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Laying worker problem


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I've never had a problem with this before, so I'm here to ask for some advice.

 

A member of the club has a laying worker(s) in her only hive. It's been there for some time now. She recently tried introducing a mated queen but that failed when ants decided to steal the candy and kill half the bees in the cage while it waited to go into the hive.

 

I have got another hive to give her, but we'd like to get the first one functioning again if possible too.

Has anyone had success with introducing frames of brood to hives with laying workers?

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Haven't read it in detail, but that's a pretty reasonable paper, Grant.

 

I've had laying workers a few times. Have never shaken them out, but I have corrected 3 hives by introducing frames of worker brood - two the first time and one per week thereafter. By the third week they all had made queen cells and ultimately the new queens took over just fine and the laying workers receeded.

 

A fourth one was well-weak by the time I came across it, and on this one I did a newspaper combine with a very strong hive using three sheets of paper and only one slit, just to really slow the introduction a bit. I figured the strong hive would be quite able to protect their queen from the few bees involved in the other hive. They did just fine.

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an excellent article, I couldn't fault it on anything. The main thing is to check the eegs . Drone layers are much more common than laying workers in my hives it would be something like 99 to 1. I have seen half queen half bee Queens that don't lay at all but put out enough pheromone to stop the bees from accepting a replacement.

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yeah, if the hive is pretty strong, you don't need to leave the nurses on if you'd rather keep them in the original hive.

 

If the hive is weak or weakening, leave the nurses on - they'll be younger,better able to feed young and live longer. Thinking about it now, I've got a feeling they may have a pheremonal influence of their own that will help to settle down the laying worker.

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Not really. Nurses are generally accepted really well by other hives, and they themselves are too young and into their duties to be defensive.

 

If you've got your smoker going a bit of smoke isn't going to hurt anything.

 

I know a guy who recommends a bit of air freshener as ideal for disguising scents in this case... but frankly I'd rather a bit of disquiet between the bees than putting that stuff into my hives.

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I know a guy who recommends a bit of air freshener as ideal for disguising scents in this case

 

I have tried that and it does work. I sprayed around/in front of the hive rather than directly onto or into it. Burning pine needles and lavender in the smoker works just as well. Plus it's a lot cheaper and tends to save arguments when your other half discovers the air freshener has disappeared :)

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Since I have no experience with this and it seems fairly rare, I thought I'd do a bit of research. This document may help you. The blurb is the preface as to why it happens, what to do about it starts at page 4

 

Let me know if its of any help

Great article Grant! Maybe there is a place somewhere on the site where this sort of info can be stored? Would need to be catogorised and filed by subject matter too I guess. If not, I can usually find what i remember reading previously by using the Forums search function :)

Keep up the great work man. There are more beeks checking out these posts than you imagine!

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Hi Grant

Can't access the attachment (paper on laying workers). Anything you can do to help?

Caroline

Hi Caroline,

Its available to all members and is readable using Acrobat Reader (its a PDF). Make sure you are logged in, which you need to be to reply, but just checking.

If you are getting issues, please log a bug report and detail your web browser and I'll take a look, but it could be that you have a pop up blocker or something stopping it.

Grant

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  • 9 months later...

well just when things seem to be going ok i opened a hive today that didn't seem to have as much bees coming and going, the short story is i have a worker layer, funny thing was there was also a big queen in the hive, the only eggs were the eggs cells that had three or four eggs in them. so i have put the queen on ice for later use and tomorrow will start to put a frame on eggs and brood in it for the next 3 weeks i understand if the queen was laying or had become a drone layer there would only be one egg,

if any has any thing else to add please feel free to comment

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Kevin, are you sure that big queen wasn't a newly mated queen? Sometimes when they're just starting out they'll lay multiples per cell for the first few days or maybe a week. The giveaway tends to be that the eggs will all be pretty much in the base of the cell, where laying workers tend to lay up the sides.

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