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dale popham 

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Please could you help. it appears I have laying workers ,there is drone brood in worker sells .
I have tried taken a frame of brood with eggs in all stages from my other small colony and added to the drone laying colony on the hope they will form a new queen but they have not done a thing with it. I have read that they will not unite with a queen right colony and likelihood is that they will kill the queen .
Really do not no how to go about putting it right . Any help would really be appreciated
 

keithgrimes 

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Have you got David Cramp's book? There's a lengthy section on laying workers.
 

oliver90owner 

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Some practical help. Tell us why you think there are these drone laying workers.


Firstly is there a drone laying queen present? Workers will practically always lay drone brood - the eggs are haploid and the worker has not mated, so offspring will be haploid.

The most usual reason for drone brood in worker cells is a queen which is past it's use-by date! You should have noticed a decided 'lack of eggs' long before now.

Are there several eggs in the cells?
Are they much less than regularly positioned in the cells?

How is the laying pattern - normal and compact (other than it being drone brood)?

I think your first plan of action is to find the queen and remove her. Then add a frame of eggs/young larvae. Then everything will put itself right. Just guessing here, but fairly confident. You could replace her with a laying queen, of course, if one is available.

Regards, RAB
 

dale popham 

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It all started about a month ago when I done swarm control on them .
Think I cocked up somewhere that’s another story . When new queens was born I left them alone so that queen could mate and start laying .
On inspection last weekend noticed that things did not look right but decided to monitor what was going on .
But this weekend I can clearly see there drone all over the frame . I think the queen did not make it back on her madden flight and they have been queen less for around a month
So I am 97 percent certain that I have laying workers
i did try and add some brood in all steges but they did nothing with it
 

keithgrimes 

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Dale.
Ted Hopper reckons that a colony with laying workers is a write off. BUT David Cramp says that this works for him -
Move the entire colony 200 metres and take out all the frames
Shake the frames on to the ground and brush all the bees off them
Set aside any frames with drone brood or eggs to deal with later
Return the bee-less hive and place a frame of young brood, a queen cell or a caged queen in it. Feed if necessary
Leave alone for a week
Clean all the eggs and drone cells out of the set aside brood frame and return them to the hive
The theory is that the non-laying workers will have left the hive and will know the area well, so will return to the hive, whereas the laying workers will probably not have left the hive, so will perish.
I haven't done this but greatly respect Cramp's opinion.
 

dale popham 

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many thanks for that Keith i will give it ago later in the week when wearther gets better its storming here today and do not fancy getting beat up today lol
 

tkwinston4 

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Dale.
Ted Hopper reckons that a colony with laying workers is a write off. BUT David Cramp says that this works for him -
Move the entire colony 200 metres and take out all the frames
Shake the frames on to the ground and brush all the bees off them
Set aside any frames with drone brood or eggs to deal with later
Return the bee-less hive and place a frame of young brood, a queen cell or a caged queen in it. Feed if necessary
Leave alone for a week
Clean all the eggs and drone cells out of the set aside brood frame and return them to the hive
The theory is that the non-laying workers will have left the hive and will know the area well, so will return to the hive, whereas the laying workers will probably not have left the hive, so will perish.
I haven't done this but greatly respect Cramp's opinion.
I did this last thursday and i am very interested to see what has happened but i have resisted the urge to take a peek.
the only thing i did not do was clear the drone cells out. hope this has not stuffed up my efforts and its been a waste of time. :banghead:
 

dale popham 

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well tkwinston i will be interested how you get on i will try and give it ago this week. but i will strugle to get 100 mtr away to shake them off. so think i will have to go for a drive about 800 yrds down the road just hope that is not to far away. only over option is to shake them off around tem mtrs away.
how far away was you ? think i will sleep on it . regards Dale thanks to every one for the help
 

dale popham 

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I took the bees for a drive today down a country lane in a field near home . I cleared all the bees out of the hive on the ground they was not very happy about it chased me all the way to the van my wife had to driver further down the lane till they left me alone . :puke:


1 Set new hive up in old position with new foundation and some drawn cone . They all seemed to return to the hive .
2 I removed all drone cone out of old hive
3Took queen and all frames of food and brood from nuc box and placed in old hive.
4 Placed paper on top of brood box and a QX and made a few small holes through paper
5 Just before dark united two hives together with the queen right colony on the bottom :hurray:
 

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