Apiary Diary February 2021

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715
563
Christchurch
Experience
Semi Commercial
took some honey frames off my hives on wed.
my hive that was going great and i had not looked at since Dec was queenless.
there was some drone lava but no obvious sign of eggs.
i put a frame of eggs in that hive.
today i saw no sign of them making a queen cell and upon closer inspection around the frame of drone brood i saw some eggs laid on the cell wall.
i suspect a laying worker. i removed that frame of drone brood and put it in a nuc box away from the hive.
i am hoping the laying worker was on the frame.
i added another frame of eggs.
in a few days i shall check again and keep removing the frame with eggs if they are still happening.
It won’t be one laying worker... probably heaps, but by giving them good open brood (as you are) you’ll eventually shut them down. However, if you’ve that many got good resources in other hives you might be better off just making up a nuc and replacing the dying colony (of course you would need a queen).
 
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5,519
5,836
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Well I dunno Paul.... been moving bees out of the flatlands the last few nights. Delivered a load of hay to a mate this arvo.... flows over I think.CB3BC22A-11AA-4610-A20D-1A452E97B340.jpeg
 
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kaihoka

Gold
231
197
whanganui inlet
Experience
Hobbyist
It won’t be one laying worker... probably heaps, but by giving them good open brood (as you are) you’ll eventually shut them down. However, if you’ve that many got good resources in other hives you might be better off just making up a nuc and replacing the dying colony (of course you would need a queen).
I have only three hives , only one with a good laying queen .
I had spring matings which I was really suspicious of as conditions were not very good.
If it was a smaller hive I would just empty it out.
You are right about many laying workers but I think ,since only one frame had brood activity and only 3 cells had eggs there may not be many and they may stay on the brood frame .
I shall check again in 4 days .
I shall add more open brood and keep removing any frames with eggs that I have not put there.
See if that works .
 
3,367
6,235
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
Especially since varoa I see more drone layers than I like but laying worker's are in my experience unbelievably rare and although I have seen them I haven't seen one for many many years. My personal feeling is that the vast majority of what people call laying worker's are drone layers. I re-queen half my hives every year with cells so I do end up with reasonable numbers of queenless hives and unless I do something to correct the problem in 99.9% of these cases they will stay queenless until they die.
Drone layers and laying worker's can have very similar brood patterns i.e. spotty drone brood but laying worker's will have multiple often skinny and deformed eggs in every cell. Some new Queen's will lay multiple eggs in a cell but these will be normal looking and the problem is normally self-correcting given a bit of time
 

Mummzie

Staff member
Gold
1,078
956
Tasman
Experience
Hobbyist
I wonder if there is anyone with good bee genetics knowledge who could comment.
In my course, the comment was passed that the development of a laying worker is a genetic trait
Therefore I wonder if the rarity of seeing a laying worker for @John B is because of his selected line of bees.
 
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kaihoka

Gold
231
197
whanganui inlet
Experience
Hobbyist
When my hives go queenless they normally end up with a laying worker.
It could be genetic
Poor matings are my biggest issue here .
Esp this spring
 

Bron

Staff member
Platinum
2,900
3,036
Gisborne
Experience
Commercial
Been warm today @James. We had cloud cover till about 2.30 then the sun came out hot and bright and everything got a bit feral! Nearly had to resort to my crusty gauntlet gloves hiding behind the truck seat!
 
5,519
5,836
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Been warm today @James. We had cloud cover till about 2.30 then the sun came out hot and bright and everything got a bit feral! Nearly had to resort to my crusty gauntlet gloves hiding behind the truck seat!
I been using the gloves quite a bit lately. Normally I prefer to go commando .... but the bees are so titchy at this time of year the gloves just cut down on the expletives in the yard.
I've got a bit blasé about moving bees now .... left home at 4.30 this am to get a load over the hill, but the darn things were ready and waiting for me .
But as me old mate who taught me in California said ...." You load them bees James, then sit in the truck and have a coffee or two, and they all come home to roost somewhere.'
He was sort of right.3B73B93D-05AC-49D3-BBAA-B986728BED57.jpeg
 

kaihoka

Gold
231
197
whanganui inlet
Experience
Hobbyist
Had a look at my queenless laying worker hive today .
There are 3 queen cells being made on the frame of eggs I put in a week ago .
I think taking the frame out with the eggs and drone brood removed the laying workers .
Since they are acting like queens they will be on the brood frame .
 
5,519
5,836
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Dear Diary,
With the dry conditions we have been asked to vacate our forestry sites by 1.00pm ..... which makes for a short day, but anyway, we been escaping honey again today ...... heavy heavy boxes.
I break the hives down, twist off the queen excluder and disease check. There are more than usual queen less hives, maybe they have virgins superseding, but what ever, we are on a tight schedule to get two truckloads done before 1.00pm .... so the queen less get a frame of sealed brood and a frame of eggs.
Main man applies Apivar , replaces the queen excluder and plonks an empty box and feeder.
New Man does the heavy lifting .... those boxes must weigh 40 kg each, but he hefts them with a smile and plonks them above the feeder. Two boxes per hive.

We were on a roll, and had time to spare before the witching hour so pulled some honey off yard I had moved in last week that came out of pollination. Once again the honey boxes were stacked above the feeders so the bees had access to some Kai if the weather was inclement.
In that interim time the bees had filled the box below the feeder .... so we rushed off home to sort out the extracting room to free up some empty boxes for next week.

It was a busy week at the office
 
8,433
4,864
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
today was just another day of extraction.
utes and trucks coming and going, the pile of supers in the shed changes color but never in size.
everyone is tired from the big day yesterday, so its a relief we have a smaller run today.

the lads get back early from taking even more honey off, so they whip down to the sushi shop with bosses credit card.
a nice fat lunch to get us going for the afternoon shift.
looking at the calendar its getting close to 4 months of extraction. its starting to get tedious but there is the never ending machine failures to keep us entertained.
the weekend arrives for sleep.
 
5,519
5,836
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
today was just another day of extraction.
utes and trucks coming and going, the pile of supers in the shed changes color but never in size.
everyone is tired from the big day yesterday, so its a relief we have a smaller run today.

the lads get back early from taking even more honey off, so they whip down to the sushi shop with bosses credit card.
a nice fat lunch to get us going for the afternoon shift.
looking at the calendar its getting close to 4 months of extraction. its starting to get tedious but there is the never ending machine failures to keep us entertained.
the weekend arrives for sleep.
NIce .... to hear that other people get machinery break downs. I thought it was only us !
 
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