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Author Topic: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive  (Read 721 times)

Offline The15thMember

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Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« on: June 06, 2020, 03:59:34 pm »
I have a small colony (1 medium box) that has gone laying worker on me.  I also have a colony that is a little behind my others, but is queenright, and I'd like to combine the LW hive with this weaker colony to deal with the LWs and give the queenright colony a boost.  I'm thinking about making myself a double screen board and putting the laying worker colony on top of the queenright one in the hopes that the appropriate brood pheromones from the bottom colony will correct the LW situation.  Will just being on top of the queenright colony be enough to suppress the laying workers?   
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2020, 04:19:56 pm »
Member I am thinking HoneyPump told us a while back, the best thing to do is shake them out and let the hives deal with the laying workers when they beg to enter into a good hive.  If I am wrong I hope Mr HP will quickly correct me.
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2020, 05:16:19 pm »
...  Will just being on top of the queenright colony be enough to suppress the laying workers?   

15th - my understanding is "no, it's not enough". Phillip has the correct answer, to my understanding. Shaking them out causes them to beg into another hive, and sorts out the LW's naturally. At the same time, all other hives will benefit from an increased workforce.
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2020, 05:17:22 pm »
Ms. Member, I do not know if a laying worker can revert back to normal forager or nurse bee.  The ovaries are enlarged and I do not know if the ovaries ever shrink is another way to put things.  If you try to combine, you might lose the queen of the weak hive.

I would do as Ben Framed, Phil, suggest which; I have done the exact same thing in your situation: shake all the bees out of the laying worker hive. 

Van

Cool and I posted at the same time.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2020, 05:29:52 pm »
Thanks for the replies everyone.  I have been reading through some older posts on the subject, and I'm aware that the shakeout is the most recommended method.  What I was looking for was a way to give the resulting boost in population to only or mostly this weak queenright hive.  Do you know of any way to do that?  I'd be willing to take some moderate risk to the queen in this hive, since it's not building up well and she may be to blame.   
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2020, 06:29:30 pm »
Ms. Member, your laying worker hive may have only 2-3 laying workers.  Most likely there are 200-300 or in the thousands, we just don?t know.  If the 2-3 was indeed fact, that might be workable, but 200-300+ would result in queen loss unless you shake out the bees.

If you want to risk it: go ahead and shake out the lw hive 30 ft away.  After the bees return, then combine.  The hope is the laying workers have never conducted an orientation flight and therefore do not know where the home is.  Let?s hope the returning foragers have not gone LW.

Your main problem is a poor queen and a combine will not help that as the combine will result in mostly forager bees and not nurse bees.  Nurse bees are needed just as bad, maybe more so than foragers.  Anyway to obtain a queen?

If that bee place you told me about, Next Door or de la Cruz farms [sourwood honey] has queens :I can arrange for you to have a new queen from one of those stores.  I have account at both.  Check on queen availability and text back to this message if either has queens.

Van
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2020, 07:56:39 pm »
Your main problem is a poor queen and a combine will not help that as the combine will result in mostly forager bees and not nurse bees.  Nurse bees are needed just as bad, maybe more so than foragers.  Anyway to obtain a queen?

If that bee place you told me about, Next Door or de la Cruz farms [sourwood honey] has queens :I can arrange for you to have a new queen from one of those stores.  I have account at both.  Check on queen availability and text back to this message if either has queens.

Van
Thanks for the offer, Van.  If I decide to requeen, I'd rather just have the bees make their own from a frame of eggs from a better queen.  I don't have the cash to spare on a queen at the moment, and I like breeding from my own stock.  I'm not sure that this queen is at fault, and I was planning on give her a little while longer.  I had to treat this hive for varroa in the spring, and it seemed to set the colony back, so it's possible this colony took the treatment harder than my other hives.
 
Ms. Member, your laying worker hive may have only 2-3 laying workers.  Most likely there are 200-300 or in the thousands, we just don?t know.  If the 2-3 was indeed fact, that might be workable, but 200-300+ would result in queen loss unless you shake out the bees.

