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Author Topic: young queen or laying worker  (Read 4642 times)
ajneal30
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« on: April 25, 2013, 01:04:34 AM »

Two of my hives were having issues last week. One had a queen but only 200 or so workers. The hive next to it is very strong with lots of bees, but there was no queen. No brood whatsoever. We watched the last few drones hatch out on the day of the inspection. There was one emergency queen cell that we didn't see until we broke it because it was drawn between two frames.
We used the newspaper method to combine the hives, but the queenless hive never bothered to chew through the paper. So today I caught the queen and put her, along with a few attendants, in a queen cage and put her in the queenless hive. We then went through the second box to see what the stores looked like.
Surprise, surprise we found a very fresh looking open queen cell and TONS of brand new eggs. Most cells only had one egg, but there were a some with two or three eggs and one on top of pollen.
I retrieved the queen and rearranged the hive to operate as a two queen hive using queen excluders and a spacer to keep them apart while sharing workers and resources. I plan on leaving them this way long enough to see what becomes of the brood in the lower boxes. If it's all drones, I am safe in assuming I have a laying worker, right?
Did I handle this right? Does anyone have any suggestions I have not thought of?
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 05:53:46 AM »

Sounds like you might have a new queen. New queens will lay 2 eggs in one cell. After a week or so she will learn to lay only one egg per cell. The way to tell if it is a laying worker is the location of the eggs. If they are mostly on the side of the cell, it is or are laying workers. Queens have longer abdomens which allow them to lay the eggs in the bottom of the cell. You were smart to keep them separated. I did this 2 years ago when it looked like both of my hives went q less in March and I was only able to buy one q to save them. The following week, both the top and bottom hives had eggs and the new queen turned out to bee the best queen I have ever had. In one week, because I gave her a full hive of bees and lots of drawn frames, she filled the entire brood box with larva.
Jim
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ajneal30
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 10:16:34 AM »

I sure hope that's the case. All of the eggs seemed to be in the center of the cells, we specifically looked at the sides and didn't see any there. I hope it's a queen because she had a ton of eggs in a very short period of time. Plus that hive is strong enough to split if it turns out there is a young queen. We had planned on splitting it anyway because we were afraid it would swarm this spring. *crossing my fingers*
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2013, 10:42:33 AM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallacies.htm#doubleeggs
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Michael Bush
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ajneal30
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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 11:21:44 AM »

^ I actually read that last night researching the question^ Gave me hope that what I had might actually turn out to be a queen after all. Thanks!
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ajneal30
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2013, 09:36:09 PM »

Pretty sure now it's a laying worker(s). I have sometimes four or five eggs to a cell, the ones that now contain larvae are being drawn out into drone cells, there are eggs on top of pollen and quite a few of the eggs are on the sides, some even almost to the top. I took out the worst frame to photograph and put in a frame of fresh eggs from another really strong hive. One I would love to get another queen out of anyway. Here's hoping
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2013, 05:04:38 PM »

if it's a laying worker, a lot of people suggest shaking out the hive to get rid of the laying worker before requeening.

Shaking out a hive

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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2013, 05:20:02 PM »

you won't get rid of laying workers by shaking out the hive and letting them return to it.   the laying workers will return with the rest.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2013, 09:13:54 PM »

I just had this same problem this past weekend. I just took the hive and put it in a wagon and took it 100 yards out into the field beyond the apiary and shook out the bees, every last one. Then I put the 2 boxes that were mostly honey and put one in one  strong hive and and the other in a different hive. The bees will pick a hive to move into.
I had already placed 2 egg/brood frames, one per week, in this hive with no luck. This is the first week that I found drone brood.
Jim
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asprince
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2013, 09:43:36 PM »

I just had this same problem this past weekend. I just took the hive and put it in a wagon and took it 100 yards out into the field beyond the apiary and shook out the bees, every last one. Then I put the 2 boxes that were mostly honey and put one in one  strong hive and and the other in a different hive. The bees will pick a hive to move into.
I had already placed 2 egg/brood frames, one per week, in this hive with no luck. This is the first week that I found drone brood.
Jim

That is the only method that works for me. All the others are a waste of time. (in my opinion)

Steve
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kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 10:16:58 PM »

yup.

just as clarification

you can't put the old hive back and let them move into it again.  you have to force them to move into your other hives by taking the old hive away.  of course, this assumes you have other hives...
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 08:36:40 AM »

>if it's a laying worker, a lot of people suggest shaking out the hive to get rid of the laying worker before requeening.

