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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Will inserting a frame containing Queen Cells from another hive solve the Laying worker issue, or will the laying workers destroy the QC's?
 

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It's my understanding that the cells are usually destroyed. Adding a frame of eggs/ young larvae each week seems to be the popular fix. I had a laying worker hive and they made some q-cells on the first frame I provided but they were poor looking. I added a second frame of eggs/ young larvae hoping that they could do better. I'll see...
 

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Any frame that you would want to remove from a hive of laying workers would obviously be the one with the most drone comb, I'd imagine. I would shake the bees off of any frame with drone comb in that hive, but put it in the freezer for a day. That will kill the drone larvae and the mites. Then simply give those frames to whatever colony you like, they'll remove the drone and clean everything up nice. But let the frame(s) warm up, don't just put frozen frames in your hive right out of the freezer. Also, do some more research before making your decision to simply add eggs/larvae to your LW hive. A LW hive often will not raise a queen or accept any new queen or queen cell, because they believe that they are queen right.
 

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do some more research
Most of my hives are from 3 to 23 miles away so I don't bother with the freezing option.

Some very successful beekeepers recommend adding frames of eggs /young larvae...

Or shaking out the bees of the laying worker hive and distributing the frames to other colonies.
 

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Joe writes:
Most of my hives are from 3 to 23 miles away so I don't bother with the freezing option.

tecumseh:
a freezer is wonderful for some things but as you suggest not really so functional when distances are involved. I typically just use the flat end of my hive tool to 'flatten' any drone comb and then insert these frames into a robust hive and let them clean up the mess. in the field prior to setting any box with a drone laying queen or laying worker onto another hive I myself knock the bees out of the box, although I suspect his is not really necessary unless the hive you are setting the box on has a very small population (small enough for the drone layer/laying worker hive's population to overwhelm.
 

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Pilotbeekeeper asks: What is done with the frame removed from the Laying Worker hive? is it ok to place it in the queen right hive?
Dr. Buzz gives good advice relevant to a laying worker hive that has varroa--the drone brood serves as a mite atractant
But, just in case you are lucky and that LW hived is clean (or relatively clean) of varroa, and you have another hive that needs a varroa treatment, you could put it into that hive as a bait for varroa laying, After the brood is sealed, remove the frame and freeze-kill the brood and varroa. Just make sure not to miss removing the frame from the receiving hive before the drones emerge.
 

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a snip..
Does this mean my LW issue is resolved?

tecumseh:
maybe yes and maybe no. those do appear to be queen cells but at some point in a hive being queenless anything that the bees have to construct cells from is quite likely to be an unfertilzed egg... and most especially if the problem is actually a laying worker. a drone laying queen* (often confused by new beekeepers for laying workers) the chances are more like 50 50... although you have a good chance that the drone laying queen will tear down any cell that approaches maturity. a good portion of the logic in adding frames of 'green' brood (meaning basically it is unsealed and hopefully of all ages) is you can place some genetic material that will produce a viable queen.

at the extreme of things I have seen hives of bees (queenless for quite some period of time) construct queen cells from cells of pollen. I term these kinds of hives 'hopelessly queenless' since nothing you can do will get a viable queen in the box. imho spending time and money on these kinds of hives is a waste.

if the hive has been queenless long enough adding a frame per week as Joe suggest also slowly gets you some young bees in the box which is quite often part of the larger problem of these kinds of hives that have been queenless for some period of time.

*you are unlikely to find all the laying workers in a hive since they are many and hard to differentiate from your normal worker. drone laying queens on the other hand do need to be found and dispatched.
 

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That is a good sign, but not a guarantee. Now and then, in desperation, they will build queen cells with drone eggs. Where did the frame come from? Did you add it from another hive? If so, on what day did you place it in there?
 

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what you have there is not actually queen cells but cell cups, worthless unless they have eggs in them, and the eggs came from a good source. Is this frame a donation from another colony or more drone eggs frme same hive?
Barry
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Checking my records, the last donor frame of eggs was inserted in this hive on 5/18, so this must a queen cell from drone eggs as any egg from that frame would have been completely capped and ready to emerge by now. I put another donor frame of eggs in yesterday; I'll keep trying weekly until it works.
 

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At this point, while I would continue to provide brood, both eggs and larval and capped to replace a now declining workforce--would suggest you invest in a queen you now are fighting a math game. Assume finally a true queen cell is established, takes 16 days from egg to emerged queen. another 10 to 20 days to get fully mated and start laying eggs, another 21 days before the first workers emerge on the minium 46 days before the first worker emerges and another 2 weeks before it becomes a forager---all along this time frame your existing workforce is steadily declining--within the first two weeks of this timeframe the last of the brood will have matured and emerged so there will be no more replacements for almost a month. If you order a queen even if it takes a week to get to you, and you install it, she will take care of the queen cells unless you choose to cut them out and make a split somewhere, and the installed queen will be laying eggs by the end of the week. Dramatically reducing the time for the first workers to hatch out...just my thinking.
Barry
 

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In NC this time of year?? I would shake the bees out 20 feet in front of my other hives, treat the frames with BT, and store it until I had a swarm or split to put in it.
 
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