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On June 13th my hive swarmed on me. I did manage to catch the swarm in a nuc box, but it decided it didn’t want to stick around and left again and I think made a home in the back of my barn, but that’s besides the point.

The hive that swarmed had a number of capped queen cells so I wasnt concerned. Fast forward to I think it was the first week of July I found eggs, but most of the cells were off center and multiple eggs, but I had that happen last year after a swarm, figured it was the new queen getting oriented. Now between work being a ***** and bad weather I haven’t been able to do an inspection until today. I have been noticing my second hive seems to be bursting at the seams with bees. Inspection today showed very very strong hive, good pattern, saw my queen, they’re happy.

Now the hive that swarmed, when I smoked them it was blizzare, they came out of the hive and got extremely aggressive after getting smoked. There’s a good amount of honey surprisingly, but also spotty brood pattern, lot of drone cells throughout, and still 3+ eggs in most of the cells. I find it hard to believe this is still a queen getting acquainted and think I’ve got a laying worker hive.

What can I do to confirm this before I take any drastic action, and what should I do to fix it? I’ve been reading 500000 different ways to do it, but I’ve been thinking of trying to slowly combine my strong hive with the LW hive by adding a frame or two of brood every week or so ; and maybe freezing the frames filled with multiple eggs and putting them Into my other hive and swapping back and fourth.
 

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It sounds like the laying workers are pretty well established and there are no capped worker cells. The last time I had that kind of hive I chose to let them produce drones and die out, slowly. I put my efforts into using their honey and resources plus good brood frames and bees from a strong hives to start a nuc with a mated queen. Later I moved the booming nuc into empty laying worker hive for the winter. I used the remaining capped honey and pollens stores. It seemed to be a lot easier, less wasted time with less risk, more fun. Using a push-in cage I had eggs and larva building up within 8-10 days.
 

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Is it too late in the year to try to start another hive to get through the winter here in NJ? That does sound like probably the best case scenario. There is enough honey and pollen in the double deep hive that a new nuc would have good resources with a couple frames of brood from the strong hive. Provided I can get a mated queen, this is all so new to me, everything has been surprisingly smooth up until now
 

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Spotty brood pattern and multiple eggs certainly indicates a laying worker hive. If you should decide to try and 'fix it', then the quickest way is to reduce the size of the problem hive (if necessary) down to a minimal number of brood combs, and place these in a box over a strong queenright hive with a QX between the colonies.
Bees from the strong hive will then detect the laying workers as being 'foreign queens' and so will ascend through the QX and kill them. After 5-7 days, the boxes can then be separated and a mated queen given to the problem hive. If it's numbers are low - which they probably are, it would be a good idea to give that colony one or two frames of brood (with bees - but make sure the queen isn't among them !) from the strong hive.
LJ
 

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If my math is right, it would’ve been about 65 days ago that the hive swarmed, assuming those bees were laid that day, that makes them about 4weeks old, they really won’t be around for too much longer as it is. I’m thinking splitting my other hive like was suggested using some of the resources from the LW hive may be the best way to go.
 

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image2.jpg image1.jpg

Place the weak hive over a screen bottom above the strong hive. Brood and queen pheromones move thru the screen, stopping laying workers. Over a week, most bees relocate to the strong hive. After a week, if it's noticeable that most bees have moved, remove the screen bottom from between the boxes.
 

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This has worked for me every time. Basically what BDfarmer posted above.
That is the thread that convinced me to use the screen bottom board. It's the only reason I use screen bottom boards anymore.
 

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Place the weak hive over a screen bottom above the strong hive. Brood and queen pheromones move thru the screen, stopping laying workers. Over a week, most bees relocate to the strong hive. After a week, if it's noticeable that most bees have moved, remove the screen bottom from between the boxes.




I ordered a queen for delivery this weekend, so I think I’ll do a split on my strong hive into a nuc with the new queen and the honey from the LW hive, and then try to put the LW hive like you got here to see if I can’t integrate those bees back in.
 

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Dave - you might want to update your profile with your location. It makes it easier for people to respond to your questions when they know your local conditions. I'm in NJ also. Just made 2 nucs last week. Good luck!

Jon
 

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Fortunately, I have not had to deal with LWs (yet!), but I was thinking how I could apply this solution to my top bar hives.

I suppose that I could simply place a window screen mesh or #8 hardware as a divider in the top bar and separate the colonies? I built the hives with multiple entrance options so in my top bar hive each colony could still have their own entrance until they get acquainted.

Does this seem reasonable?

Kevin
 

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Here is what works for me. I move a strong queen right hive to where the laying worker hive is and move the laying worker hive to where the strong hive was. The field bee's fly back to where there hive was and kill all the laying workers. One day no more laying workers. Then put a caged queen in or cell or frame of open brood. I leave the laying worker hive where the strong one was. They need all the help they can get. Done it twice work both time's.
 

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Here is what works for me. I move a strong queen right hive to where the laying worker hive is and move the laying worker hive to where the strong hive was. The field bee's fly back to where there hive was and kill all the laying workers. One day no more laying workers. Then put a caged queen in or cell or frame of open brood. I leave the laying worker hive where the strong one was. They need all the help they can get. Done it twice work both time's.
I have had only minor experience with LW and caught it early. My thoughts about your solution is worry about the workers which take over the LW hive becoming LW themselves since most every thing in that hive is laying worker conducive. Mainly no brood for an extended period and no queen pheremones. I dont know whether the workers themselves require the length of time in this condition before commencing laying or it is only the hive conditions that bring it on.

An interesting solution if it is predictably effective.:thumbsup:
 
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