Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I went out to check the hives today. For the most part, all is well.

One hive that I hived from a package on april 10th, blew a red flag for me.

I did not find the queen which was fun. The brood patter was awesome and solid. However, when I looked for eggs, I noticed a few cells with two eggs in them and a few cells with three eggs in them. The rest of the eggs stood up right like they should be.

I am wondering if it is a laying worker. But I did not see a lot of, or an excesisive amount of drone cells. The brood patter was awesome but they were not bullet shaped like drone cells nor were they sticking out like you would see if she laid in a workert cell.

I assume only time will tell. Is there any other way to know if it is laying worther? Any other tests?

If I do have a laying worker... is there anyway to salvage the hive?

The only method I know is to take the hive of bees and shake them out away from the other hives and let them drift into other hives wit hte understanding that the laying worker will not be able to fly back to a hive.

any other suggestions??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,397 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I also understand that sometimes a newly mated queen will shoot an extra egg or two in the cells because of inexperiance.

Another question: If one does have a laying workey, can you place a new queen inside of a cage that connects to the frames so she can lay..will she than be excepted?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
It is my understanding that push in cages large enough to allow the queen to lay some eggs makes her more attractive to the colony and therefore more acceptable.

All that said, I've never used one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
Centered on fully drawn comb doesn't sound like a laying worker - I wish I had taken a picture of the cells when I had one - the eggs were literally stuck to the side of the cells.

Sounds like a queen starting up to me, but the proof is in the capped brood. Flat capped is good (as you know.
).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
hey Guys,
I went in my hive a few days ago a red flag went up when i saw no drones and no young bees playing around went i took out frame from all 3 meduim brood chambers no eggs no nothing but alot of pollen and honey being brought in just like every thing is normal "except" no eggs no queen from what i see . what is the problem
how can it be fixed the hive has around 5 to 6 frames of bees and they look good
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
As MB stated...with laying workers you often get so many eggs in the cell you can't count them. I've had 'exuberant' queens that put 2 or 3 in a cell but the workers cleared out the extras.

If you do have laying workers you CAN salvage the hive. It's just a little bit of extra work.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,913 Posts
Chef,

I found and pulled a laying worker from my hive by watching her lay. Here's an idea:

Remove the hive to Behind it's current location. Put a hive body in its original location. Foragers will leave and return to the new hive body leaving you less bees to sort through. Verify no queen present in original body.

An improvement would be to put a queen-right nuc or hive in the original location for the foragers to assimilate with. Short of that, give them a frame of brood/eggs to requeen themself in the new hivebody. It will also help to "hold" them.

Someone please clarify this for me: laying workers, aren't they usually younger (pre-foraging) bees? Doesn't the shake-out method essentially illiminate ALL of the younger bees who've never orientated to their hive?

Chef,
How I located the laying worker: absolutely just from looking in the right place at the right time and being observant (not my strong suit). I saw workers trying to pull another bee out of a cell. The bee wasn't "emerging." When she came out, it was obviously a worker. Now, WHAT was she doing with her tail stuck down in there and why were the others ill with her? I wish I had checked for an egg in the cell, but I was too busy keeping track of her to yank her. After yanking her, things improved. But you could easily have NUMEROUS layers! I combined this nuc with a queenright one at the queen-right one's location.

Waya
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
I shook out a laying worker hive last night. No worker brood at all and lots of popped (domed) worker cells. Lots of bees still and they had put up a lot of honey, like a cutdown split. I set a 10 frame nuc on that hive stand, shook out the old hive, and distributed the assets to other hives, including the nuc. Looked like they tried to make a queen and she didn't make it back from the mating flight. Nice to have some nucs around. I had a smaller laying worker hive a few weeks ago that I saved by doing a newspaper combine with a nuc. This one was too big, I didn't think the queen could control them without the shake out.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
53,992 Posts
>Someone please clarify this for me: laying workers, aren't they usually younger (pre-foraging) bees? Doesn't the shake-out method essentially illiminate ALL of the younger bees who've never orientated to their hive?

All the research I've seen and all of my experience is that it will NOT eliminate them at all. They will all find their way back. But it does disrupt the status quo enough to get them to accept a queen sometimes. If you remove the old hive altogether, of course, they have to move into queenright hives and you've resolved the issue. Then giver the combs to the queen right hives and it will save them having to raise so many drones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,913 Posts
Thanks Michael. I suppose even house bees can detect and orientate to the "hive scent".

Chef,
I did as Ross did, combining a weaker laying-worker hive with a stronger queen-right one. No problems. But I've always heard that there is no garantees in correcting a laying worker hive, only well planned good intentions. My advice to anyone who tries that method is to make sure the queen-right hive is the strongest.
Waya
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
53,992 Posts
>can you combine the laying worker hive with a queenright hive using the news paper method?

You can. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't and they kill the queen. A shake out and putting the frames in the other hives always works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
I have a question regarding a worker laying hive. I just did a hive inspection today and found some capped drone cells and plenty of larvae. The thing that made me put a red flag up was the fact that I could barely work this hive due to it being so defensive. This is my hive that I packaged last year using Italians. I reversed the brood boxes approx. 4 weeks ago, added 2 frames of brood to the upper brood box and put a feeder on to help get some comb established in the brood nest.

Today I investigated the hive, took the *empty* feeder pail off and took out one frame in the top brood box. All I could see was capped honey, some uncapped larvae and at least 10 or more capped drone cells. The bees were bouncing off me bigtime and I had to work very quickly to get everything back together. I added a super because from what I could see by looking down into the frames, they were full. I was chased all over my house by bees, stung through my gloves...not very pretty. This was very unusual for this hive. Is this another sign of laying workers or what?? Should I re-queen? I am going to get a package of bees on the 20th and start a new hive. Is it possible to take lots of brood from this hive and add it to the new packaged one?? Would splitting them up solve this problem?? This hive is so hot and I can barely manage it when I get it opened, which is going to be hard to re-queen. The smoker didn't even phase them today and it was so full of bees. There were plenty foragers coming and going as well. The only thing going on today was we have partly cloudy skies. Normally and even now 1 hour later, when you walk up to this hive,at least 3 feet, they don't seem to mind.

[ May 09, 2006, 11:45 AM: Message edited by: Cyndi ]
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
53,992 Posts
>Is this another sign of laying workers or what??

Queenless hives tend to be grouchy, but so do hives that have a genetic predispisiton, hives that have been harrased by skunks, and hives where the queen is running out of QMP.

>Should I re-queen?

If they are hotter than you like, I would requeen.

> I am going to get a package of bees on the 20th and start a new hive. Is it possible to take lots of brood from this hive and add it to the new packaged one??

Of course.

> Would splitting them up solve this problem??

No, but it will make them easier to handle whil you find the queen to requeen them.

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

>This hive is so hot and I can barely manage it when I get it opened, which is going to be hard to re-queen.

Exactly. Splitting it up will make it more managable while you find the queen. Requeening will make it more managable in the future.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top