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Author Topic: Can you help me to combine a laying worker hive???  (Read 4526 times)
annette
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« on: June 14, 2008, 10:51:00 PM »

Hi guys and gals,

If any of you remember my plight with my laying worker hive, well I would like to update you all and I ask for help now.

I introduced open brood for 3 weeks into my laying worker hive and finally, finally, they made 2 queen cells. Well it seems nothing has become of them as I still do not have any indication of having a queen. No brood of any kind, except a few drone cells from the laying workers.

I am tired of trying to help this hive and I want to combine it with my one strong hive. I have read Michael Bush's website on combining and it makes sense to me. I plan on placing the laying worker hive on top of the strong hive with a screen between them. After a week of this, I will remove the laying worker hive and shake them out in front of the same hive they were on. They should be accepted by then and the laying worker impulse should be suppressed.

I have a few questions though.

1. Should I be doing this in the evening when all the foragers have returned to the laying worker hive??

2. Will the laying worker hive try to fly back to the original spot??? If they do, what do I do then???

3.  Do I just use #8 screen and lay it across the super and then place the laying worker hive on top??? Do I have to use double the screen or only one layer?Huh

4.  I will have a small upper entrance for the laying worker hive. Will that be ok?Huh?

I have noticed that the laying worker hive is somewhat suppressed already just from my placing all that open brood in there all month. What are the chances they may kill the queen in the strong hive?Huh?

Your help dear people is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Annette

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JP
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2008, 12:07:43 AM »

I would bring the hive with the laying worker as far away from where it is now, put down a sheet and shake all the bees onto it. Set the hive up in this new spot and let them enter, give them some honey frames for feed. I would seal the hive up and leave it sealed for two days as long as you have ventilation(sbb)  I would do it late evening, so they have to enter the box.

After two days, bring the sealed hive over and do your combine, newspaper style. I haven't done this myself but think it would work fine.


...JP
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JoelinGA
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2008, 09:42:21 AM »

I would bring the hive with the laying worker as far away from where it is now, put down a sheet and shake all the bees onto it. Set the hive up in this new spot and let them enter, give them some honey frames for feed. I would seal the hive up and leave it sealed for two days as long as you have ventilation(sbb)  I would do it late evening, so they have to enter the box.

After two days, bring the sealed hive over and do your combine, newspaper style. I haven't done this myself but think it would work fine.


...JP

What about trying to re-introduce a queen after shaking the workers off the frames? From my understanding it wouldn't be able to find it's way to the hive since it would be a young worker?
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golddust-twins
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2008, 11:43:36 AM »

OH Annette,

I am so sorry to hear this.  I too am having the same problem.  I am about two weeks behind you in making this same decision.  I am watching your thread with great interest.  Thank you for posting this dilemma  SadCry

thanks,
Corinne
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Ross
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2008, 01:53:20 PM »

Annette,
I would just shake them out.  Don't put a hive back on the stand at all.  The bees will be dispersed and some will be absorbed into other hives, but not enough to endanger the queen.  Good luck.
Ross
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2008, 04:35:20 PM »

Annette,
I would just shake them out.  Don't put a hive back on the stand at all.  The bees will be dispersed and some will be absorbed into other hives, but not enough to endanger the queen.  Good luck.
Ross

 I guess Ross's point Annette is the bees will combine with whatever colonies they can or want to, you just won't have much say in the matter.

I know others with laying worker problems have said the same, to just shake them out somewhere and be done with it.


...JP
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 12:16:30 AM »

Thanks dear people for the advice. I will have to think this over a bit now.

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golddust-twins
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 02:39:33 AM »

Dear Annette,

Please post here you out come.

thanks,
Corinne
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golddust-twins
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2008, 11:09:01 AM »

Annette,

What was your decision on this matter.  I am on my third week of giving my laying worker hive eggs and open brood and still no queen cell.  I am wondering if I am waisting my time and brood by doing this  Cry  Undecided

thanks,
Corinne
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2008, 12:51:41 PM »

Annette,

What was your decision on this matter.  I am on my third week of giving my laying worker hive eggs and open brood and still no queen cell.  I am wondering if I am waisting my time and brood by doing this  Cry  Undecided

thanks,
Corinne

I am going to follow Michael Bush's suggestion and combine the laying worker hive on top of the strong queenright hive. First I will bring the laying worker hive down to one medium super (I use all mediums) and before placing it on top of my strong hive, I will place a screen between the two hives. I have top and bottom entrances so the laying worker hive will have the needed entrance. Leave it alone for 1 week to let the 2 hives get used to each other and to suppress the laying workers. After the week, I will shake each and every frame onto the ground in front of the queenright hive and hopefully they will all just walk on in.  I just want to save each and every bee and that is why I will do it this way.

I always like to ask for lots of opinions from beekeepers if I am unsure of what I am doing, but utimately, I always have to choose a way that feels right for me.

Wish me luck as I will do this this coming week.