If you want to risk it: go ahead and shake out the lw hive 30 ft away.  After the bees return, then combine.  The hope is the laying workers have never conducted an orientation flight and therefore do not know where the home is.  Let?s hope the returning foragers have not gone LW.
I'm inclined to give your suggestion a try; it seems like a good compromise approach, and if it doesn't work, I haven't really lost anything.   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline iddee

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2020, 08:44:47 pm »
Shake them out 5 to 10 feet in front of the LW hive. Most will go to it.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2020, 09:56:08 pm »
Your main problem is a poor queen and a combine will not help that as the combine will result in mostly forager bees and not nurse bees.  Nurse bees are needed just as bad, maybe more so than foragers.  Anyway to obtain a queen?

If that bee place you told me about, Next Door or de la Cruz farms [sourwood honey] has queens :I can arrange for you to have a new queen from one of those stores.  I have account at both.  Check on queen availability and text back to this message if either has queens.

Van
Thanks for the offer, Van.  If I decide to requeen, I'd rather just have the bees make their own from a frame of eggs from a better queen.  I don't have the cash to spare on a queen at the moment, and I like breeding from my own stock.  I'm not sure that this queen is at fault, and I was planning on give her a little while longer.  I had to treat this hive for varroa in the spring, and it seemed to set the colony back, so it's possible this colony took the treatment harder than my other hives.
 
Ms. Member, your laying worker hive may have only 2-3 laying workers.  Most likely there are 200-300 or in the thousands, we just don?t know.  If the 2-3 was indeed fact, that might be workable, but 200-300+ would result in queen loss unless you shake out the bees.

If you want to risk it: go ahead and shake out the lw hive 30 ft away.  After the bees return, then combine.  The hope is the laying workers have never conducted an orientation flight and therefore do not know where the home is.  Let?s hope the returning foragers have not gone LW.
I'm inclined to give your suggestion a try; it seems like a good compromise approach, and if it doesn't work, I haven't really lost anything.

Member, I will pay for the queen, will cost you nothing but travel to pick the queen up.  That is why I ask if either store has queens.  I have accounts at both bee stores texted above.  I do not know if they have queens available?  If the bee stores have queens, check Monday, I?ll buy a queen for you.  You were nice to offer your time when I wanted real sourwood honey, I am just returning the favor I owe you.

Van
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2020, 10:02:56 pm »
Member, I will pay for the queen, will cost you nothing but travel to pick the queen up.  That is why I ask if either store has queens.  I have accounts at both bee stores texted above.  I do not know if they have queens available?  If the bee stores have queens, check Monday, I?ll buy a queen for you.  You were nice to offer your time when I wanted real sourwood honey, I am just returning the favor I owe you.

Van
Again, thank you for the offer, but you do not owe me anything, and if you did, it wouldn't be something that would cost you anything, as my help to you did not cost me a dime.  You are very generous and kind, Mr. Van, but it's really not necessary.  I'm quite content with things as they stand.  :smile: 
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2020, 10:22:33 pm »
...  What I was looking for was a way to give the resulting boost in population to only or mostly this weak queenright hive.  Do you know of any way to do that?  ...

Pull 2 frames of capped brood from another hive over to this hive and drop them into the center of the brood nest. They will hatch shortly and boost the population.

... and shake the others out ...  :cool:
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2020, 10:34:47 pm »
Pull 2 frames of capped brood from another hive over to this hive and drop them into the center of the brood nest. They will hatch shortly and boost the population.

... and shake the others out ...  :cool:
Yeah, I know that's an option.  I was just looking to combine weak and weak into strong if possible, before I weakened the strong to strengthen the weak.  :wink:
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Offline .30WCF

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2020, 11:47:18 pm »
How about combining in stages if you want an experiment. If you shake in a frame a day or so, would the queen right hive fight off the workers and accept the nurses? Or paper combine a medium with only two or three frames in it then, once combined, add more paper and a couple new frames?

Just throwing it out there. I have no idea.


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Offline TheHoneyPump

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Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2020, 03:34:25 am »
Usually by the time a colony has gone LW the bees are old and not of much value other than a very temporary foraging force boost.  Think of them as that and that only. Not as a box of bees capable of boosting all functions of another weak colony.  They can help, just not as much nor in the way you may be thinking.

