming a laying worker hive
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Middlesex County, Ma
    Posts
    8

    Default reclaiming a laying worker hive

    Hi,

    This story starts with a new package in early April. I added a second deep in early May, then they swarmed the first week in June. Then they swarmed twice more over the next 3 weeks. (Hive was never crowded. Go figure).

    I managed to catch and hive the 3rd swarm, and it built up nicely with a well mated queen.

    Meanwhile, the original hive did not produce a new queen from the 3 capped queen cells left behind after swarm number 3. Checked this box in early July, and found laying workers.

    After another week, I decided on an experiment I never saw mentioned.
    Moved the captured swarm box back to the original package location. (lost a few foragers in the process, oh well.)
    Took the laying worker hive and placed it in top, with a screen bottom board between the 2 hives. Positioned the top hive entrance facing opposite the queen right hive entrance.
    After 10 days I removed the screen bottom board separating the hives. They were fine with this instant merge.
    I pulled frames from the laying work hive, and found only capped drone brood, no larva or eggs anywhere. Counting back 10 days, it seems that the laying workers stopped laying when I did the merge. Could the queen phermones have caused this?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,815

    Default Re: reclaiming a laying worker hive

    Quote Originally Posted by John58 View Post
    Could the queen phermones have caused this?
    Possibly (I wouldn't discount anything), but the generally accepted explanation is that it's the pheromone(s) produced from open brood which is/are responsible for stopping workers from laying.
    The speed of arrest of your LW problem is much faster than usually seen - but so what ? - you achieved a good result. It would be interesting to repeat this exact procedure should a similar situation ever occur ...
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: reclaiming a laying worker hive

    Quote Originally Posted by John58 View Post
    After 10 days I removed the screen bottom board separating the hives. They were fine with this instant merge.
    Could the queen phermones have caused this?
    This is essentially the same as a newspaper combine. The point of which is to allow the queenless side to have time to acclimate to the queen pheromone.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: reclaiming a laying worker hive

    See page 11 of Wisdom of the hive:

    "the queen's pheromones are neither necessary nor sufficient for inhibiting worker's ovaries. Instead, they strongly inhibit the workers from rearing additional queens. It is now clear that the pheromones that provide the proximate stimulus for workers to refrain from laying eggs come mainly from the brood, not from the queen (reviewed in Seeling 1985; see also Willis, Winston, and Slessor 1990)."
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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