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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a nuc that is thriving, but the hive it swarmed from failed to raise a queen (it's been 5 weeks, haven't seen a queen on multiple checks, numbers dwindling, nothing but drone brood). The population of the hive (a top bar) has dropped and they're only on the front 6-8 bars. I was planning on adding the nuc to the hive, but now I'm realizing that I have laying workers due to the fact that I'm only seeing drone brood, and I'm fairly certain there is no queen. I've been told that in this case, they would most likely kill the queen from the nuc. Is there any way around this?

I don't have another hive, so this nuc has to go in. What if I remove all the eggs/brood in the hive? If I separate the old from the new (newspaper), will that help? Move all the bees in the hive into a nuc, and then add the nuc to the hive (foragers would end up going back to the hive)? Just some thoughts. Any help is appreciated.
 

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I have a nuc that is thriving, but the hive it swarmed from failed to raise a queen (it's been 5 weeks, haven't seen a queen on multiple checks, numbers dwindling, nothing but drone brood). The population of the hive (a top bar) has dropped and they're only on the front 6-8 bars. I was planning on adding the nuc to the hive, but now I'm realizing that I have laying workers due to the fact that I'm only seeing drone brood, and I'm fairly certain there is no queen. I've been told that in this case, they would most likely kill the queen from the nuc. Is there any way around this?

I don't have another hive, so this nuc has to go in. What if I remove all the eggs/brood in the hive? If I separate the old from the new (newspaper), will that help? Move all the bees in the hive into a nuc, and then add the nuc to the hive (foragers would end up going back to the hive)? Just some thoughts. Any help is appreciated.
What if you stack one hive on top of the other, and instead of using newspaper to seperate the 2 hives use hardware cloth or screen? That way the queens pheromones will spread up into the laying workers hive and her pheromones should be much much stronger than the laying workers. Eventually the entire hive should align with the queen.
And of coarse both hives have seperate entrances and such.
Never tried it so if you do I would love to know the outcome.Hope this helps.
Also to get the queens pheromones into the upper laying worker hive, it needs to be clear that you cannot use a double screen board. The bees will not be able to transfer the QMP mouth to mouth that way.
 

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I have a nuc that is thriving, but the hive it swarmed from failed to raise a queen (it's been 5 weeks, haven't seen a queen on multiple checks, numbers dwindling, nothing but drone brood). The population of the hive (a top bar) has dropped and they're only on the front 6-8 bars. I was planning on adding the nuc to the hive, but now I'm realizing that I have laying workers due to the fact that I'm only seeing drone brood, and I'm fairly certain there is no queen. I've been told that in this case, they would most likely kill the queen from the nuc. Is there any way around this?

I don't have another hive, so this nuc has to go in. What if I remove all the eggs/brood in the hive? If I separate the old from the new (newspaper), will that help? Move all the bees in the hive into a nuc, and then add the nuc to the hive (foragers would end up going back to the hive)? Just some thoughts. Any help is appreciated.
Is a top bar hive a horizontal hive? If so set the nuc on it with the lid open??? Shelter any exposed hive or cover boards ? As long as you get the 2 hives together with hardware cloth between them should get you the results of gaining the allegiance of the worker bees in the L.W. hive.
Theoretically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses. Yes, it's a horizontal top bar. I have the nuc sitting on top of the hive right now, so I'll just remove the lid of the hive and leave it for...a couple of days? How long do you think? The nuc has a screened bottom, so I'll just take off the bottom board and set it on top of the bars, and then cover the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just did it. I spaced out a few of the bars of the hive and then put the nuc on top. Then I covered the exposed parts of the hive (not shown in pics). Still wondering how long to leave it like this though?
63902

63904
 

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Just did it. I spaced out a few of the bars of the hive and then put the nuc on top. Then I covered the exposed parts of the hive (not shown in pics). Still wondering how long to leave it like this though?
View attachment 63902
View attachment 63904
The bees really need to be in good contact with each other. If they can transfer the QMP to each other, your laying queen should gain dominance. The longer you can leave it the better. It's hard getting rid of laying workers. I hear of very little success. If you don't get enough contact between the bees it might take forever. If there was a way to expose the whole bottom of your nuc to the bees below. Kinda like in a 2 stack hive with a screen between the 2. Also can you tell if the bees are interacting with each other through the screen bottom board?
 

