Laying workers- any advice?
Hi everyone, sorry this is a long post!!
I am just looking for some advice as to what to do with two of my hives- both of which have laying workers.
I'm 99% sure that is what the problem is- there are multiple eggs present, some of which have been laid in the wall of the cells. The temperament of the colony settled down and they are now very quiet and docile. I put in frames of eggs and uncapped brood, however they raised no queen and continued to produce drone brood. I went through the hive time and time again to see if I could find a queen- to no avail.
I also tried shaking out the hives on the floor nearby and hoping that the DLW's wouldn't make it back- it didn't work, the DLW's are obviously flying bees.
I have researched this extensively and know I have three options; either 1) join them to a strong hive 2) shake them out in front of a group of strong hives or 3) simply take them away from the hives and shake them out on the floor to die.
Here is why I am having some trouble:
1) The colonies with DLW's are very large and strong, despite being queenless for over 4 weeks. I don't want to risk my smaller healthy colonies by joining them and risking the queen being overrun by multiple DLW's and have been advised against doing this.
2) The site where I keep my hives is in an apiary with other people's hives- they do not want me to shake out the DLW hives near their hives in case the drone laying workers impact their own colonies which is completely understandable.
3) I have been putting this off- it seems a bit harsh to throw them onto the floor to die when they could just die naturally in the hive. This might be me being a bit silly, so if shaking them out is the most humane way to deal with the problem then I will do it.
Does anyone know if I can I leave the bees in the hive to die of old age instead of killing them? I don't know if this will prolong any suffering they are currently experiencing! They are currently docile, have stores and are still flying and bringing in pollen etc.
I have been advised against buying a queen at this point in the season- if anyone thinks it's worth a shot then I will also try that!
Thanks so much for any help!