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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I installed a new package in a new hive on April 1, 2014. Bees released queen from the queen cage. Pulled out two frames with wax but no eggs and no queen sighting on April 8.
The bees had pulled out three frames and filled two frames with pollen and honey. No queen sighting and no eggs. Hive very loud buzzing. On April 13 still loud, built 4 queen cells and now multiple eggs in cells. Put in new queen on April 14 but did not pull cork. April 17 pulled cork from candy end of cage. Workers were tending queen through cage and not biting it. Noticed multiple eggs in burr comb built next to queen cage. Removed burr comb. April 20 bees had eaten all candy and were in cage with queen tending her. I turned cage upside down and queen walked out into hive. Again more burr comp with multiple eggs in cells.

My guess is that this hive will not make it. I have another package coming in a couple of weeks. What do I do with the bees currently in this hive? If I remove them all from the hive, do I just install the new package in this hive with the frames pulled out by the previous package? These frames have pollen, honey and cells with multiple eggs in the cells. Nothing capped and no larve. Or do I install new frames with new foundation? Thanks for any and all advice!
 

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I had the same problem last year when I purchased 2 packages. The bees killed the queen in one of them, my supplier told me he couldn't get another queen (even though he raises his own) and I ended up killing off the hive. IMO, it's real hard the first year to have enough supplies to spare to correct a LW hive. I know Michael Bush says to put one frame of eggs in the hive per week, for 3 weeks and that will cause them to stop laying and make a new queen. I'm sure that's the best way to fix them, but that's hard to do with limited resources. I didn't want to rob bees from my decent package to give to the LW package.

You could leave them the way they are until you get your new package, then take the hive a couple hundred yards away and shake ALL the bees off the frames and out of the hive and let them fly back and combine with the new package. The theory is that the laying workers can't fly back that far so they won't make it back to the hive site.

The Laying Worker problem that I had with my packages is one reason why I recommend to buy nucs instead of package bees. I certainly hope that I don't ever get in a situation where I am forced to buy another package or mail order queen.
 

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Went through the same thing last year too, frustrating but part of the learning process. If I read your post correct I don't think all is lost yet. Sounds as if you just released the queen yesterday and it seems as if they had accepted her. Your new packages are a couple weeks out, give her a week or two alone and see what happens, you just might get surprised. Good luck.
 

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A similar thing happened to me last year. My second hive went laying worker while I was away. It took a lot of time and resources; six weeks giving them a frame of eggs every week, but eventually the hive was queenright, and it built up really fast this spring.

It may have only been possible because I had a boomer in my first hive. But one thing I did that might be useful is that I am running my hives without foundation. I'd put an empty frame in the broodnest, and a day or two later the comb would be well started and the queen would have laid up every cell in the partial comb. That way I could give the laying worker hive some fresh eggs and brood without giving them a whole deep frame of brood.
 

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Not sure why you are sure you have a problem. Multiple eggs is a possible problem, are they on bottom of cell or side? If cell is not fully drawn, they can be worker reaching bottom.
Bees are drawing comb and filling stores, you have egg, you had queen cells? Would not be time for new queen, not likely QC from LW. Likely just a new queen or a double queen if you had eggs on comb while queen was caged.

If you still have a problem when your new package comes, let it get going and then do a combine, How to do that depends on what you have happening then. You have no brood to give, then sit tight, wait and see.
 

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I recovered a laying worker hive last year even though it was advisable to do a combine. I had 2 hives so I was able to spare a frame of brood twice, I introduced a mated queen and left the cork in for 4 days, then let them to the candy, the result was she was accepted and it came through the winter booming. The hive I was sure would make it perished. The small late recovery made it. Go Figure. Good luck, dont give up. G
 

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I still don't understand much about LW bees. So after the hive is queen right again with a new laying queen, the LW
disappeared? How?
You mean they died after a month or 2? And the new queen live longer so she keeps on laying, right.
 

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Absence of brood pheromone at a time when the bees aren't overwintering causes some of the workers in a hive to produce and lay eggs.

Once there is a laying queen in the hive, and therefore open brood releasing brood pheromone, the workers often stop egg production and quit laying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The cells with multiple eggs have the eggs scattered all around. They are on the sides and scattered around the bottom of the cells. If I shake out the bees 100 yards away and install the new package, do I remove and disgard the frames that have drawn wax, pollen, honey and worker bee eggs and replace with new foundation or do I let the new package of bees have them as is?
 

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Welcome to Beesource!


If your package does indeed have "worker bee eggs" then there is a laying queen in there somewhere. I would not be so quick to shake out the hive.

If you need the equipment to install a new package, get a second set of hive bodies. In the long run, you will find that you need at least two hives to be successful at keeping bees.
 

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Whoa, slow down. If you have eggs on the bottom of a normal depth cell you have a queen. You may also have some laying workers who came with the package, but that will cure itself.

If you have LW when your next package arrives, and I do not think you will, get your new package established before you do anything about LW. Wait till that hive has eggs, brood and is normalizing. You will then only have one safe functioning queen. That hive will not be in any position to spare brood.
Forget the add brood method, you do not have the stock available. Protect her and do the slowest, safest combine; put the LW on top over a screen. Wait a week and then combine. Overkill with one hive is smart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The eggs that I see are in cells that are about half way pulled out. Some are in the bottom but not centered. Others are stuck to the sides. Some cells have as many as five eggs. Does not appear that the eggs are hatching. No larve and nothing capped - just eggs.
 

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First, package queens sometimes take two weeks to start laying.

Second, multiple eggs do not always mean laying workers, a queen when she first starts to lay may lay multiple eggs.

Third, shaking out simply does not work at all to get rid of laying workers. There are thousands of them and they all know the way home. It may, however, dishearten and confuse them enough to take a queen ("may" being the operative work).

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

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The eggs that I see are in cells that are about half way pulled out. Some are in the bottom but not centered. Others are stuck to the sides. Some cells have as many as five eggs. Does not appear that the eggs are hatching. No larve and nothing capped - just eggs.
If you had another hive you would have options, you don't. Do yourself a favor, close the lid and go away for 10 plus days. You just released the new queen less than 48 hours ago....There is no need, reason or rush to dump anything out.

You can't fix it, they might be able to if you give them the chance by leaving them alone. A lesson I learned the hard way.
 

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Does the laying workers abdomen get longer like a queens?
 

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Does the laying workers abdomen get longer like a queens?
No, that is why the eggs are on the side. Also why you can't screen them out of a hive with an excluder like you can screen out a drone layering queen.
 
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