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Laying Workers Help!

 
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beegraham
Nurse Bee


Joined: 29 May 2016
Posts: 39
Location: Kenton, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:31 pm    Post subject: Laying Workers Help! Reply with quote

I inspected and pictured this comb out of my top bar hive today. On zooming into the image its clear the cells have multiple new laid eggs and grubs that most likely are drones. I suspect the hive to now be queenless. Is it possible to introduce a bought in queen.
[img]https://goo.gl/photos/qqv3vF9rEE2Cf7zg9[/img]
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Adriaan
Foraging Bee


Joined: 18 Jan 2016
Posts: 128
Location: central Belgium

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Beegraham,

Although I was unable to view the picture, I think it is of no use to try and save this collony. Laying workers and their brood produce queen feromones, so the collony does not consider itselves to be queenless.

Laying workers produce att max about 30 eggs each. One laying worker just lays 1 egg in a cell and the multiple eggs per cell means multiple laying workers. So the picture you discribe indicates a vast amount of laying workers.

IMHO this collony is doomed. Contrary to popular belief, laying workers can fly and find their way back if shaken off.

Even if the collony fails, the large amount of drones may contribute to the gene pool (providing you practice open mating on your apiary) so not all is lost.

friendly greetings

Adriaan
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 304
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you still have sealed brood in the hive can you not make a split using be sealed brood frames and it the bees on them and introduce a new queen to it?

PS
I've not come across this laying worker thing myself.
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not had much luck in sorting out a hive that has got to the stage where the workers are laying even with a shake out.

The drones are no good either as they are diploid drones from laying workers and eventually the size diminishes and they become dwarf drones...the bees are trying to do something but the process is not finished I suppose.

A
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1750
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too have not had success with shaking out and requeening. I think the best situation may be to remove the hive to a distant location and place a healthy hive at the old location, so that the foragers will return to the old site and boost the other hive population. The laying workers should stay with their brood and die out. Of course there will be some workers left with them but hopefully most will reorientate to the new colony at the old site.
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Adriaan
Foraging Bee


Joined: 18 Jan 2016
Posts: 128
Location: central Belgium

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@andy pearce

Drones from laying workers are haploid just like drones from eggs layed by the queen.
Diploid drones only form when a fertilized egg is homozygous on the complementary sex determiner (csd) gene on chromosome 3. These drones will not develop as the larvae are eaten by workers just after hatching resulting in a shot brood pattern.

friendly greetings

Adriaan
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Mullers
New Bee


Joined: 22 Dec 2017
Posts: 1
Location: Seattle, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara wrote:
I too have not had success with shaking out and requeening. I think the best situation may be to remove the hive to a distant location and place a healthy hive at the old location, so that the foragers will return to the old site and boost the other hive population. The laying workers should stay with their brood and die out. Of course there will be some workers left with them but hopefully most will reorientate to the new colony at the old site.


Seems like a good method to solve this issue, Barbara. Have you tried this yourself?
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1750
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies for the delayed reply.
It is difficult to assess how successful it actually is or whether it is even worth the effort as the colony is usually pretty depleted of bees by the time laying workers develop, so the workers that migrate to other colonies if you move the hive do not greatly increase the population there and there is always some disruption about "foreign" workers trying to access a hive which can be counter productive. It rarely happens that I am left with a queenless hive that develops laying workers, so I cannot say I have used it more than once as oppose to the several times I have shaken bees out and tried to requeen and been unsuccessful. Either way, the laying worker colony is goosed, so you are only ever trying to salvage what you can from it.... ie a few workers and a bit of comb and whatever honey there is although some of the brood comb with the laying worker drones needs to be cut out and disposed of.... my chickens enjoy the grubs though!
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eltalia
Guard Bee


Joined: 20 Jun 2017
Posts: 75
Location: Australia (Nth. Queensland)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own a different/alternative method to rectify
this nuisance, I'll have a go at writing it up if
the exercise is still an option.
As Barbara has put.. it is rare as an event in
managed colonies and yes, usually any other
remedy I have tried has failed.

Bill
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1750
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I look forward to reading your alternative method Bill when you have time to document it. Thanks
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eltalia
Guard Bee


Joined: 20 Jun 2017
Posts: 75
Location: Australia (Nth. Queensland)

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On my TooDo list Barbara Smile
I'll put it to this thread as a "peer review" thing
where it can be referred to by others.

Bill
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