What is the comparative size of the LW colony to the queenrite colony?
If the LW is 1/3 the size or less, then you could just newspaper combine.  Spritz the frame bars and bees with sugar water first.  Put the LW on top. The bees will sort the bees.  A day or three later there will be a bunch of bees dead and curled on the ground out front.  Those are the LWs.  The combine does pose risk to the queen.  However if you are mindful of the size ratio given that risk is reduced. 
By far the best way to deal with LW is to shake out and completely remove their hive equipment so they have no place to go back to and must beg into the other hives.  Again use the bees to sort out the bees.  If there is a preference of which hive to be boosted by them, do the shake nearer that hive than the others, but do be mindful of comparative volume to spread them so the one hive is not overwhelmed by the misfits. (Ratio)

Hope that helps!
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2020, 07:05:38 am »
We have had some success with shaking out the LW hive 50+ yards away putting the hive back with a frame of open brood and nurse bees.
The hive, brood and nurse bees are dusted with icing sugar. As the LW bees return they find a new smell in the hive and tend to accept the brood and nurse bees. Success about 75% of the time.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2020, 01:02:28 pm »
Usually by the time a colony has gone LW the bees are old and not of much value other than a very temporary foraging force boost.  Think of them as that and that only. Not as a box of bees capable of boosting all functions of another weak colony.  They can help, just not as much nor in the way you may be thinking.
Oh, I get it now.  That makes sense, since it's the older bees who are most probably not LW's.  That definitely changes how I'm thinking about this situation.

What is the comparative size of the LW colony to the queenrite colony?
If the LW is 1/3 the size or less, then you could just newspaper combine.  Spritz the frame bars and bees with sugar water first.  Put the LW on top. The bees will sort the bees.  A day or three later there will be a bunch of bees dead and curled on the ground out front.  Those are the LWs.  The combine does pose risk to the queen.  However if you are mindful of the size ratio given that risk is reduced. 
By far the best way to deal with LW is to shake out and completely remove their hive equipment so they have no place to go back to and must beg into the other hives.  Again use the bees to sort out the bees.  If there is a preference of which hive to be boosted by them, do the shake nearer that hive than the others, but do be mindful of comparative volume to spread them so the one hive is not overwhelmed by the misfits. (Ratio)

Hope that helps!
The LW colony is about 1/2 the size of the queenright colony, so probably pretty risky to just do a combine.  Hmm. . . .  Maybe I'll do this: Since there is still some capped worker brood in the LW colony, I could shake out the bees and give the struggling colony the capped brood as a booster.     

 
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Offline iddee

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2020, 01:40:54 pm »
"""The LW colony is about 1/2 the size of the queenright colony, so probably pretty risky to just do a combine.  Hmm. . . .  Maybe I'll do this: Since there is still some capped worker brood in the LW colony, I could shake out the bees and give the struggling colony the capped brood as a booster. """

Hold on a minute, member. Something isn't jiving here. LW's don't develop when there is worker brood present.  I think you need to re-evaluate this hive.   

 
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2020, 01:54:20 pm »
"""The LW colony is about 1/2 the size of the queenright colony, so probably pretty risky to just do a combine.  Hmm. . . .  Maybe I'll do this: Since there is still some capped worker brood in the LW colony, I could shake out the bees and give the struggling colony the capped brood as a booster. """

Hold on a minute, member. Something isn't jiving here. LW's don't develop when there is worker brood present.  I think you need to re-evaluate this hive.   

 
Just to clarify, there is only capped worker brood, no open worker brood.  There were a handful of larvae, but they were either VERY young, or very old.  I was seeing capped drones here and there amongst spotty capped worker brood, so my assumption is the larvae are all drones.  I did see some cells with only 1 egg in the bottom, but I also saw cells with many eggs, like 8-10 per cell.   
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2020, 02:10:22 pm »
Member is seems like you have everything but a visible Queen.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Combining LW Hive with Queenright Hive
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2020, 02:44:38 pm »
If you have some larvae and few eggs and capped ... An entirely possible (and highly probable) situation is the hive raised a queen and the LWs promptly killed her right shortly after she laid a few eggs.  Happens often, nearly every time.

Only way to know for sure is to take the hive out a ways.  Put and empty box on the ground with 3 empty frames in it.  Put on a queen excluder.  Put another empty box on the QE, no frames.  Next shake them all into the open box. They will crawl through the QE.  If there is a queen. You will find her.  If there is no queen, finish up shaking everything out and take all the equipment away.
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