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Just did it. I spaced out a few of the bars of the hive and then put the nuc on top. Then I covered the exposed parts of the hive (not shown in pics). Still wondering how long to leave it like this though?
View attachment 63902
View attachment 63904
I am not very confident that this setup will work . As far as contact between the 2 hives, you almost need the whole bottom of the hive in contact with the top of the other. I wouldn't be comfortable setting 2 langstroths on top of each other for less than a week. And with you having a good hive still, I would try to prep a little more. Can you build a couple of langstroth nucs? Would all your hive fit in them. Or maybe 1 -5 frame, then set in on top of a 10 frame.
You need more contact surface basically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
okay. The nuc needs to be below the hive? I'll try and get back to the hives today and see if they're interacting at all, and try and reconfigure it a bit. Like i said in my original post, the hive only has bees on the first 6-8 bars, so the nuc is basically over the entire hive.
Unfortunately, I don't really have the time to build anything right now. i mean, are we basically talking about a box with no top under a box with no bottom, and a screen in between?

Just curious...the bees from the nuc dont have the means to protect their queen against a weak hive with less numbers? or they could, but it would result in a lot of dead bees?
 

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okay. The nuc needs to be below the hive? I'll try and get back to the hives today and see if they're interacting at all, and try and reconfigure it a bit. Like i said in my original post, the hive only has bees on the first 6-8 bars, so the nuc is basically over the entire hive.
Unfortunately, I don't really have the time to build anything right now. i mean, are we basically talking about a box with no top under a box with no bottom, and a screen in between?

Just curious...the bees from the nuc dont have the means to protect their queen against a weak hive with less numbers? or they could, but it would result in a lot of dead bees?
As far as hives being stronger or weaker yes that is your concern if your thinking of combining the 2. The hive with the more soldiers wins.
 

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okay. The nuc needs to be below the hive? I'll try and get back to the hives today and see if they're interacting at all, and try and reconfigure it a bit. Like i said in my original post, the hive only has bees on the first 6-8 bars, so the nuc is basically over the entire hive.
Unfortunately, I don't really have the time to build anything right now. i mean, are we basically talking about a box with no top under a box with no bottom, and a screen in between?

Just curious...the bees from the nuc dont have the means to protect their queen against a weak hive with less numbers? or they could, but it would result in a lot of dead bees?
If you dont have the material or time, I dont think I would try something like this because you can very easily lose your good hive.
 

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okay. The nuc needs to be below the hive? I'll try and get back to the hives today and see if they're interacting at all, and try and reconfigure it a bit. Like i said in my original post, the hive only has bees on the first 6-8 bars, so the nuc is basically over the entire hive.
Unfortunately, I don't really have the time to build anything right now. i mean, are we basically talking about a box with no top under a box with no bottom, and a screen in between?

Just curious...the bees from the nuc dont have the means to protect their queen against a weak hive with less numbers? or they could, but it would result in a lot of dead bees?
If you continue to wait out your laying worker hive it will eventually become so weak you can move the L.W. hive. Put your nuc in the L.W. old position. Shake out the frames 50 feet away and the L.W. foragers will beg in to the Q.R. hive.
 

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okay. The nuc needs to be below the hive? I'll try and get back to the hives today and see if they're interacting at all, and try and reconfigure it a bit. Like i said in my original post, the hive only has bees on the first 6-8 bars, so the nuc is basically over the entire hive.
Unfortunately, I don't really have the time to build anything right now. i mean, are we basically talking about a box with no top under a box with no bottom, and a screen in between?

Just curious...the bees from the nuc dont have the means to protect their queen against a weak hive with less numbers? or they could, but it would result in a lot of dead bees?
And yes the construction of the boxes would be similar to what your saying.
Bottom box has no top. Top box has no bottom. 1/8" mesh in between. Not like window screen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
well...and this is going to sound harsh...I don't really care about the LW hive. as far as I'm concerned that hive has run its course and is just causing me to jump through hoops in order to get the healthy nuc into a hive. Truth be told, I waiting too long to start this discussion, and now the nuc is packed full of comb and bees and I'm worried they'll swarm.

