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Author Topic: Need Advice: Laying Worker(s)  (Read 906 times)
DoctorZ
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« on: August 31, 2013, 03:02:04 PM »

Greetings, Not a Queen rearing topic, but pretty close.

One of my hives became queen less and has started to lay only drones. I thought that there may be one laying worker so I put a queen excluder hoping to keep her bounded in the upper or lower hive body. No luck as after a week both bodies show signs of uncapped drone brood.  Questions:
- do hives that lay only drones have one laying worker of more than one?
- is the worker the same size as a queen? Or can she slip through an excluder?
- what's my best course of action to prepare for the winter: do I place each hive body separately with a stronger queen-right hive, perhaps using the newspaper trick? Is this hive gone?

Thanks.

Dr Z
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2013, 04:36:55 PM »

Greetings, Not a Queen rearing topic, but pretty close.

One of my hives became queen less and has started to lay only drones. I thought that there may be one laying worker so I put a queen excluder hoping to keep her bounded in the upper or lower hive body. No luck as after a week both bodies show signs of uncapped drone brood.  Questions:
1- do hives that lay only drones have one laying worker of more than one?
2- is the worker the same size as a queen? Or can she slip through an excluder?
3- what's my best course of action to prepare for the winter: do I place each hive body separately with a stronger queen-right hive, perhaps using the newspaper trick? Is this hive gone?
.
Thanks.

Dr Z


1. You can have multiple laying workers.
2. They are the same size as a bee but there abdomen will be a little larger.
3. Take the hive in a wagon 200-300 ft from where it is, shake out all of the bees, do not leave a single bee in the hive. Take the hive back and put it together and let them fly back. The laying workers will not be able to fly back. Then paper join to your other hives. Build up your weakest hives. The alternative to this is to shake them out a few feet from your hives and remove the hive from its original location then add the supers to another hive/hives. The bees will not allow a laying worker to move in their hive and will kill it if she tries. This is what I did with a hive 2 months ago
Jim
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asprince
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2013, 03:16:50 PM »

I would do as sawdstmkr stated EXCEPT: after shaking out all the bees stack the empty box on a strong hive. The returning bees will join other hives and strengthen them.

Steve
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2013, 10:18:06 AM »

>- do hives that lay only drones have one laying worker of more than one?

Thousands.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm#multiple

>- is the worker the same size as a queen?

No.  The same size as a worker or maybe slightly longer.

> Or can she slip through an excluder?

They can go right through an excluder.

>- what's my best course of action to prepare for the winter: do I place each hive body separately with a stronger queen-right hive, perhaps using the newspaper trick? Is this hive gone?

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm#solutions
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allincuddy
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 03:20:01 PM »

Dr. Z,
I have always found laying worker hives to be a huge problem to fix. Meaning many ways usually don't work better than 50% and to requeen, seems to be a waste of a good queen because she usually gets balled.
What I do know is, make a paper addition to another queen right colony of nuc, let them be for a week or 2 or after they settle and then split the colony or divide back introducing a new queen to the split.
This works almost 100% for me.
Good luck.
Mark
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 05:34:10 PM »

if you shake out the hive, do not put the same hive body back.  laying workers do fly back. 

shaking out the hive has been the easiest thing for me.  it's quick and it absolutely solves the problem BUT you need to shake it out, let the bees go back to the yard and join other hives.  put the hive/frames you emptied away and use them later. 

MBs site gives you good info on this...and it does depend on you having other hives.
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tefer2
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2014, 09:20:13 AM »

We have limited success shaking them out.
The laying workers find their way back with the foragers.
What has worked for us is using a double screen board.
Remove the top from a queen rite hive.
Replace with the double screen board.
Remove as much drone brood as you can from laying worker hive.
The drone brood is usually full of mites anyway.
Place laying worker hive on top of double screen.
Make sure both hives have an entrance.
Leave as is for a week. Seven to ten days
Then remove double screen board and combine them.
The smell of the queen rite hive converts the laying workers back to normal.
Don't know who's idea this is, but it works for me.
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