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My largest 2 hives (one an overwintered hive, the other a new package) now have nothing but capped drone brood. On May 9 I pulled 2 frames of capped worker brood, 2 frames of stores (pollen and nectar) and the queen from the large overwintered hive, and put them in a separate box. I thought I had left behind a mixture of capped and uncapped worker brood, and believed the girls would make a queen. I figured I would see signs of a new queen around June 9.

My second largest hive, a new package, arrived on May 1. I released the queen; she walked in and down a frame, was greeted with 2 or 3 workers, with no hostility. I figured that since she had travelled with these girls, they were not about to suddenly turn hostile. About 2 weeks afterward I saw capped worker brood and capped drone brood. Today there is no worker brood, and much capped drone brood. To add a wrench to this story, on May 5 I shook out another hive which appeared to be a laying worker queenless hive. I shook them out in front of my largest hive. Some went into the large hive, but most took to the new package hive.

I am wondering if the laying workers which I shook out have turned these 2 hives into laying worker hives. I am considering shaking out both of these colonies, but this time moving the boxes about 100 feet away from the other hives before shaking out.

I would appreciate any advice on what should be my next course. By the way the "split" that has the incumbent queen is still queen-right and has some capped and uncapped worker brood; not doing great, but OK.

Phil
 

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I would appreciate any advice on what should be my next course. By the way the "split" that has the incumbent queen is still queen-right and has some capped and uncapped worker brood; not doing great, but OK.

Phil
www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm. I would actually do what you suggest but 150 feet away. But I don't think shaken out laying workers took over otherwise queenright hives. I hope you are successful. Let us know what works. Cheers.
 

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[QUOTE: My largest 2 hives (one an overwintered hive, the other a new package) now have nothing but capped drone brood. On May 9 I pulled 2 frames of capped worker brood, 2 frames of stores (pollen and nectar) and the queen from the large overwintered hive, and put them in a separate box. I thought I had left behind a mixture of capped and uncapped worker brood, and believed the girls would make a queen. I figured I would see signs of a new queen around June 9.

You don't mention that you saw eggs and larvae. If none, may have been the reason for hive going drone laying.

My second largest hive, a new package, arrived on May 1. I released the queen; she walked in and down a frame, was greeted with 2 or 3 workers, with no hostility. I figured that since she had travelled with these girls, they were not about to suddenly turn hostile. About 2 weeks afterward I saw capped worker brood and capped drone brood. Today there is no worker brood, and much capped drone brood. To add a wrench to this story, on May 5 I shook out another hive which appeared to be a laying worker queenless hive. I shook them out in front of my largest hive. Some went into the large hive, but most took to the new package hive.

After you installed the queen, did you inspect to see that she was laying after your mention of 2 weeks, that would be May 15th. Any inspections since then? She may have perished and they went queenless with out good eggs.

I am wondering if the laying workers which I shook out have turned these 2 hives into laying worker hives. I am considering shaking out both of these colonies, but this time moving the boxes about 100 feet away from the other hives before shaking out.

From my experience, adding a drone laying hive shake out to queen right hives does make that hive into drone layers.

I would appreciate any advice on what should be my next course. By the way the "split" that has the incumbent queen is still queen-right and has some capped and uncapped worker brood; not doing great, but OK.

If you can rob some eggs out of the good hive, try adding to others before I'd give up and shake out.

Ed
 
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