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Last fall I noticed I had a laying worker and thought I caught it quick enough to insert a queen and correct itself. The hive did not accept the queen and it was so late in the fall I didn't try and re-queen again. I figured that this hive would die out over the winter. Today, I went through the hive and found that the population was still strong but evidence shows that the laying worker is still at it (drones in worker cells and eggs on the side of cells). I am wondering if a standard shake out would still work or is something else worth trying. Thoughts?
 

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I had a laying worker, too. I transferred a frame of young brood/eggs with the nurse bees from another hive into the laying worker hive. Supposedly, the nurse bees kill the laying worker and raise a new queen. All I know is it worked and I have a queen right hive. And, it was easy! Good luck!
 

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

The only way a "shake out" works is if you move the equipment, shake the bees out and give the equipment to another hive. The bees will wander into other hives. Sometimes, but not usually, a "Standard" shake out will disorient them enough to get them to accept a queen, but not often enough to be worth the risk in my opinion. If you have only a few hives, I'd give them a frame of brood every week for three weeks. If you have a lot of hives, I do a "shake and forget"...
 

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If you have only a few hives, I'd give them a frame of brood every week for three weeks.
We did that with a drone laying hive a couple years back. All it did, was keep the population up in the drone layer, they never did start a cell.

Over the last few years, from when we first started with a couple packages, till today where we have a reasonable number of colonies in the back yard, I've noticed a big mindset change here. Early on, we were very concerned about colony count, and would do just about anything to rescue a colony, we were very adverse to the idea of combining. The mindset shift now says, we are very adverse to weak colonies, and far better off with a few strong colonies than we are with a large number of weak ones. One strong colony will produce a hundred pounds of honey on our blackberry bloom, while 2 weak colonies will just survive and produce no surplus honey.

My perspective today, a drone laying colony in the early spring, is a deadout that just hasn't finished dieing. The comb in those boxes is a more valuable asset than the bees on it. If I only had two, I'd start by doing a newspaper combine, turn it into one stronger colony with an extra box of comb. After a week or so, then we can split off that extra box, ensure it has a frame with eggs after the split, and we have a MUCH better chance of the resulting colony raising a queen, in a process that takes a week, rather than a process that takes 3 weeks with a poor chance of them raising a queen.

That's just my opinion, and, like anything, a dozen opinons will result in a dozen different answers. But we've tried the 'frame of eggs/brood a week, for 3 weeks', and all it did was set back the donor colony, without fixing the one getting those frames.
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm doing a few splits tomorrow so I think this hive will just get shaken out and I will use the drawn comb in the splits. The remaining bees can just find a new home in another hive. They already rejected one queen last fall, don't want to risk another one.
 

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We did that with a drone laying hive a couple years back. All it did, was keep the population up in the drone layer, they never did start a cell.

Over the last few years, from when we first started with a couple packages, till today where we have a reasonable number of colonies in the back yard, I've noticed a big mindset change here. Early on, we were very concerned about colony count, and would do just about anything to rescue a colony, we were very adverse to the idea of combining. The mindset shift now says, we are very adverse to weak colonies, and far better off with a few strong colonies than we are with a large number of weak ones. One strong colony will produce a hundred pounds of honey on our blackberry bloom, while 2 weak colonies will just survive and produce no surplus honey.

My perspective today, a drone laying colony in the early spring, is a deadout that just hasn't finished dieing. The comb in those boxes is a more valuable asset than the bees on it. If I only had two, I'd start by doing a newspaper combine, turn it into one stronger colony with an extra box of comb. After a week or so, then we can split off that extra box, ensure it has a frame with eggs after the split, and we have a MUCH better chance of the resulting colony raising a queen, in a process that takes a week, rather than a process that takes 3 weeks with a poor chance of them raising a queen.

That's just my opinion, and, like anything, a dozen opinons will result in a dozen different answers. But we've tried the 'frame of eggs/brood a week, for 3 weeks', and all it did was set back the donor colony, without fixing the one getting those frames.
What do you think changed your view? I agree it is best to aim for strong hives.
 

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But we've tried the 'frame of eggs/brood a week, for 3 weeks', and all it did was set back the donor colony, without fixing the one getting those frames.
It worked for me last summer, but it took 6 weeks and 6 frames, and may have set back the donor hive. But the donor hive was ferociously strong, and might have swarmed without the several nucs I made and the frames I took to rescue the laying worker hive.
 

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What do you think changed your view? I agree it is best to aim for strong hives.
I guess when i read over things and started thinking it made more sense to just move on. After all, I'm not killing the bees, I'm actually reinforcing existing hives and freeing up some drawn comb to make more splits from strong hives with good queens. So short term I am down one hive, soon I will have 2 or 3 new hives from splits to replace it so my time is better off tending to the strong rather than fighting a losing battle with a weak hive.
 