This myth has been around a long time... and it still doesn't work...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
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Michael Bush
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ajneal30
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« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 01:02:52 PM »

I found out yesterday that ANOTHER hive has a laying worker as well. One of my new packages didn't accept their queen and have started laying on their own. I am going to attempt to give both problem fresh brood from my stronger hives for a few weeks. If it doesn't work, both hives will be shaken out and their hives put away in the garage until some of my other hives are strong enough to split. *sigh* We were on a sharp learning curve last year with requeening and swarms and drought. Looks like this year we are getting a crash course on laying workers. I wonder if we should have just raised cattle instead  Undecided

If I put in frames with nurse bees on it, will the hive kill them or accept them?
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kathyp
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« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 01:38:12 PM »

Quote
If it doesn't work, both hives will be shaken out and their hives put away in the garage until some of my other hives are strong enough to split.

the numbers from these hives will boost the others.  the bees you shake out will join your other hives.

BUT

are you sure that you have laying workers in that second hive?  might you have another new queen?
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 03:12:13 PM »

> I am going to attempt to give both problem fresh brood from my stronger hives for a few weeks.

Every week for three weeks.

>If it doesn't work

I've never seen it fail if there are enough bees to survive.
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Michael Bush
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ajneal30
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 03:22:39 PM »

are you sure that you have laying workers in that second hive?  might you have another new queen?

Positive. multiple 5+ eggs in each cell, all over the bottom, sides and some right at the top. It's a real mess.


I've never seen it fail if there are enough bees to survive.


That gives me hope. Thanks. Both hives are pretty strong.
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ajneal30
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« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2013, 06:38:42 PM »

The first problem hive got fresh brood two days ago. The second problem hive got fresh brood today along with another hive that is queenless but has not got laying workers yet. Hoping to ward off problems with that hive. I have new queens coming on Friday because they were all guaranteed. So they will have a queen in just a few days.
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asprince
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« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2013, 08:04:07 PM »

I would have shaken them out. In a few days do a split. Unless you have several hives to rob brood from you are going to severely weaken the donor hive.

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
ajneal30
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2013, 10:20:58 PM »

I have ten hives and have only taken one frame each from my strongest ones. Once I get a queen in the q-less hive that has not yet started to lay, I will only have to take one frame from each of my other four hives to complete the three week cycle. I will give them the three weeks and if they don't settle down, I will shake.
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kathyp
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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2013, 10:31:21 PM »

ajneal30 can you go into your profile and put your location?  we will never remember where you are from and hate to keep asking  Wink
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
ajneal30
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« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2013, 11:17:00 AM »

No problem, I got it changed. Although hopelessly lost seemed pretty appropriate, lol. I live in the high desert of Nevada at an elevation of 5,500 feet. It easily get to 20- in the winter and 100+ in the summer with not much in between. Constant drought conditions make it difficult to raise bees but the price of rare fresh local honey make it worth the effort.
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kathyp
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« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2013, 12:40:40 PM »

my oldest live in cave creek, AZ.  i was surprised when i visited at the number of honey bees.  he's also high and dry, but the bees seem to find enough stuff.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Michael Bush
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« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2013, 02:18:28 PM »

It takes three weeks of open brood to straighten out laying workers.  Less does not work unless they were just starting down that road.  One week doesn't work.  Two weeks doesn't work.  It takes three weeks and THEN they will start some queen cells.
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Michael Bush
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ajneal30
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« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2013, 06:07:56 PM »

So what do I do if they have drawn out and capped a queen cell three days after giving them the fresh brood? (It was NOT there when we put it in, we inspected each frame very carefully) Will it even survive? Do I go ahead and introduce a new queen since they decided on their own that they needed one? Do I let whatever is in that cell hatch, or do it cut it off? Is it even possible for that cell to actually contain a queen in that situation? I have never heard of this happening.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2013, 07:04:02 PM »

So what do I do if they have drawn out and capped a queen cell three days after giving them the fresh brood? (It was NOT there when we put it in, we inspected each frame very carefully) Will it even survive? Do I go ahead and introduce a new queen since they decided on their own that they needed one? Do I let whatever is in that cell hatch, or do it cut it off? Is it even possible for that cell to actually contain a queen in that situation? I have never heard of this happening.

