Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have had 5 hives swarm this season and only 2 successfully re-queened. In one of the re-queened hives they produced their own queen, and in the other I had to re-queen with a purchased carniolan and they are doing fine. In one of the failing hives I saw a virgin queen but she is no longer there and they are queenless. The remaining two I tried to re-queen and that proved be unsuccessful. It looks to me like those 3 hives that failed to re-queen have laying workers as all the brood are drones and the laying pattern is erratic.
I am wondering if I should just let those 3 hives go for now until the end of the season and then combine them with the stronger hives. Is that okay if they have laying workers now? And if so, any suggestions on how to do the combining? Just use newspaper?
Thanks for the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
I would personally combine them now, before they continue laying drones, as a laying worker will only do. It would just be a waste of time.
Ill be combining two hives this week, and ill be using the newspaper method.
Just my .2c
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,400 Posts
If you combine a laying worker hive with a queen right hive there is always the possibility that the laying worker will kill the reining queen. Which is probably why you were unable to re-queen the hives to begin with. Before combining the hives I would take them in excess of 100 yards from the original location. One by one shake each frame out, brushing every single bee from the frame, then place it in another hive body and cover it up. after each frame has been moved return the now completely empty hive to its original location. At dusk when the foragers have returned, then you can combine. The theory behind this is that the laying worker being a house bee has never left the hive, and thus will not be able to find her way home.

On occasion the laying worker is a regressed forager (which is the proper meaning of regresses bees) who has been out side the hive and is orientated to the hive location. However it is believed that the confusion and disarray of the shake out puts the laying worker at a disadvantage should she be in the combine, which dramatically increases odds of a successful combine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice! I was quite concerned about the laying workers killing the queen. Will do the shake off as you advised. I'm assuming it's okay to combine more than one box ( 2 deeps) on top of the queen right hive with newspaper between the top of queen right hive and bottom deep of queenless deeps?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
692 Posts
If there is no queen, the hives will dwindle opening the door to wax moths, hive beetles, robbing, etc. The sooner you deal with a queenless situation the better. I don't see any advantage to waiting. The end result is a mess.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top