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Author Topic: 4 week old package with Laying Workers. Help!  (Read 960 times)
Gunslinger
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« on: May 07, 2009, 07:48:48 PM »

Hello, First year beek here. I have 2 new hives one is going great, very strong with brood and stores and I just added another box .
 
The other hive is a problem.
This package didn't contain a full 3lbs of bees more like 2lbs or less, so it was at a disadvantage from the start. Only about 3/4 is drawn out on the center 2 frames. Another 2 frames are started but barely.

I suspected the queen was dead or had failed after checking at the 2 week mark and there wasn't any eggs or larvae. Compared to my other hive this did not look promising.

Then at week three I found eggs and larvae and figured all's well.
Not so, I just checked the hive (week 4) and found nothing but scattered capped drone cells with what I believe is an emergency queen cup or supersedure cell at the top third of one frame. I looked closely and found multiple eggs and off center eggs as well.
I haven't been able to locate the queen so I'm confident shes dead.

From searching this site it seems I have a classic laying worker issue.

To try and correct this problem I just ordered another package with the hopes of boosting population and getting them queen right again.

My question is how should I go about it?

Should I install the new package bees & queen in a separate broodnest box then do a newspaper combine with the laying worker brood nest box going on top?

Another option I read about would be to shake the laying worker frames out on the ground in front of the hives.
Being that one hive will be the new package, will the shook bees enter their old hive location(which will now contain the new package) and start laying again? Or will the presence of the queen (in queen cage until shes accepted) be enough to set them straight?

OK that sums it up, any thoughts?
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bailey
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2009, 07:55:19 PM »

i would start the package by itself and after it is going strong. then  take the laying  worker hive and shake it out on the ground.

the next day i would combine the laying worker hive with the queenright hive via a newspaper combine.

you get both the comb and the bees from the laying worker hive to boost the new queenright hive.

just my thoughts, i am sure others will also chime in.

bailey
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2009, 08:20:26 PM »

i just had to shake out a laying worker hive and got great advice on here.  i carried the hive a ways away from the others and shook out-brushed off all the frames.  the bees immediately joined my other hives.  if the other hives have queens, the bees from the laying worker hive will not be a problem for them.  you can shake out your LWH now and use that drawn foundation for your new package.

i put the frames i shook into an empty box with lid as i worked.  when i was done, i took the box away.  there was no problem with return.  i put the box in the barn.
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asprince
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 08:24:25 PM »

I agree with kathy. Shake the bees and let them join your other hives. Use the drawn comb for your new package. It will give them a jump start.

Steve
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troutstalker2
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2009, 09:52:22 PM »

 
  Whats all this bee shakin going on? Will the hive with a laying worker not accept the queen? Just asking because I never really thought about it before. That's why I love reading this forum, it gets me thinking.


Thanks, David   

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asprince
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2009, 10:09:22 PM »

 
  Whats all this bee shakin going on? Will the hive with a laying worker not accept the queen? Just asking because I never really thought about it before. That's why I love reading this forum, it gets me thinking.

No, they think they have a queen and will kill a new queen if introduced to the hive. A laying worker hive can be saved but it takes a long time and lots of resources from other hives. The easiest thing to do is just shake them out and start over.

Steve
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Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resembalance to the first. - Ronald Reagan
Gunslinger
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2009, 07:59:15 AM »

OK, looks like I'm going with shaking. Thanks everyone for the advice.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2009, 07:51:38 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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