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Discussion Starter #1
2 weeks ago I posted a question about my hive inspection that showed no brood in any of my 2 deeps or top medium super, but plenty of bees. I thought I was queenless. It was recommended that I put in a frame of capped and uncapped brood from my other healthy hive. I did this last weekend. This weekend I inspected and found no queen cells, but evidence of laying workers. Irregular bullet-shaped capped cells on the frame next to the one I added the week before, more than one egg in many of the cells. Now my question is: at this time in the season, in North Carolina, is it too late to deal with this and save the colony? If not too late, whats the best solution? I still have plenty of bees, they are still foraging, though not as aggressively as the other hive. Thanks!
 

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If you have a queen right hive that is a little weak, I would:

1) remove the laying worker hive from it's stand
2) put the weaker queen right hive in it's place
3) shake out the laying worker hive away from the stand
4) give the stores to the weaker hives.
 

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Thanks, Ross. That's sonds like a good solution, except I don't have a weaker, queenright hive, just my other strong one. Could I do the same with a queenright nuc, if I can get one?
 

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So, Michael, are you saying just combine the laying worker hive's bees and stores with the strong hive, using Ross's method? Then I'll be down to one strong hive? I was hoping to somehow salvage the laying worker hive so I'd still have 2 hives. Thanks.
 

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From my experience, SOMETIMES you can salvage a laying worker hive, but you usually waste too much time and resources, especially this time of year. I would shake them out and do a split in the spring. I'd be a bit hestiant to have a STRONG laying worker hive moving into a weak queenright hive because I've done this and had the laying workers ball the queen and kill her. It's better if the queenright bees outnumber the queenless ones. I'd shake the queenless ones out in various places in front of various other hives.

But if you only have one other hive, that's a difficult problem.

I'd probably move the laying worker hive and put the other hive in it's place. Take about half of them and shake them out in front of the other hive. After a few days you can shake the rest out.

Do you have another queen? If so you might be able to split them a while after that. But all of this is late in the season, especially where I live.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, Michael. Sounds good. I don't have another queen, and I'm trying to get one, or preferably a queenright nuc, with no success so far. A local commercial beekeeper with 2,000 hives told me he can't get queens now, "not even from Hawaii".
 
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