Shaken out colony not dispersing.

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Joined
Jan 16, 2017
Messages
815
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Location
Lincolnshire, UK
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
2
Two of the four colonies at home have become drone layers over winter so I shook them out into the long grass 10m in front of one of the other hives on Saturday (2 days ago).

Having not found and dispatched the queens they clumped together in the weeds looking miserable. I took pity on them and put a nuc box with some part drawn frames over them, no floor, and had a look through them yesterday. Found one queen and squished her. moved the box next to a colony I want them to join.

Today, had a look through, can't find the other queen and there are still a good number of bees present. Some of the bees may be 3 months old (supercedure cell found from last Oct/Nov) but could have a few weeks to make a contribution to another colony.

Should I have just left them on the ground?
 
What temperature was the ground/long grass?
K 🤔
18degC here yesterday and windy. If I hadn't put a box over them they would be a soggy clump of bees after the rain.
Expected them to thin out after I removed the queen yesterday. I suppose she could have laid an egg which would give them hope.
 
Two of the four colonies at home have become drone layers over winter so I shook them out into the long grass 10m in front of one of the other hives on Saturday (2 days ago).

Having not found and dispatched the queens they clumped together in the weeds looking miserable. I took pity on them and put a nuc box with some part drawn frames over them, no floor, and had a look through them yesterday. Found one queen and squished her. moved the box next to a colony I want them to join.

Today, had a look through, can't find the other queen and there are still a good number of bees present. Some of the bees may be 3 months old (supercedure cell found from last Oct/Nov) but could have a few weeks to make a contribution to another colony.

Should I have just left them on the ground?
It would have been better to remove the DLQ and unite the colonies with another using newspaper 🙈
 
A DLQ colony isn't worth to much effort as the bees will mainly be older bees so will soon die off, also one can't be sure of laying workers as well. I personally don't bother uniting DLQ colonies , I leave them to peter out or dump them out some distance away.

I left one of my DLQ colonies to peter out last year (approx. , 1000 remaining) they were usurped by a swarm who dispatched them all .
 
A DLQ colony isn't worth to much effort as the bees will mainly be older bees so will soon die off, also one can't be sure of laying workers as well. I personally don't bother uniting DLQ colonies , I leave them to peter out or dump them out some distance away.

I left one of my DLQ colonies to peter out last year (approx. , 1000 remaining) they were usurped by a swarm who dispatched them all .
DSCF20240411-02-small.jpg

Photo, today , five days after being shaken out and then climbing up into nuc, as I felt sorry for them.

A good number of bees have flown off and hopefully found one of the other hives but the remainder just died together after DLQ removed.

Once before I've shaken out a DLW colony onto a sheet to see if they all flew off, which they did. DLWs can fly. But that was during the summer. These bees are old and have been together for months. ? Today i'll shake the remaining bees into the grass.

Could have left them to dwindle further in their original boxes. Possibly better idea. They would have kept the wax moth at bay and acted as a swarm trap.

. . .. Ben
 
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shook them out into the long grass 10m in front of one of the other hives
Temp. can drop & rain arrive too quickly at this time of year for that to be the kindest method.

Yes, they're older bees with a limited life but they can still support a smaller colony to build, by covering brood and giving warmth.

Yesterday I found a Q- nuc and a small Q- colony; clearly, queen mating last year was inadequate.

I shook both lots directly onto a sloping board leading into a Q+ nuc (a late split that went into winter small). Within a few minutes the hairdryer noise of satisfaction could be heard.

A shower was passing and we all got soaked, but when it passed I pushed the wet rest in and all ended happily ever after.
 
Once before I've shaken out a DLW colony onto a sheet to see if they all flew off, which they did. DLWs can fly.
of course laying workers can fly - why shouldn't they be able to? I thought that BBKA generated myth had been buried years ago
 
Did the same with a small colony with no brood, they instantly started climbing up the board but I had to prop another board over them to protect them from a downpour. When I checked on them later, there was a tiny cluster left in the grass at the bottom of the board which contained her duff majesty.
 
Did the same with a small colony with no brood, they instantly started climbing up the board but I had to prop another board over them to protect them from a downpour. When I checked on them later, there was a tiny cluster left in the grass at the bottom of the board which contained her duff majesty.
Didn't want to let them run into another hive as there may be an unmated queen from a QC which emerged in late October/November. She'd be very difficult to spot. ? Concerned there may be a chance she could kill my laying queen. She must have killed or deposed my bought-in marked queen.

My remaining queens are more precious this year. Went into winter with 6 and, for one reason or another, I now have just 2.
 
cluster left in the grass at the bottom of the board which contained her duff majesty
chance she could kill my laying queen
Had a brief check before emptying them out, but wasn't too bothered. One had tiddly EQCs and sealed brood, the other nothing.

My belief is that a duff queen at a Q+ entrance would not get past the bouncers.
 

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