Help - laying workers this time of the season!!!

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tchu 

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What to do with colony that became laying worker just now, in Hertfordshire? My fellow beekeeper, who owns this colony, started beekeeping this year and this is the only colony she has.

Note: There’s a beekeeper at the same apiary that has a very very small colony which was a swarm that he collected (the size of a tennis ball when he collected it) which has a laying queen but quite a significant number of sac brood. He offered it up to be used to help save the laying worker one

I’d much appreciate your help.

Thanks in advance
 
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Erichalfbee 

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I'm afraid they are doomed if it is indeed laying workers. The only hope is to unite with a very strong colony and it appears there isn't one. Don't risk the swarm queen the bees will kill her. This small colony needs its varroa burden addressed too
 

Wilco 

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Agreed, save the swarm by doing varroa treatment on it. Then take a split from it next season or if you have bees too make a split from yours next season for her if you're feeling kind.
 

tchu 

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Thanks. So what do you reckon should be done with the laying worker colony; just leave it to fend for themselves until they die? Let them keep producing drones for any late season supersedure in other colonies in the vicinity? Shake the bees out of the frames some metres away from the other hives at the same apiary (although I’m not sure what this particular manipulation would achieve at this time of the year)?
 

Ian123 

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Depends how big the laying worker colony is. Cage the queen in the swarm put it in laying worker spot and shake the bees out in front. By the time she’s released the others would have entered and mingled. There’s a decent chance of success. I did a similar thing last week with some failed and successful mating Nucs. All accepted!
 

tchu 

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shake them out, just a few yards away from the rest, they will beg their way into other colonies and the queen pheremone in there should supress their laying instonct.
I see. The fellow beekeeper who offered his colony up keeps it in his own garden. If he were to shake the laying worker colony in his garden, would those bees then beg their way into the fellow beekeeper’s small colony and hopefully reinforce it for the winter?
 

tchu 

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Depends how big the laying worker colony is. Cage the queen in the swarm put it in laying worker spot and shake the bees out in front. By the time she’s released the others would have entered and mingled. There’s a decent chance of success. I did a similar thing last week with some failed and successful mating Nucs. All accepted!
Full size colony in a National hive; would that be ok?
 

Ian123 

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I’d prefer something smaller! leave tab on cage for a 24hrs, then expose candy would be my advice. Ensure queen is cage on or between existing frames of her brood/bees. Just remember it’s not without risk.
 

Swarm 

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Worth the risk IMO.
 

Erichalfbee 

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I’d prefer something smaller! leave tab on cage for a 24hrs, then expose candy would be my advice. Ensure queen is cage on or between existing frames of her brood/bees. Just remember it’s not without risk.
Do you really think it would work with a big laying worker colony and a small sick nuc?
 

tchu 

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Do you really think it would work with a big laying worker colony and a small sick nuc?
What do you think of the option of shaking the laying workers near the small nuc; would it be worth trying?
 

Erichalfbee 

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What do you think of the option of shaking the laying workers near the small nuc; would it be worth trying?
It's why I asked. I wouldn't do it.
 

elainemary 

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Depends how big the laying worker colony is. Cage the queen in the swarm put it in laying worker spot and shake the bees out in front. By the time she’s released the others would have entered and mingled. There’s a decent chance of success. I did a similar thing last week with some failed and successful mating Nucs. All accepted!
Good suggestion, how many days would you cage the queen for Ian?
 

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