Good luck to you as well Corinne. Regarding your hive, though, I would give them another chance and make sure you let them get through the 3rd week and then check if they have made queen cells.  After, that it is up to you. Brian Bray says it takes 5 times of giving them open brood, Michael Bush says 3 times. I would continue with the open brood, but we are having a terrible drought here and the bees are hardly making any honey and I just feel it might be better to have one less hive to have to feed. At least my strong hive is making some honey for themselves. If I let my laying worker hive go any longer, they will never have time to build up and make honey for themselves.

Annette
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golddust-twins
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2008, 12:59:27 PM »

Annette,
Thanks for posting your decision.  I plan on giving my problem child hive a little more time but they have been queenless for quite awhile so what I am doing might be fruitless.  We shall see.

thanks,
Corinne
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jl
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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2008, 12:03:44 AM »

Annette,

I had/have a laying worker hive and tried the adding frames of brood trick.  They did start two queen cells on the third week, but my other hive started making swarm cells, so I added a frame to the laying worker hive with four or five swarm cells from the other hive.  Waiting until saturday to see if a queen has emerged.  Hoping all turns out well. 

I was at work when the other hive swarmed so i missed it.  At least that's what I think because I tried to do a split and couldn't find the queen which I never have had a problem doing.  Good luck with your hive.

Jeff
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asciibaron
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2008, 09:25:17 AM »

instead of a screen, try using a newspaper between the hives - place the 2 boxes with the laying worker on top the good hive with a single sheet of newspaper between them.  close up the top boxes so they have no exit and put some slits in the newspaper.  they will chew thru the paper join up with the good hive.  the queen's scent will trigger the laying workers to stop and all should resume to normal.

remove all traces of the old hive and the "lost" bees will combine with the other hives.

this exact issue came out last night during the local bee club meeting while inspecting several hives and finding one with laying workers.

-Steve
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JP
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2008, 08:25:35 PM »

instead of a screen, try using a newspaper between the hives - place the 2 boxes with the laying worker on top the good hive with a single sheet of newspaper between them.  close up the top boxes so they have no exit and put some slits in the newspaper.  they will chew thru the paper join up with the good hive.  the queen's scent will trigger the laying workers to stop and all should resume to normal.

remove all traces of the old hive and the "lost" bees will combine with the other hives.

this exact issue came out last night during the local bee club meeting while inspecting several hives and finding one with laying workers.

-Steve



Steve, the problem with a laying worker hive is that they think they have a queen, so when they combine with a queen right hive there is a chance that the queen could be killed.


...JP
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2008, 12:02:14 AM »

instead of a screen, try using a newspaper between the hives - place the 2 boxes with the laying worker on top the good hive with a single sheet of newspaper between them.  close up the top boxes so they have no exit and put some slits in the newspaper.  they will chew thru the paper join up with the good hive.  the queen's scent will trigger the laying workers to stop and all should resume to normal.

remove all traces of the old hive and the "lost" bees will combine with the other hives.

this exact issue came out last night during the local bee club meeting while inspecting several hives and finding one with laying workers.

-Steve


Steve, the problem with a laying worker hive is that they think they have a queen, so when they combine with a queen right hive there is a chance that the queen could be killed.


...JP

They can be combined if it is done carefully and correctly but it is time consuming and requires a divider screen.
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« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2008, 10:01:31 AM »

Annette, how did the combine go?  Which method did you use.  I have 2 weak hives that I am getting ready to combine...a first for me. 


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annette
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« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2008, 10:30:44 AM »

Right now I am on hold with the combining because I found another queen cell in the laying worker hive and want to see what they do with it.

But I do have a question for Brian. What is the difference between the divider screen and just placing a screened board between them?? I feel this hive has really suppressed the laying workers, hence the queen cell.

Also my next question for all your experienced beekeepers is:

The queen cell they made has a larvae inside it although it is not sealed up yet. Could they have made this queen cell out of a drone egg, or do they have to have a worker egg to make this?  Just wondering where they got the worker egg from.

Thanks for your replies
Annette
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derrick1p1
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« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2008, 01:05:20 PM »

From what I understand from another post I read last week, if an unfertilized egg is placed in a queen cell, the workers will remove the egg.  So I think it is safe to say that the cell is a good queen cell.  If you are worried about it, you can protect the cell before the queen emerges.  I tried this, but I didn't protect it correctly.  M. Bush suggested I use aluminum foil around the cell to protect the top and sides (the workers will only detroy a queen cell from the side), leaving the bottom of the cell open so the queen can emerge.

Hope this helps,
Derrick
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JP
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« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2008, 01:51:10 PM »

Right now I am on hold with the combining because I found another queen cell in the laying worker hive and want to see what they do with it.

But I do have a question for Brian. What is the difference between the divider screen and just placing a screened board between them?? I feel this hive has really suppressed the laying workers, hence the queen cell.

Also my next question for all your experienced beekeepers is:

The queen cell they made has a larvae inside it although it is not sealed up yet. Could they have made this queen cell out of a drone egg, or do they have to have a worker egg to make this?  Just wondering where they got the worker egg from.

Thanks for your replies
Annette

Annette, it has to be a worker egg.


...JP
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annette
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« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2008, 04:14:59 PM »

Wow, maybe they will get it this time. There is no more drone brood so the laying workers seem to be suppressed.

Gosh, I really hope they get a queen this time. I will give them another frame of capped brood to help them along. 
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