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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looks like I have a laying worker/drone layer in one hive. I tried to combine a swarm with them a week, but they either killed that queen or there was no queen present in the swarm. I have a new queen coming on Wednesday that I planned to use to start a new colony, but in light of the development of the laying worker, is it best for me to:

combine the queenless hive with a queenright hive,
introduce the new queen after shaking the hive out onto the ground, or
do something altogether different?

TIA
 

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Shake them all on the ground about 10 feet away and stack your boxes on queen right boxes. Pull off your box and check for brood in a week and add a queen!
 

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You could give them a frame of open brood every week for two or three weeks or combine them with a queen right colony. I would not give them a new queen they will kill her. If you give them open brood it will take a few weeks but they will raise there own queen, good luck.
 

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I had what I believed was a LW hive. I had done a split in mid-April, moving open brood with capped brood with the idea that the bees would raise their own queen. Winter came back the following day. I am satisfied that the chill was too much for the nurse bees to keep everything warm. Coincidentally I had received a new package and loaded them into a hive next to the LW hive.

After about 8-10 days, I decided to in effect "not throw good money after bad", and did a shake out. I shook the bees in front of my strongest hive, and removed the hive and frames of the shake-out from the area immediately. Most of the shaken out bees ignored my strongest hive, and moved over to and covered the front of my new hive. This freaked me out, as I figured there would be a major war on. However, within about 20 minutes the shaken out bees had entered the new hive in what seemed to be an orderly peaceful event. To make sure I put my gear on and entered that hive to see if things were OK. The hive looked quite normal, except there were 30 percent MORE bees inside. For me at least I was pretty pleased that I chose this course of action.

I hope this information helps.

Phil
 

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Shake them completely out. As far as that hive thinks, they are queenright. Purpose of putting boxes on a good hive, so when laying worker enters, they ball her up. Only way to get her out of picture. Other workers mostly will be accepted, strenghtening the good hive.
 

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Found a laying worker hive today. It was a early april package that immediate tried to supersede the queen. Had queen cells, but apparently not successful. I left it alone, but they are making honey. It was classic double eggs, and on the side of the cells. Now if I come back in a couple of weeks with a mated queen in that spot how strong does the queen right hive have to be. Will a couple of frames of brood and a 5 frame nuc do?
 

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shake them out and place the hive box back at it's location. Then after about an hour combine whatever returned to the box (newspaper combine) with one of the other hives. This has worked flawlessly for me each time I have tried it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
quick update: shook them out onto a sheet of plywood about 10' in front of the old hive location. came back at dusk last night to find a pretty good-sized cluster still there, so i scooped up what i could and distributed to other hives. may have been a queen in there after all, or they really liked that laying worker. i'll never know which but hopefully solved the problem.
 

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Shake them all on the ground about 10 feet away and stack your boxes on queen right boxes. Pull off your box and check for brood in a week and add a queen!
Exactly what I do. Sure, give them eggs works if you want to dedicate a lot of time to one colony. The approach here gets things squared away very quickly and allows you to recover a productive hive.
 

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>Looks like I have a laying worker/drone layer in one hive. I tried to combine a swarm with them a week, but they either killed that queen or there was no queen present in the swarm.

If it was a virgin queen and it was a week ago, she won't be laying for another week...

> I have a new queen coming on Wednesday that I planned to use to start a new colony, but in light of the development of the laying worker, is it best for me to:

> combine the queenless hive with a queenright hive

Odds are it's not queenless, she just isn't laying yet.

>introduce the new queen after shaking the hive out onto the ground

Waste of a good queen...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallacies.htm#shakingout

>do something altogether different?

http://bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
 

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The safest and simplest answer is just euthanize the hive, freeze the frames to kill the drone eggs and brood and utilize the frames somewhere else. Usually these hives only have a couple of double hand fulls of bees and they aren't worth saving. I've tried various methods to deal with this pesky problem and here are some observations:

1. Shake them out. This works for some folks. When I tried it, they entered the hive next door, killed the queen and it was ruined as well. If I were to shakle them out I'd take them far enough away that they might migrate into several other hives.
2. Combine them. IT might work or you might lose the good queen in the queen right hive and wind up with both screwed up. This is not without risk.
3. Add frames of good brood weekly until they raise a queen. This works some of the time but it has taken me as long as four weeks to get them to draw a cell. It would be easier just to do a clean split.
4. Add queen cells. This has worked for me from time to time, particularly if the hive isn't too far gone. If you have a way to generate queen cells this is a safe and somewhat effective approach. You might have to add several before one takes.
5. Add good queen. Doesn't work most of the time.

I had a hive last year and now have a hive this year that missed on a requeening effort and developed laying workers just before a virgin queen mated and began laying. The hive last year had a queen laying well and laying workers filling whatever (including supers) they could with drone brood. There was so much drone brood that I began pulling it out and freezing it. It took two months to straighten out but finally the drone laying diminished and the queen took over and have thrived this spring. I have one right now heading in that direction. I say that to say that it is possible to have a hive with a mated queen existing concurrently with numerous drone layers. I just finished inspecting one with that exact situation. Watch for healthy worker brood interspersed with random drone brood.
 

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Ok I took a queenright 5 frame hive and placed it where I had a laying worker hive. I have a1" opening in the front. I took the laying worker hive about 150' away and sweep them out over about a 15 minute period. They went back to the hive and hung out on the front. I'm gbambling that the queen right hive bees will protect the queen. I also put a 5 frame of foundation on top. My question is if this works when will the hive settle down to check. It seemed fairly orderly when they went into the hive
 
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