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Author Topic: Laying Worker  (Read 434 times)

Offline Donovan J

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Laying Worker
« on: June 29, 2022, 11:04:19 pm »
The aggressive hive was requeened today. In my other hive they had some nice queencells 14 days ago. Well now all the cells are filled with eggs. Like 5-10 eggs per cell all over the frames. This is a serious laying worker problem and I have a plan to fix it unless someone else has another suggestion. I take a few frames of bees from my newly requeened hive and make a split with the bees. I order another queen and put her into the hive. Let her start laying in there and once it's full of brood take the laying worker hive put it over the hive with newspaper and do a newspaper combine. Thoughts?
3rd year of beekeeping and I still have lots to learn

Offline NigelP

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Re: Laying Worker
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2022, 03:50:50 am »
Thoughts....why bother.
Replace with a new split/bought in queen, its quicker than trying to save  a laying worker hive.
These are old bees and are not long for this world and IMHO the effort to save them far outweighs any benefits of doing so. Throw them out they will filter into other queen right hives in your apiary and at least be useful for what time they have left.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Laying Worker
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2022, 06:40:29 am »
I would not do a newspaper combine with a laying worker hive.  You'll just end up with a really big laying worker hive...

https://bushfarms.com/beeslayingworkers.htm
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Laying Worker
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2022, 07:42:49 am »
Thoughts....why bother.
Replace with a new split/bought in queen, its quicker than trying to save  a laying worker hive.
These are old bees and are not long for this world and IMHO the effort to save them far outweighs any benefits of doing so. Throw them out they will filter into other queen right hives in your apiary and at least be useful for what time they have left.

Agreed
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline yes2matt

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Re: Laying Worker
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2022, 09:25:15 am »
Wait a minute. This timeline is throwing me. You had "nice queen cells " two weeks ago, and you have laying workers now? The last of the worker brood only emerged this past week.

Sometimes, when a new queen is just getting started, she is a little.... incontinent. A young queen might put any number f eggs any number of places until she gets it figured out.

I would give em another week before I shook them out as Nigel suggested.


Edit to add: however, if you give them an extra week then shake them out, I would cycle those combs thru the freezer, in my area  they would be slap full of SHB eggs.
" The flu was rampant and we wore flu masks. " -- Jay Smith, _Better Queens_

Offline Donovan J

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Re: Laying Worker
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2022, 09:31:25 am »
Thoughts....why bother.
Replace with a new split/bought in queen, its quicker than trying to save  a laying worker hive.
These are old bees and are not long for this world and IMHO the effort to save them far outweighs any benefits of doing so. Throw them out they will filter into other queen right hives in your apiary and at least be useful for what time they have left.

Alrighty sounds good. I'll shake all the bees out onto the ground and let them go where they want. Their hive is full of honey so I'm going to freeze it and save for later. Another question what about all the eggs? If I put them in another hive will they just clean them out?
3rd year of beekeeping and I still have lots to learn

Offline Donovan J

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Re: Laying Worker
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2022, 09:33:01 am »
Wait a minute. This timeline is throwing me. You had "nice queen cells " two weeks ago, and you have laying workers now? The last of the worker brood only emerged this past week.

Sometimes, when a new queen is just getting started, she is a little.... incontinent. A young queen might put any number f eggs any number of places until she gets it figured out.

I would give em another week before I shook them out as Nigel suggested.


Edit to add: however, if you give them an extra week then shake them out, I would cycle those combs thru the freezer, in my area  they would be slap full of SHB eggs.

Gotcha I'll wait another week just in case. I didn't really inspect the hive fully I just looked at the first few frames and was like "yep I'm screwed" 😂
3rd year of beekeeping and I still have lots to learn

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Laying Worker
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2022, 10:29:49 am »
Wait a minute. This timeline is throwing me. You had "nice queen cells " two weeks ago, and you have laying workers now? The last of the worker brood only emerged this past week.

Sometimes, when a new queen is just getting started, she is a little.... incontinent. A young queen might put any number f eggs any number of places until she gets it figured out.

I would give em another week before I shook them out as Nigel suggested.


Edit to add: however, if you give them an extra week then shake them out, I would cycle those combs thru the freezer, in my area  they would be slap full of SHB eggs.
I agree 110.  A new queen has to figure her equipment out.  In the first 2 - 3 days of laying she typically shotgun blasts across nearly every frame. This includes putting extra eggs in some cells. By the 4th day she has it figured out and settles down into nice tight patterns.  If that is what you are seeing, walk away and go back in 4 days to see it sorted out.
Also, a fresh robust queen is a real bomber. If there are not enough house bees and nurse to keep up with her she will absolutely out lay them.  This shows as a nice tight patch but may have 2-3 eggs in cells around the perimeter of the patch. In this case she is pushing the boundary of the bees capacity.  When you are seeing this, add bees by shaking in frames from other hives.
I see examples of these scenarios first hand nearly every day when going through my mating yards.
The laying worker is confirmed not so much by multiple eggs in cells but by bullet drone caps scattered on the frame(s) between days 9 and 12 from when the eggs were seen laid. When the bullets show up, that is when they are done for and to be dealt with.
I agree with yes2mat, wait a bit on that hive.  When not absolutely certain what you are seeing in the hive, the best course of action is always to close it up and walk away for a couple days. Time without interruption or intervention usually sorts it out.
Queens can be frustrating.  They wait for no one, but we are always waiting on them.  Patience through royal shenanigans is later rewarded.  As a reference point; Over the years I seem to have an average of 12 days from emergence to a confirmed nicely laying queen.  If flight weather is poor, it is longer.  If flight weather is really good, it is NOT shorter.  So check your notes and check the calendar so expectations of her are realistic.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2022, 10:52:54 am by TheHoneyPump »
The bees will spend the next 4 days undoing all of the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Laying Worker
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2022, 12:41:10 pm »
Laying workers will build queen cells.  This has been observed as far back as the 1700s.

https://bushfarms.com/huber.htm#fertileworkersqueencells

"Fertile workers never lay the eggs of common bees; they produce none but those of males. M. Riems had already observed this singular fact; and here all my observations correspond with his. I shall only add to what he says, that fertile workers are not absolutely indifferent in the choice of cells for depositing their eggs. They always prefer large ones; and only use small cells when unable to find those of larger diameter. But they so far correspond with queens whose impregnation has been retarded, that they sometimes lay in royal cells.

"Speaking of females laying male eggs alone, I have already expressed my surprise that bees bestow, on those deposited in royal cells, such care and attention as to feed the worms proceeding from them, and, at the period of transformation, to close them up. But I know not, Sir, why I omitted to observe that, after sealing the royal cells, the workers build them up, and sit on them until the last metamorphosis of the included male. (Translators note: It is difficult to discover whether the author thinks, as some Naturalists, that bees are instrumental in hatching the eggs. T.) The treatment of the royal cells where fertile workers lay the eggs of drones is very different. They begin indeed with bestowing every care on their eggs and worms; they close the cells at a suitable time, but never fail to destroy them three days afterwards."--Francis Huber, Huber's New Observations on Bees, Letter V 25. August 1791
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin