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Okay, I’m looking for some sound advice on what to do as a first-year beek. I’ve done a search for an answer and read several pages, but I’d like a little clarification.

First, a bit of background. In May, I purchased and hived my first nuc. After a few stressful moments, it has been really good. It’s large enough now that I have two deep boxes with lots of stored honey, brood, and eggs. Last month, I captured a swarm that is doing quite well too. While it’s still only in one deep box, there are several frames of honey, brood, and eggs. When I hived this one, I took a couple frames of brood and honey from the “big” one to give them a boost. It seems to have worked.

Now, my problem. Last week, I captured another swarm. Currently, this one is in a 5 nuc box until I can get a full 10 frame one built. Again, when I put the bees in this box, I added one frame of brood and honey. This afternoon, I did an inspection and found what I believe is a laying worker(s). Virtually all of the cells have 2, 3, and even 5 eggs in them. Even cells with bee bread and honey have eggs in them.

Here are my questions:
1) Is there any sure-fire way to save this colony? (Okay, as sure fire as anything can be with bees). I had hoped to keep this one as my son wanted it as a 4-H project.
2) If I add a frame a week as I’ve seen on Bush Bee’s site, could it be detrimental to the others? If I do add them, should I take one from each of the other two?
3) If my colony sounds like it is beyond saving, is it worthwhile to split these bees among my other two? If I were to do that, would there be a chance that which ever workers are laying could start to do so in my others?
4) I’m appreciative of any other advice!

Thank all of you in advance!
-Kevin
 

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A search of the forums for laying workers should get you where you need to be. You will get plenty of information. www.beesource.com/forums/search on laying workers

I had success with putting the laying worker hive on top of a queen right hive using a double screened bottom. It sounds to me like your problem has progressed passed what the hive I helped with had. My friend only had a few eggs in a few cells.

Good luck!!!
RKR
 

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The queen probably lays 3 frames a week.
If you decide to save this hive then put in a box and add frame of eggs once a week from your other hives, from which ever is the strongest the first week, the other hive the second week, and then the first hive again the third week. By the time it's all said and done, you may end up with all equally sized, somewhat, hives.

You could say this is so small a bunch of bees this late in the season, to just shake them all out on the ground away from the other hives and remove it's stand and box. The bees will be absorbed into your other hives and help them out. Spreading the combs around is ok if they're in good shape. This will boost your other hives some instead of draining away from them.

There are other choices as well as mentioned, you decide what way looks good for you and let us know what happens.
 

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>1) Is there any sure-fire way to save this colony? (Okay, as sure fire as anything can be with bees). I had hoped to keep this one as my son wanted it as a 4-H project.

Yes. Give them a frame of brood a week for three weeks.

>2) If I add a frame a week as I’ve seen on Bush Bee’s site, could it be detrimental to the others?

Eggs are a small investment and the amount of brood most hives have is not determined by how much the queen can lay but how much they can feed and keep warm. A frame of eggs and newly hatched brood isn't a big investment for them. A frame of emerging brood is...

> If I do add them, should I take one from each of the other two?

If you like. But you only need one frame every week...

>3) If my colony sounds like it is beyond saving, is it worthwhile to split these bees among my other two?

If that is your intent, just move the hive, shake them all on the ground and put the frames in the other hives.

> If I were to do that, would there be a chance that which ever workers are laying could start to do so in my others?

If you combine without shaking them out, yes.

>4) I’m appreciative of any other advice!

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
 
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