laying workers

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by ronsin, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. ronsin

    ronsin New Member

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    hi all.
    i have a colony of bees which i believe has laying workers.if i was to take bees some distance away <,leaving another brood box on same site >and brushed all bees into grass hopeing that laying workers would get lost and not return to hive , would it be worth trying to introduce new queen?
    would be grateful for any advice cheers
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    first are you certain it is a case of laying workers? are there multiple eggs in the cells?

    I don't think that laying workers (since they are your standard worker bee and generally of some age) would have any difficulty finding their way back home.

    with laying workers my best suggestion is to combine with a strong hive and then split after the laying worker issue is resolved.
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Reminds me years ago a neighbor had befreinded a baby crow. when he got tired of it and wanted it gone. He tried about everything but shoot it to get rid of it. Frustrated he drove it several miles out in the country let it go and returned home to find the crow had beat him home. . That ole crow lived a long life hanging around the neighborhood as we grew up. Now replace the crow with a bee and Thats where my money is :D
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    If you're in a rush, you could try introducing a queen by putting her on the brood comb with a small number of bees. Those coming "home" should accept her together with her brood as their own.
    Better yet, If the replacement hive has a comb of eggs and/or only very young larvae, (up to 72 hrs old), you could let them raise their own queen.
     
  5. ronsin

    ronsin New Member

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    according to english beekeeping magazine,when worker bees develope ovaries it affects their flying ability, also have been informed that if united with established colony ,theres a good chance that L Ws will kill queen
    bit confusing this beekeeping lark :confused:
     
  6. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    The thinking with shaking the bees 50 ft. to 100 ft. away from there laying worker hive, is that the laying worker will be to heavy with eggs that she won't be able to fly back to her hive. I have done the shake thing after bringing in a hive (that needed building up) from one of my distant beeyards and putting it where the laying worker hive was. I spray sugar water with vanilla extract inside the hive to confuse the queens pheromone ( i think it helps :confused: ) Not had any trouble so far combining this way :thumbsup: and if the laying worker does makes it back to the hive Surprise, Surprise. Jack
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I have no real knowledge about this suggested explanation but merely present it as a hypothesis that needs to be studied:
    Could it be that laying workers develop from young bees that have not reached the stage of foraging. Such bees, never having learned the position of their hive's location are incapable of returning home if scattered any reasonable distance from where it stood. They are totally lost and could wander into any hive where they would have to get past the guards. [Only the productive field bees would be able to return home.]
    My rationale for this suggestion is that, perhaps, being deprived of queen substance from the outset, their developmental flexibility at emergence allows ovaries to develop functionality. :dontknow:
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    My .02 cents.

    Anytime bees are lost, they take up with the nearest hive they find. That's why I always recommend putting the shook woodenware away. Make the bees go to a strange hive. They will go in very humbly and be accepted. The laying workers? I have no idea if they convert back when entering a queenright hive, lay on the ground and die, or what. It never bothered me one way or the other. I solved the laying worker problem and boosted some other hives.
     
  9. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    It seems reasonable to assume that laying workers can fly. After all, full-sized queens even though much larger, also fly. True, they "diet" before leaving with a swarm, but they are still bigger than the workers. :)
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    ronsin writes:
    according to english beekeeping magazine,when worker bees develope ovaries it affects their flying ability, also have been informed that if united with established colony ,theres a good chance that L Ws will kill queen
    bit confusing this beekeeping lark

    tecumseh:
    must be a dialect thingee... what is a beekeeping lark?

    I would have no doubt that a laying worker might not fly so well as a drone or worker. I don't think I would fashion this into some statement that they can not fly at all.

    Laying workers MIGHT kill a queen in a poorly populated hive but even then how you made the combination would have an effect on end results. most time here with a laying worker hive I knock the bees out on the ground 20 to 30 feet away from the yard and stack the now empty equipment on a STRONG hive. As Iddee states quite clearly the field bees tend to find a new home closes to the place they are dumped and the guard bees resolve any issues with any and all laying workers trying to return to a hive.

    my first question in regards to what made you think this was a case of a laying worker hive is still not addressed??? typically either it is a case of a drone laying queen or laying workers and how you might SUCCESSFULLY address the problem would vary depending on how this question was answered.

    in cases like laying workers essentially starting over gives you the best chance of success.
     
  11. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Good for you Tec--getting us back on the topic.
    Too bad that it is water under the bridge at this point.
     
  12. ronsin

    ronsin New Member

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    thanks a lot for advice guys very interesting
     
  13. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    According to what I learned (from books and the hard way), if you've got laying workers ina hive, you are unlikely to succeed in intrducing a new, laying queen.
    HOWEVER, I you introduce a queen into the hive without the laying workers present (as would be the case if you shake off ALL the frames a distance from the hive), you're chances for a successful introduction are good.