At what point can I shake the bees from the LW hive out and let them figure it out...now? I think that's probably what i'll end up doing. If I did that would I want to also pull all of the comb that has drone brood and get rid of it? is the distance of 50 ft critical? they're on my roof, and the farthest I can get them away from the hive is probably around 35 ft.

today I'm going to pull a bar of comb from the nuc and put in a new bar to give them some more room. hopefully that will buy me some time.

Appreciate all the help!
 

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I'm only a second year beekeeper but I have experienced laying workers and there are lots and lots of threads on this issue with few finding any definitive way to correct this other than shaking them out and starting over. It sounds like you are at that point. One suggestion that is sometimes put forward is if you don't need the equipment they are using you could simply let the LWs produce as much drawn comb for you as possible in an effort to get something good out of the situation. Feed them for as long as you have a population and see what they can make for you.

Good luck.

Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the info Kevin.
I just went and checked on the hive and nuc, and the numbers in the hive have dropped even more, and they're only gathering on 3 combs at this point. plus, because the numbers are so low the ants are starting to move in, so I'm definitely going to shake them out. I can see the bees from the LW hive interacting with the nuc through the mesh, but since the numbers are so low in the LW hive I don't see any point in trying to get them to allow the new bees. \

Still wondering...should pull all of the comb that has drone brood and get rid of it? is the distance of 50 ft critical? they're on my roof, and the farthest I can get them away from the hive is probably around 35 ft.
 

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Again, any advice from me is in the "take it for what it is worth" category - I would not not "get rid of" the drone brood comb if by getting rid of it you mean destroying it. Drone comb makes for fabulous honey storage frames due to the larger cells especially in a top bar which I also have. You could remove every adhering bee from the drone comb frames, insert the frames into your strong hive so the drone can emerge, then place the empty comb after emergence at the back of the hive for the colony to use for nectar/syrup storage. Better minds would have to comment on whether you could simply drop the existing capped drone brood into the back of the hive as I don't know if the workers will pull out the drone pupae to get them ready for nectar/syrup storage. This would save you a step and I would think they would do it, but don't know for sure.

As far as the shaking goes, my one experience with doing this was when I shook them out, any bees that had been foragers or had been outside the hive returned to the hive's old location which in my case was the old hive stand. As a result, I ended up with a small cluster on the hive stand which pitifully just clung there until I took the hive stand away. So I guess as long as you remove the stand where they may have been located you could shake them out and let them try to fend for themselves.

Kevin
 

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If the bars from the nuc are compatible with your top bar hive you can add a frame or two of brood from the nuc to the TBH each week until you reverse the laying workers. You will know you have achieved the desired result when they raise QCs from the eggs.
Remove frames of Drone comb, freeze overnight, then break the cappings with your hive tool before adding them back into your nuc. This way you will always have eggs to add to your TBH and keep the population of your nuc below swarming levels. If the population of your nuc increases too much anyway, shake some of the nurse bees into your TBH, being careful to not shake in the Queen for that would ruin everything. Good luck.
 

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well...and this is going to sound harsh...I don't really care about the LW hive. as far as I'm concerned that hive has run its course and is just causing me to jump through hoops in order to get the healthy nuc into a hive. Truth be told, I waiting too long to start this discussion, and now the nuc is packed full of comb and bees and I'm worried they'll swarm.

At what point can I shake the bees from the LW hive out and let them figure it out...now? I think that's probably what i'll end up doing. If I did that would I want to also pull all of the comb that has drone brood and get rid of it? is the distance of 50 ft critical? they're on my roof, and the farthest I can get them away from the hive is probably around 35 ft.

today I'm going to pull a bar of comb from the nuc and put in a new bar to give them some more room. hopefully that will buy me some time.

Appreciate all the help!
Not taken as harsh. But if not for your brainstorming i wouldnt have brain stormed. And the next laying worker hive I have I am going to see if the screen will resolve the issue. Hope they both make it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
On Saturday I shook out the bees that were left in the LW hive, and installed the nuc. It seems to have gone well, but I will post again in a couple of weeks to close out this discussion once I know the queen is still alive.

Thanks again for all the help.
 
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