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How long before a laying worker

 
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:28 am    Post subject: How long before a laying worker Reply with quote

Roughly how long does a hive have to be queenless before you get a laying worker?
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tell us more about the hive in question, and the bees themselves
established colony or newly caught swarm etc
details are always good in such matters
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the 17th May I split the hive (nearly one month ago).
On the 31st May (14 days later) I inspected and there was a beautiful capped queen cell. Since this is 14 days after the queen was removed an egg MUST have been used. This being a Saturday the queen would therefore be born on the Sunday, Monday. She takes a week to then become sexually mature so may make her mating flight the following weekend.

On the 8th June (22 days later) I inspected. The beautiful queen cell had hatched as expected. But HANG ON, there is another one right next to it! For there to be a capped queen cell present there MUST have been a queen in there laying within the last 16 days. This is 22 days after the split. On reflection, after the split the bees would have used a 4 day old larva to produce an emergency queen so there was possibly a laying queen was in there at that point and the bees had decided to supercede.

I inspected on friday 13th june (at 27 days) and there were a lot of queen cells through the hive that appear as though they have emerged. I have caught 3 swarms in bait hives nearby. Only a couple of cells had holes in the side suggesting a new queen had performed a cull. There were no larva or capped brood in the hive and I have never been able to spot a queen in my hives so the fact that I didn't see one means nothing. The comb was backfilled with nectar.
I don't know how much longer to leave this hive to see if a new queen is going to pick things up.
They are alongside the mother colony so a brood transfer wouldn't be hard but I don't want them to swarm themselves out and I don't know if it's not too late for that anyway.
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would add a frame of eggs/larvae from your other hive for a few days, if they are queen less they will again start producing cells, this would stop any workers becoming layers, and of course let you know the state of the hive, if however no cells get built, you would then know a queen/princess is in there somewhere, sometimes the addition of eggs/larvae can bring a slow to start queen into lay
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dexter
Do I need to shake off the bees before transfer or sugar dust them?
or can I just lift out a bar and put it in since it is the mother hive?
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AugustC wrote:
Thanks Dexter
Do I need to shake off the bees before transfer or sugar dust them?
or can I just lift out a bar and put it in since it is the mother hive?


I would try to shake/brush off most as you can, maybe sprays any left with sugar water
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Paul Reyes
Nurse Bee


Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with AugustC its best to shake the bees of then the remaining ones you can use sugar brush.
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