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Author Topic: young queen or laying worker  (Read 5584 times)

Offline ajneal30

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young queen or laying worker
« on: April 25, 2013, 02:04:34 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?

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2013, 06:53:46 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
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline ajneal30

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2013, 11:16:34 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*

Offline Michael Bush

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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline ajneal30

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2013, 12:21:44 PM »
^ 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!

Offline ajneal30

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2013, 10:36:09 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

Offline Steel Tiger

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2013, 06:04:38 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

Online kathyp

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2013, 06:20:02 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.
.....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

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2013, 10:13:54 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
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline asprince

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2013, 10:43:36 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
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

Online kathyp

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 11:16:58 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...
.....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

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 09:36:40 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
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline ajneal30

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 02:02:52 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  :-\

If I put in frames with nurse bees on it, will the hive kill them or accept them?

Online kathyp

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2013, 02:38:12 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?
.....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

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2013, 04:12:13 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.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline ajneal30

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2013, 04:22:39 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.

Offline ajneal30

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2013, 07:38:42 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.

Offline asprince

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2013, 09:04:07 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 
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

Offline ajneal30

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2013, 11:20:58 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.

Online kathyp

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Re: young queen or laying worker
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2013, 11:31:21 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  ;)
.....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