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I have read in a lot of literature that if you have a LW hive, one course of action is to take the hive a long distance away, shake/blow it out and the laying workers cannot/will not fly back to the original hive. In my case, I don't think my bees have been reading the same literature I've been reading.

Background

5/27. Found laying worker cells in honey supers as well as main hive boxes. (Photo laywork1.). Loaded entire hive on to my UTV. Took a very strong 2 box 5 frame NUC and put in 10 frame box. Saw queen as making the transfer and NUC had several frames of capped brood as well as two frames of eggs and emerging brood. Took former 2 box, 5 frame but now 10 frame one box NUC and moved into location of LW hive. Drove several hundred yards away and blew/brushed/shook out 1 super and 3 hive boxes of LW hive. Took 10 frames with most drone brood, double eggs etc and put in separate hive box (Put in my freezer later). Reinspected remaining LW frames and frames in honey super to insure no bees present and drove back to apiary. Put two remaining hive bodies on top of newly formed 10 frame hive box from 2/5 NUC, put queen excluder on top of third box and put original honey super back on.

6/2. Open up hive and found throughout the hive what is in laywork2 photo. Additionally, the population of the hive was diminished somewhat since 5/27. I am guessing because all the house bees weren't oriented and therefore couldn't make it back to the hive. Worse yet, although I searched through each frame twice, I did not see the queen from the original NUC. However, the frames that had eggs and emerging brood on them on 5/27 from the NUC hive are now mostly capped and I did not see any queen cells of any kind.

At least from my experiences, shaking/blowing out a LW hive with the expectation that laying workers can't/won't fly back to the original hive is not an absolute. Now, if I could just get them to read my bee library.....
 

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You need to bring the hive much farther away, 2-3 miles.
Yes, they would have been back to the bee yard before you were? You only left behind the valuable bees. Also should have put the replacement hive as far away as possible from the original location. The laying workers probably did in the queen.
 

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....Took former 2 box, 5 frame but now 10 frame one box NUC and moved into location of LW hive...... Now, if I could just get them to read my bee library.....
You did not need to do this. It was a critical mistake.
Entire LW workforce returned "home" and they could very much kill your good queen.

No - you don't want the LW workforce concentrated in space and time so much so that they can break into a good colony and overwhelm it (they can just like the usurping swarms can).

Keep in mind - they returned home per your very own setup and took back what was theirs.
Instead, you want them scattered and confused and homeless (not concentrated and determined and home-bound).

As long as there are some colonies in close-enough vicinity, the LW workers will eventually and gradually join them IF the residents will let them.

That is one key point you may have missed while reading about.

PS: no need to drive LW unit 2-3 miles away - overkill and not the point of the shake-out;
some walking distance away is sufficient for the LW shake-out;
in fact, the LWs can STILL "return home" over 2-3 miles even and do exactly the same IF there is replacement hive standing on their home spot.
 

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You need to bring the hive much farther away, 2-3 miles.
No.
Not necessary.
Not the point of LW shake out.
The point of LW shake out is to make them homeless (not to drive them miles away).
 

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I recently watched UoG vid where he essentially did what OP did. My understanding is that you do not need to go far to shake out and the whole objective is to allow foragers to return. The laying workers can't return because they are now too heavy to fly. J
 

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I recently watched UoG vid where he essentially did what OP did. My understanding is that you do not need to go far to shake out and the whole objective is to allow foragers to return. The laying workers can't return because they are now too heavy to fly. J
The specifically laying LW individuals are not the concern.
The non-laying LW workforce is.

If the LW workforce returns as a concentrated force to a new hive on their home spot - they will enter it as-if it is their home (and behave accordingly). This you don't want to happen and should avoid by making them homeless. If people publish video like this - I say they are not competent in what their are doing and should not be doing it.

The whole objective is to scatter the LW workforce and have them begging to be let into any other, unrelated hives standing close enough.
They will be let in for the most part if they beg nicely enough (not force their way through), except for the laying individuals (no one wants foreign "queens" into their hives).

PS: now you may want to have the LW workers to enter a specific hive (so to boost it) - still you don't want it on the same exact spot (risky!); you want the target hive standing just close enough (several feet) so that the homeless bees will eventually and gradually drift to it (but NOT all at once)
 

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Many people respect U of G but I will watch vid again. Now not sure if he replaced that particular hive.
 

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Many people respect U of G but I will watch vid again. Now not sure if he replaced that particular hive.
I think he should update his idea that laying workers cannot fly 20 ft; or perhaps my data bank needs to be refreshed. If you have many colonies in a yard I can see shaking them out fairly close to the yard providing you have entirely vacated the LW location and they will spread their unwelcome presence over a number of other colonies.

With the number of colonies they run and the fact they raise their own queens, an unsuccessful combining of a LW hive with another is a reasonable risk. If you only had 2 or 3 colonies and bought in queens cost 60 or more dollars, I think it might not be good cost/benefit analysis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
First, I want to thank everyone for your responses and input. I am not a total newbie but like all beekeepers who maintain and open mind, I learned alot from your responses and comments.

