shaking out

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judy12

House Bee
Joined
Jul 21, 2022
Messages
108
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Location
Brompton Ralph
Number of Hives
5
I have a small colony that I checked too late this year - entirely my fault- they had become queenless in the cold, wet days of early spring and when I realised and gave them a frame of brood and eggs, they refused to make a qc. They'd already become laying workers. There is some scattered drone brood and a few larvae; the bees are dwindling and despondent - I feel terrible but must shake them out. How far should I take them before doing so?
 
And the fact that they're laying workers won't upset the colony they enter?
 
Isn't it the case that there can always be laying workers, even in a colony with a healthy laying queen, but the house bees just clean up after them?

James
 
won't upset the colony they enter?
No.

OK, OK, more words: I reckon they can distinguish between the weirdy world of laying workers and gen-u-ine queen pheromone, recognise which side of their bread is buttered, and change their tune pronto.

PS (excuse excessive wordage): bees don't get upset; if they had a problem with the incomers, there would almighty handbags in the pub car park.
 
almighty handbags in the pub car park.
I once shook out a big laying worker colony. They all tried to pile into the neighbouring hive and there WAS a lot of fighting.
If it’s a large colony I now do what you recommend. I split them between all the hives shaking them out onto a board in front of an entrance
 
I once shook out a big laying worker colony. They all tried to pile into the neighbouring hive and there WAS a lot of fighting.
If it’s a large colony I now do what you recommend. I split them between all the hives shaking them out onto a board in front of an entrance
I did that once with a large laying worker colony and they all went cap in had to the neighbouring large colony with absolutely no fighting whatsoever and no sloping boards. It was warm and in the middle of a good flow however.
 
I did that once with a large laying worker colony and they all went cap in had to the neighbouring large colony with absolutely no fighting whatsoever and no sloping boards. It was warm and in the middle of a good flow however.
How do they know to let them in and that they are not robbers. I understood drift can happen due to full honey sacs but if they’ve been randomly shaken out?
 
How do they know to let them in and that they are not robbers. I understood drift can happen due to full honey sacs but if they’ve been randomly shaken out?
Robber bees dart around an entrance with their back legs hanging out....even I can pick them, so I don't think they would see them as robber bees. The 'cap in hand' demeanour of the shaken out bees seems to have a bit to do with it. A bit like when two dogs meet and one doesn't want to get bitten:D
 
Robber bees dart around an entrance with their back legs hanging out....even I can pick them, so I don't think they would see them as robber bees. The 'cap in hand' demeanour of the shaken out bees seems to have a bit to do with it. A bit like when two dogs meet and one doesn't want to get bitten:D
You’d think though decent robbers with have learnt (evolved) to emulate that behaviour though.
 
You’d think though decent robbers with have learnt (evolved) to emulate that behaviour though.
Yes! :D I think one colony accepting bees from another is something to do with an evolutionary process. That particular colony went on to become a very good colony (with all the extra bees I guess ) and produced an excellent quantity of honey that year. It's a bit like how you can sometimes very successfully combine two colonies together using the various methods. In my experience, a good honey flow helps with most of these things.
 

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