Sunday, August 21, 2011

Laying Workers

It's for sure. We have laying workers. I have known this for the last week or so but have been to busy (read lazy) to post it all to the blog.

If you want to read about when I found the cells with multiple eggs you can find it here.

I have read about several different methods for getting rid of laying workers, all of which take time. The question now is- Do I have time to get rid of the laying workers and requeen the hive in time to get the population and stores built up and ready for winter? I don't really know, but it seems pretty late in the season to me. I have decided to cut my losses with this hive and start this hive over next spring.

I have moved all the honey supers form Virginia over to Georgia. Georgia swarmed early in the summer and took quite a while to start filling up her supers. She has a booming population now and with Virginia's supers she is stacked up with 5 supers total.

Before Virginia lost her queen she was well on her way to filling at least 4 supers with honey. Last year (our second with the bees) we also had queen problems in both hives and extracted a total of 6 supers. Just think how much honey we could extract if we could just get a good year without any swarms or supercedures or laying workers!

Since Virginia will die out this fall and winter anyway, I am removing the deep frames from the hive to harvest what honey I can. In the empty space left in the deep hive bodies I am hoping that the remaining workers will try to rebuild the comb with fresh wax. That will just give me more wax to harvest before winter. We will see how that goes.

So now we are just waiting for Virginia to finish capping her honey. We plan on extracting the honey in early September. Last year I designed and built an uncapping tank. It worked but had some design flaws. This year I have modified the designed and built another that I think will work a little better. That will be the subject of the next blog post.


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