That is exactly what you are wanting them to do. Now just leave them alone for the next month to give her time to hatch and mate. Just look in the top from time to time to make sure they have enough bees for her. Unless it is a really strong hive you might want to add a frame of capped brood in about a week or so.
Jim
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ajneal30
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« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2013, 08:23:26 PM »

Will she survive if she was an egg (or possibly a young larva) three days ago?
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2013, 10:13:56 PM »

Being only 3 days means that she was 3 days as a larva, 6 days from being laid. She may not bee the best queen. If she has problems, the bees will detect it and let her start laying eggs and then use one of them to make a new queen. If she was fed royal jelly non stop then she will bee a good queen. The problem is when they are forced to use larvae that had been started to bee fed bee bread. They very seldom do that because it causes her to bee a poor queen.
Jim
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2013, 08:06:18 AM »

>So what do I do if they have drawn out and capped a queen cell three days after giving them the fresh brood? (It was NOT there when we put it in, we inspected each frame very carefully) Will it even survive?

Most likely.  It means they were not far down the road to laying workers and they were still wanting a queen.  At that point they will even settle for a drone egg to try to raise a queen, but you gave them what they REALLY wanted (and needed).

> Do I go ahead and introduce a new queen since they decided on their own that they needed one?

If you have a queen, that is one option.

>Do I let whatever is in that cell hatch, or do it cut it off?

If you are introducing a queen, I would remove the cell.  If you are going to let them raise a queen, leave it.

> Is it even possible for that cell to actually contain a queen in that situation? I have never heard of this happening.

Is it on the frame of worker eggs you gave them?  If so, then it is a legitimate queen.
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Michael Bush
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ajneal30
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« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2013, 07:01:00 PM »

So good news, We have beginnings of queen cells in the other two hives with the laying workers. We will check once a week or so to see if they cap them or not. Fingers crossed that this is it and they have decided to straighten up.

On a side note, is there any reason why a purchased queen (or four) would just fly away as soon as the bees release her from the queen cage? This problem occured when package bees did not accept a queen or maybe she just took off. Even the replacement queens have been hit or miss. We installed one of the replacement queens into a queenless hive without a laying worker, one in a new nuc with some nurse bees, and made a two queen hive with the other. I just needed a place to put them until the hives with the laying workers figured things out. The queen in the nuc was released and is just gone. The queen in the queenless hive is still in the queen cage but should be released soon. The queen in the two queen hive has been released and is doing great. So four out of ten queens have just disappeared. Any suggestions on why this might have happened?
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don2
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« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2013, 11:13:18 PM »

Sounds like it is possible you ended up with a "Virgin" Queen  and she may have went on a mating flight and didn't make it back. Does your Bee suppler guarantee a mated Queen? just a thought.  Smiley d2
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ajneal30
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« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2013, 03:53:59 PM »

Ok, things are finally looking up. All of the hives with laying workers are either queenright or have capped queen cells with the exception of the first hive to have a problem. I gave them another frame today that had everything from brand new eggs to emerging brood. They seemed really excited to see the new brood and immediatly started grooming them. Hopefully that means they are ready to turn one of these new eggs into a new queen. Even our nuc (who's queen flew away as soon as they released her from the queen cage) has a capped queen cell.

I only have two hives I am woried about right now. The one with the laying worker and one with a really slow weird acting queen. That hive has two supersedure cells almost ready to capp though so I am going to let them do what bees do and hope they can turn one of them into a good prpductive queen.

Thanks for all of the help and good advice. I will keep you all updated on how this is progressing.
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ajneal30
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« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2013, 10:09:32 PM »

They all straightened out with the exception of one stubborn hive. I finally shook the last frame of mostly drone bees.
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