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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I'm pretty sure one of my new hives has a laying worker issue. Brood pattern spotty, hive buzzing a bit more agitated, and they refused to accept my introduced queen on the last go-around.

I'm not terribly interested in doing the shake-out method, but I may try the 'give them a frame of eggs' every week suggestion (that I read from another poster on this site) until they make a new one, but my question is this:

- Doesn't the introduced queen help regulate the pheromones to stop the laying workers from heading down the path of laying (or at least new ones from developing)? Why would introducing a frame of eggs where they 'make their own new queen' be different from hanging a new queen in a cage for a week or two, then releasing her? Even if it took a few tries, wouldn't hanging a queen in the cage eventually work?
 

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Because they view the laying workers AS queens and will kill any intruder you put in there. Introing a frame of eggs also intros brood pheromones.
 

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>- Doesn't the introduced queen help regulate the pheromones to stop the laying workers from heading down the path of laying (or at least new ones from developing)?

Not. It's not the queen phermones that supress laying workers, it's the brood pheromone.
See page 11 of Wisdom of the hive:

"the queen's pheromones are neither necessary nor sufficient for inhibiting worker's ovaries. Instead, they strongly inhibit the workers from rearing additional queens. It is now clear that the pheromones that provide the proximate stimulus for workers to refrain from laying eggs come mainly from the brood, not from the queen (reviewed in Seeling 1985; see also Willis, Winston, and Slessor 1990)."

> Why would introducing a frame of eggs where they 'make their own new queen' be different from hanging a new queen in a cage for a week or two, then releasing her?

Because the pheromones of the queen have no effect on the laying workers and because they will kill the queen.

> Even if it took a few tries, wouldn't hanging a queen in the cage eventually work?

No. Most likely it will not.

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

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Discussion Starter #4
Interesting. That's an expensive book, btw!

So it would seem that putting in a frame of eggs along with a queen may be more effective - the frame of eggs from another colony would help suppress the laying workers, and the new queen would be ready to be released sooner than raising another from egg?

Cheers.
 

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I just did the shake-out method (as prescribed by Mr. Bush), took honey, pollen and eggs/larva from another hive and put it in my queenless hive. I am hopeful they will raise a new queen. will see how it goes. I am a novice so consider this a science experiment.
Nancy
 

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Aren't they going to kill that queen you are putting in there along with the eggs they are going to raise a new queen from ? Isn't that your goal, raising a queen ?

Huh ?

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Perhaps it's all about timing? If a frame of eggs is put in, that will tend to regulate the laying workers. Then a caged queen will be more readily accepted. It may be easier to put her in shortly after a frame of eggs perhaps? Then the little darlings don't need to make a new queen.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Probably neither. From the prior posts it appears that brood is one way to regulate the hive layers, and a queen is a way to jumpstart the egg laying process.

All the suggestions I've read on laying workers seems to indicate that doing some combination of shakeout, combining, etc. is needed to stop the laying process.

Waiting for them to make an emergency queen, or fill a queen cup and get her started probably can be reduced by introducing a queen shortly after putting in the brood.

At any rate, I'll be trying this and seeing. Worst case - they don't accept the queen and make one of their own. Several posters indicated that if you keep putting in a new frame of eggs each week, the hive will eventually click over to acceptance and all will be well and right in the world!

Cheers!
 

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So complicated, this stuff. Well, I have no queen, so I did the shake-out, and they all came back to the hive where I had eggs and larva, pollen and honey awaiting them. It is late in the season so we will see how this science experiment goes. Good luck with yours.

Nancy
 

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Why don't you just send that $20.00 bill that you'll spend on the queen to me? That will do you as much good as trying to introduce a queen to a LW hive. LISTEN to what Mr. Bush has been trying to tell you! The LW hive will kill your new queen virtually every time! Give them a frame of eggs, every week for a month if you have to, until they start cells.
 

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If you really insist upon giving a laying worker hive a queen, smoke them really good and run a virgin queen in the front entrance.

A virgin queen, or send fish stix the $20. Those are your queen options.
 

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So it would seem that putting in a frame of eggs along with a queen may be more effective
Dont try to "re-invent the cheesburger". M. Bush is correct with tried and true methods. First.. introducing eggs usually does not FIX the LW problem with the first frame added, so if you add a frame of eggs and a queen...she is dead (send $20.00 to Fish-stix). Sometimes (more often than not) it takes several frames of eggs over several weeks to fix the problem. Countryboys advice is also a viable option and can work also, we just did this to one of our hives, still awaiting the verdict. IMO laying worker hives can be an easy fix (see tried and true methods previously mentioned) or one of the most frustrating problems to deal with, go with the advice given or possibly suffer the loss of this hive. M Bush's advice and website more often than not provide tried and proven methods to deal with a myraid of problems and speed bumps related to beekeeping...good luck....IMO one of the best responded with advice, I'd take that to the bank or to Vegas anytime.
 

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>So it would seem that putting in a frame of eggs along with a queen may be more effective - the frame of eggs from another colony would help suppress the laying workers, and the new queen would be ready to be released sooner than raising another from egg?

I would just let them raise a queen. It's foolproof. But once they start queen cells you could give them a queen and they will most likely accept it.

>I just did the shake-out method (as prescribed by Mr. Bush)

I don't remember prescribing the "shake-out method" other than "shake out and forget it" method... where you take ALL their equipment, give it to other hives and shake them all out and let them find a new home... I've never had luck with a shake out and requeen or shake any of the typical methods of shaking out...

> took honey, pollen and eggs/larva from another hive and put it in my queenless hive. I am hopeful they will raise a new queen. will see how it goes. I am a novice so consider this a science experiment.

If you give them eggs every week for three weeks the shakout is irelevant.

Nancy
 
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