Fivej, like you I have always read/heard/saw etc that a laying worker would not return to the hive. That was actually the main thrust of my post was to say 'it ain't so.' But now after seeing other folks comment, I am going to question the literature as well as some of the more renowned beekeepers who profess this is true. If I hadn't insured that the hive was 100% void of bees when I returned it from shaking it out on 5/27, I would have questioned my own actions. But I doublechecked to insure there were no bees in any of the woodenware. And, I am quite confident there were no laying workers in the NUC because the queen was quite active and the hive was strong.

GregV, you are correct. Dumb mistake on my part but I actually should have prefaced my comments with it was more of a test. I have had LW hives before and did the shake, bring back hive, add a frame of open brood, etc method but I just wanted to try the NUC method. It makes total sense to me that the NUC was just overpowered by the returning bees and since it was the bottom box, I sealed their fate the minute I put it there. Im not particularly sold on the scattering the workforce concept, particularly if you are just a hobbyist with only a couple of hives and trying to save one. I can see where that would work though for those in the commercial BK world. They just don't have the time to mess with a LW hive. However, a hobbyist with only a couple or three hives will want to make that effort to save it somehow. The 'somehow' is the key word.

Again, thank you everyone for your responses and replies. You "edjumicated" me and its much appreciated
 

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Paul Kelly of the UoG does indeed say that you can install a nuc and shake the bees 20 feet away. The LW can't fly and the foragers will return to the original hive location. He does not say this, but now that it is a new hive, they will have to beg themselves in. Of course, there are no guarantees in beekeeping or anything for that matter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycKdlYzrcOE J
 

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<<I have read in a lot of literature that if you have a LW hive, one course of action is to take the hive a long distance away, shake/blow it out and the laying workers cannot/will not fly back to the original hive>>.

Indeed this has been written and repeated so many times, that it has become "truth".
But it is a myth. Laying workers will return to their hive and this has been documented in a study that (as i recall) is linked on Michael Bushes website. And now you have documented it yourself FreedomEagle.

The other thing to realise is that LW hives contain many laying workers, and also many bees in various stages of transitioning into laying workers. At least some of these bees if not the majority are totally capable of getting back to their hive.

The trick is to set it up so they arrive back at other hives in dribs and drabs rather than one big group, so that the bees of the hive can process them at the entrance and maintain control.

Moving the nuc to the site of the LW hive means that many bees would have been lost to the nuc as they returned to their original site and the young bees left were in a poor position to maintain control of their hive, especially as the LW hive bees likely returned thick and fast.
 

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Im not particularly sold on the scattering the workforce concept, particularly if you are just a hobbyist with only a couple of hives and trying to save one. I can see where that would work though for those in the commercial BK world. They just don't have the time to mess with a LW hive. However, a hobbyist with only a couple or three hives will want to make that effort to save it somehow. The 'somehow' is the key word.
Scattering still works even with 1-2-3 hives.
If done properly, the LW works force will be homeless and confused and will scatter across the area looking for whatever homage is available nearby.
Using the COVID-19 era terms - you are "flattening the curve" of the LW workforce invasion as the scattering takes time and they gradually drift to other hive(s).
This is the total opposite of placing your poor NUC in the exact spot of the LW hive - you shake them away - 5 minutes later entire colony returns home and swarm it - BOOM! - they enter and find and kill the foreign queen!
 

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Paul Kelly of the UoG does indeed say that you can install a nuc and shake the bees 20 feet away. The LW can't fly and the foragers will return to the original hive location. He does not say this, but now that it is a new hive, they will have to beg themselves in. Of course, there are no guarantees in beekeeping or anything for that matter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycKdlYzrcOE J
They will not beg themselves in - they will just force their way in since it is "their home" and they have a large concentration of bees coming all at once.
Now - IF the LW colony is small AND the replacement colony is large - the LW workers maybe on the losing side trying to pick a fight.
But this thing must be made very clear - else people end up losing queens if the video followed as presented.
 

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It should be done right, such that overwhelming numbers are not showing up at any one hive, so that they do have to beg their way in.

However sometimes when a lot of them show at a particular hive you will see mass nasanov fanning start, no fighting and all bees calm, that means that all will go well and they will not kill the queen.

I'm with Steve though, I no longer do shake outs, just put my LW hives on top of a good strong normal hive, if the hive is chosen properly it is not even necessary to do a paper or other type of combine I just stick it on but with an excluder between. Or not even an excluder if it is a weak LW hive and strong other hive. A few weeks later the LW'ers are gone and the hive can be re split back into two, if that is wanted.
 

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I don't understand how/why combines are done all the time without issues and shaking them out does not achieve the same effect assuming the nuc replacing the LW hive is strong. I have also seen Dave at Barnyard bees do variations of distributing frames of LW bees into multiple colonies and replacing those frames with frames from other colonies. He claims that the bees that fly back will be overwhelmed by new bees. Claims that LW unlikely to make it back and that if the LW is on frame introduced into other colonies, they will hunt her down and kill her. J
 

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There was some discussion about the age of bee who became a laying worker; what was the conclusion? Was it always demonstrated by bees that had not yet flight oriented?

Pertinent or not?
 
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