Drone laying queen or workers - what to do next

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Thanks all. I’ve given it ago to save the colony recognising it’s much higher risk doing it at this time of year. Yes I am probably more of an experimental person .
I dropped in a frame of bias from another colony on 18th march and plan is to check mid April how they are getting on when I get back from holiday. Will assess the situation then. Thanks all for your thoughts and will report back.
If I had LWs colony of a decent size now I'd be inclined to put them on top of a queenright colony with a bee-proof mesh between them and an upper entrance, put some ocimene on the frames & leave for a couple of weeks. If no new eggs after that from the LWs unite. And 🤞
What would the receiving queenright colony gain from this other than some worn out winter workers and drones? Can not see a benefit.
Had a quick look yesterday in 1 out of my 4 hives. Reason being as i
was suspicious that it was behaving different to all the others at the entrance and there were a few drones. Was also 14 degrees and in a weeks time I’m away for 3 weeks.
It’s on 14x12 and around 7 seams of bees. It was a swarm caught in a bait hive last year and it started off well with eggs within a few days and worker brood etc but then it tried to re queen a couple of times whilst queen was still there and I left them to it and didn’t inspect after sept hoping they would sort themselves out out.
So there were about 5 frames with drone brood spotted around and and no worker brood. Couldent see many eggs but there was sealed drone brood and drone larvae dotted across the frames.
Im away in a week for 3 weeks so I have a week to do anything.
Any thoughts ? Reading up on it general consensus is that if it’s early in the season you shake out but if it was later in the season it’s worth trying to save them with frame of eggs from
Another colony.
First of all is is drone laying worker or Queen. Relatively easy to determine, if odd eggs dotted around the place, often multiple in a cell on a cell wall - worker. If in a relatively nice pattern, condensed area Queen.

I had two Drone laying queens this year, one colony had produced a nice queen cell and was sorting itself out, other i took the queen out, killed her and put a frame of eggs in they should hopefully raise a queen cell.

Drone layer worker is different and Beecraft did an excellent article on it a few months back. How strong is the colony i.e. worth saving or not. If yes then you will need to place a frame of eggs in it every 5 - 7 days until such time as they start to make a queen cell then you can either destroy and re-queen or let them produce a new queen. The larvae produce a pheromone and this will over time stop the workers laying again, but it does take time - it is explained here: How to fix a laying worker hive

if not worth saving as others say shake out a good way from the the other colonies.
Hi. an update…..so dropped in a frame of bias 18th march and then checked on 17 April (4 weeks later) and there was some capped drone brood and 1 capped queen cell. Found a jet black queen and marked her. Several frames had cells polished in the centre ready for egg laying.
My thoughts are that the gamble hasn’t paid off as the queen I found hasn’t mated properly due to the fact there are no eggs or worker brood and a capped queen cell. Im assuming the capped queen cell isnt going to contain a new queen either.
So I’m thinking I need to kill the queen and either shake out or combine with one of my other colonies as plenty of bees still In there. is this the right approach and if so is it worth combining rather than shaking out ?

On the positive side my other 3 colonies are doing great with bias and starting to work the supers. Going down the Demaree swarm control route this year as don’t want to increase colony numbers to much.
Drone laying queens this year, one colony had produced a nice queen cell
On drone larva?

worth combining rather than shaking out ?
Shakeout takes less than 5 minutes and achieves the same result, but be kind and choose a flying day. I don't chuck them in a hedge, but put a sloping board up to the entrance of a colony that needs a boost, smoke the box and shake the bees onto the board. Smoke makes them eat stores and improves acceptance at the new front door.
Smoke makes them eat stores and improves acceptance at the new front door.
shook out a large colony of laying workers last week whilst doing other inspections so I omitted to smoke the doomed colony. within a few minutes of being dumped they had all begged their way into other colonies with no fuss whatsoever.
On drone larva?

Shakeout takes less than 5 minutes and achieves the same result, but be kind and choose a flying day. I don't chuck them in a hedge, but put a sloping board up to the entrance of a colony that needs a boost, smoke the box and shake the bees onto the board. Smoke makes them eat stores and improves acceptance at the new front door.
yes but this way you lose the colony, sure the bees join others but for people with only two or three colonies the first method saves a colony.
3 DLQ questions and thanks for your patience in advance for reading through this.

Massively strong colony, or was. Pretty sure I had a DLQ, plenty of organised clumps of capped drone brood but the only "normal" frame is in the upper box (brood and a half). It has capped worker and comma shaped larvae, this was found on inspection on June 19th. QC in both boxes plus at least one open one. The brood box was virtually empty except for stores in the comb and a few emerging workers. I think they've swarmed at least once.

