Laying workers- uniting with an Apidea?

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anthonyh 

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I just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on solving the problem of a hive with laying workers by uniting with an Apidea with a laying queen? I did an artificial swarm 5 weeks ago but the old stock failed to produce a mated queen from the queen cells- I have searched and can find no queen like bee (Something I'm used to) and the eggs that have been laid are dotted randomly all over the place, and some are starting to be capped with drone domes!

I'm reluctant to unite it with another hive because I've got swarm control measures going on with them, and worry that a great influx of bees will mess that up- although the population is starting to diminish.

So my question is- I have a spare Apidea with a queen that has just come into lay- has anyone united an Apidea with a stock that has laying workers? Or do people think it might be too much of a one-sided unification to work?

I can always make up a full nucleus to unite it with, but just wondered...

Anyb thoughts welcome!! Thanks
 

Finman 

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Laying workers are not a problem.

If you have a brood frame, put it into the hive. If they start to make queen cells, it is queenless.

You may offer the queen too in the cage. If bees react with ventilating their abdomen, they are queenless.

If they do not react, or they attack on the cage, they have perhaps a queen.
 
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anthonyh 

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Hi Finman,

Thank you for replying. I did put a brood frame, with eggs on, in on Saturday, and will go back to see what has happened this evening!

Do you mean use a queen in a cage to test if they are queenless, or if they ventilate their abdomens, would you leave the caged queen in the hive for introduction? I always thought you had to be a bit careful about introducing a queen into a hive with laying workers? I've only had it happen once before, about 8 years ago, and I just united it with another hive then.
 

Poly Hive 

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Where are these random eggs being placed in the cells? On the floor or on the walls? that is really the acid test for laying workers. A stale drone laying queen will lay on the floor and the workers on the walls, being short ars*s ;)

PH
 

anthonyh 

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Hi PH,

The eggs are literally all over the place. Some are on the bottom, which is why I spent quite a while searching for a drone laying queen, but some are on the sides, but close to the bottom. So it did make me wonder if I had a short- ar*d queen or a long-ars*d worker!! ;)

They are covering about 7 Brood frames properly, and the eggs are spread over about 5 of them- but randomly here and there.
 

Poly Hive 

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If you have laying workers and it seems that you do then the most effective treatment is to move the hive of the stand some 200 yds or so and shake off the bees in the brood box, take the BB back to the stand and then unite a laying queen to them.

PH
 

Finman 

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If you have laying workers and it seems that you do then the most effective treatment is to move the hive of the stand some 200 yds or so and shake off the bees in the brood box, take the BB back to the stand and then unite a laying queen to them.

PH
That is very old knowledge. I have done it once 45 years ago.

Laying workers can fly and they are tens or hundreds in the hive.
 

Max 

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I had a nuc with laying workers and its not worth the risk of them killing a mated queen.

I moved the nuc 100 yrds and shook them on the floor and they found there way back to the nuc and still layed.

My advice is kill them off with cold water in the evening and start again. The important thing is a mated queen.
 

Finman 

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I have often worker layers when I take a laying queen from the mating hive.
I have 3 frame nucs.

To give a new queen has allways risks more or less. It depends on many things. You may give an just emerged virgin and they accept it, but often 3 days later it is away.

Safe is to give an old queen which you are going to abandon.
 

Haughton Honey 

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Just shake them out in front of your other hives and let them find their way in to other colonies which are headed by fertile, laying Queens.

Saves any messing around and risk.
 

Eyeman 

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Speaking from experience of 2 previous colonies of laying workers.
Both failed to produce QC's with a test frame- I presume they were content with the fact that they had laying workers.
One re-queened with a protected QC- there is a paper which reports 50% success rates with re-queening colonies with laying workers at around 5-6 weeks post queen removal- can't place my finger on the paper just now. It may depend on the time they have been queenless and the strain of bees.
The other one was quite a small colony and I simply shook they out and let them make their way to my other colonies.
 

wightbees 

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Just shake them out in front of your other hives and let them find their way in to other colonies which are headed by fertile, laying Queens.

Saves any messing around and risk.

This is what my Ted Hooper book said to do.
 

anthonyh 

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Thanks for all the replies, and advice. I checked them again last night, and the drone cappings are multiplying, and I can see no evidence of worker larvae. I did also see two eggs being eaten by workers, and the randomly scattered eggs had continued. So, as I don't have a any queen cells, or old queens I want to risk, and even though it seems a bit brutal, I will try shaking them out!

Thanks again.
 

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