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What do you think changed your view? I agree it is best to aim for strong hives.
In year 2 we realized our two strong hives produced lots of honey, and our weak hives produced no surplus, needed feed in the fall. When we tallied it all up, 2 strong hives produced enough honey for us to use, and sell a little. All of the money we got, ended up going into sacks of sugar for the weak hives. Had we combined the weak ones into another strong hive, would have been a totally different story. Fewer colonies, more product. And that was the big light bulb, during the first year and early in the 2nd year, we were focussed on counting colonies. Having produced nothing, that was the only metric we had to work with in our minds. Once we got to the point of actually producing surplus honey, a big light bulb went off. The end goal is product, not colony count, and one strong colony will out produce 3 weak ones. I dont think one really clues into this, until you see a strong colony at work, right beside one or more weak ones, and then sit back thinking it thru after extracting.

In year 3, we clued into a few more details. It was our first year to have drawn honey supers. I put all the drawn supers onto the strongest two of our colonies rather early in the season. By May 1, we were extracting maple honey from those supers, and putting them back on the colonies. Conversly, the colonies that had undrawn frames in the supers, were making swarm preps. I did happen by the bee yard one afternoon, and found a rather large swarm hanging in a tree. I was out of 10 frame gear at the time, so I dumped them into a 5 frame box, but they didn't fit. I put the last two 5 frame boxes I had on top of it, and left them. They were in a 3 high stack of 5 frame boxes, to which I had added a single frame of open brood from another hive, to anchor the swarm. 2 weeks later, I had a dozen drawn frames in that stack. These are all points of interest where I've learned something, and I am trying to combine all the lessons as we move ahead.

So for the purpose of dealing with a laying worker or drone layer, I've come to the conclusion, since we dont have a large surplus of drawn comb to work with, the brood comb in a drone laying hive is more valuable than the bees when it's very early in the season. If I can present that comb to a healthy laying queen, we will get more brood hence bees, and that will lead to a honey crop. Fighting to rescue the drone laying colony, just results in frustration, and at best, a weak colony. A weak colony is only helpful if your desired end result is colony count, and it's actually detrimental if the final metric you will use to tally success in the season, is weighing the amount of honey produced. But no matter what your metric is for measuring success, a colony laying drones is not going to help by any measurement, so bite the bullet and deal with it.
 

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all good points and i agree with shaking them out. at the point, the remaining overwintered bees in the laying worker hive are about to the end of their lifespan anyway.
 

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I struggled with a 5 laying-worker hives last year. I had a heck of a time getting rid of the laying worker and re-queening the hives. I expended alot of frames of brood dealing with the issue, which means the laying-worker hives not only hurt themselves, but also hurt my queen-right hives. Bad queens and a severe drought were major dampers on the process. I finally got queen-right hives in mid-Fall. At the end of that Fall, 2 hives were so small that I combined them into 1 hive with a newly purchased queen. Of the 5 laying-worker hives, the only bees to survive the winter were the 2 hives combined into 1.

Based on the above experience, I think combining a laying-worker hive into a queen-right hive is generally the best way to deal with the problem (as long as it is done correctly so you don't lose the queen in the queen-right hive).

JMHO
 

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I struggled with a 5 laying-worker hives last year. I had a heck of a time getting rid of the laying worker and re-queening the hives. I expended alot of frames of brood dealing with the issue, which means the laying-worker hives not only hurt themselves, but also hurt my queen-right hives. Bad queens and a severe drought were major dampers on the process. I finally got queen-right hives in mid-Fall. At the end of that Fall, 2 hives were so small that I combined them into 1 hive with a newly purchased queen. Of the 5 laying-worker hives, the only bees to survive the winter were the 2 hives combined into 1.

Based on the above experience, I think combining a laying-worker hive into a queen-right hive is generally the best way to deal with the problem (as long as it is done correctly so you don't lose the queen in the queen-right hive).

JMHO
What is the correct way to do it?
 

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I dealt with two last year. One came out of winter laying worker, I shook it out after putting a new hive in it's spot. The other came early spring after failed supercedure. I introduced a frame of brood for 3 weeks, and after two days of adding the third frame I introduced a new queen which the bees readily released and accepted.
 

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Yes it's a good method. Safer yet if you use an excluder between them to stop the queen accidentally crossing over into unfriendly bees before they have accepted each other. The excluder can be removed in 2-3 weeks.
 

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Your reference has just about every method there is Shinbone LOL.

What method did you end up using & did it work?
 
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