I had been putting off checking for too long and the homemade box was starting to fail, so I had to dive in and spend quite some time separating and scraping everything. Then put all back in new boxes. No way I would go looking for a queen after all that disruption, they've had enough!

I had a very good capped supercedure-style QC in the upper brood so I shook all bees down to the BB, put a QE on, put the second box on and put a QE on that, thus trapping the good queen cell in the upper box. My thinking is if it's a genuine queen and it hatches and there is no queen in the lower box I would see a favourable reaction.

(1) I put a brood frame of BIAS in the lower BB. The bees seem very content. How long should I wait before I see eggs in the event there is a virgin queen in there, or a new QC being drawn?

2) They had two honey supers on. The upper one is very heavy but not many frames fully capped. I will remove that one. The first one is being worked and has some undrawn foundation. The upper brood super is well stocked, plus as said, nectar and pollen in the BB. I have no idea how much stores it takes to maintain a hive in this situation, should I take the both supers off?

This Q would have been 3-4 years old. I am realising far too late that having strong colonies is a transient thing and I need to pay more attention at around 2-3 years, and start considering doing AS. I also need to do more frequent inspections just for the sake of keeping the B1.5 boxes unstuck.
Pretty sure I had a DLQ
the upper box ... It has capped worker
Either the colony is queenright or it has a DLQ, but it can't have both.

QC in both boxes plus at least one open one
These could be from the swarming period and may be empty. For mysterious reasons, bees often reseal emerged QC cells. See if you can flip the lid with a hive tool. Is the open QC viable? It may be without larvae and dried out.

it's a genuine queen and it hatches
If it does, the bees may swarm with the current queen, once in the super but now down in the BB.

1 If the colony is producing worker brood and you've shaken all the bees into the BB, then it's queenright and you won't see QCs. Leave 3-4 weeks before checking for eggs, but only if a colony is re-queening.

I'm sticking to one part of your info (that worker brood is present) and conclude that as worker brood cannot be laid by a DLQ, the colony is in fact, queenright.

2 Two factors will guide your decision: first, it takes two DN frames or the equivalent to feed a colony for a week, supposing it is unable to fly to forage. Secondly, the main flow is on. Without knowing colony strength, you alone must decide whether to leave supers on or take off.

You might take off the full super, extract and return it the same day for a refill.

pay more attention at around 2-3 years
Suggest you re-calibrate your beekeeping routine and agree with yourself to check bees every 7 days from March - July (depending on the season). Do not delay a check because of rain or other minor distractions.

AS takes 5 minutes. Practice the routine with empty boxes.

Q would have been 3-4 years old.
Swarming to replace her is almost guaranteed.

keeping the B1.5 boxes unstuck.
Simplicity in beekeeping is a great asset and brood & half is not one, because frame management can only go one way, and because laying space is clearly not enough. Go double brood and feel the freedom!

Edit: if the QC is viable you could put in a split board and separate the BBs. If the QCs are dud or fail to mate, re-unite later.

Split board: find a 460mm square piece of ply, pin & glue 8mm stripwood to both rims, and cut a small entrance in one top rim.
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Thank you. I will collect my thoughts and make a plan for inspection tomorrow with options depending upon what I find.
Update on mine . . . no eggs and no QC drawn on donated frame. Also QC in upper brood not hatched. So, hoping for a virgin or newly mated queen present. They still sound content and weren't tetchy. They're busy sticking everything down again 🙄.

I left a working super on but put the fullish one above the CB for now. I do cut comb. The suspect QC was too squidgy to pop the cap so I'll take a Stanley knife next time.

Going to leave them alone and check a few middle frames in a week. Masses of bees in there so I assume the sealed brood is emerging. I watched for a half hour and they don't appear to be robbers. I've further restricted all hive entrances.

Many thanks for advice!
QC in both boxes plus at least one open one
Did you mean to say one open cell or one opened cell?

If the cell was open and had a valid larvae in it you could work out the likely date of emergence from its development, add 3-4 weeks and look for eggs.

If the cell was opened then a virgin has emerged, and you would look for eggs after 3-4 weeks.
Thanks for the timing, it is alarming seeing empty brood comb and but I forgot how long it can take for egg laying to start again. The cell was opened, emerged I presumed and hopefully still in residence.
Yes I had to scrape all sides to get them apart before replacing the boxes. Some Smith frames had slid and were welded along the side too