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View Full Version : how long can a hive make it w/o a queen?



dragonfly
07-05-2002, 07:46 PM
I bought a package of bees and the queen got "lost" during the installation (candy did not seem to be seated correctly in the queen cage). Will a typical package of bees be able to stay intact for 4-5 days until I can get a new queen? (please note I said typical, I know there are no guarantees). What is the likelihood that the queen will rejoin the rest of the bees and if she does, will she likely be killed? Thanks for any info or advice.

baddawg1976
07-06-2002, 05:32 AM
I believe they will all stay there until they would just die off in about 6 weeks, if you get a queen in 4 or 5 days you shouldn't have any problems.

mainelybees
07-07-2002, 11:12 AM
dragonfly,
don't wait any longer that that. A package of bees with no queen and no brood has little to do. Do you have another hive? If it were me and I had more than one hive I might take a frame of brood and eggs and give it to this hive to help keep them busy.
Order you're new queen, she will be fine when you put her cage in the hive just like you did when you installed the package originally. Good luck. Let us know how things work out.
David

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Maine-ly Bees
David Wallace and Family
Bowdoinham, ME
dwallace@llbean.com

dragonfly
07-09-2002, 03:32 PM
Well, thanks for your replies, but the story has a sad ending. I lucked out and was able to get a queen the next day (Saturday), placed her (in her cage) in the hive. I had also put a frame of mostly brood in the hive (when I put the bees in initially) to keep the bees busy, and everything looked just great until Monday morning. I went out to just observe for activity in and out, and there was nothing. I opened the hive and almost all the bees had absconded. Maybe just 5-6 bees left in there with the queen still in her cage. I can't figure out what went wrong. On Saturday evening, everything looked industrious and "normal" for bees. On Monday, nothing. *IF* the original queen returned, then the new one was placed in the hive, would that make the colony likely to leave, or was it more likely something else? Any ideas? As for the new queen, I took her back to the beekeeper I got her from so he can find her a good home. Anyway, thanks to you both for the input.

mainelybees
07-09-2002, 03:43 PM
dragonfly,
sorry to hear about your hive. It sounds like the original queen may have come back, not completely unheard of. Finding another queen scent in "her" hive could have caused the hive to swarm, she had not started laying at that point so she would still be small enough to take flight again. Good luck with your remaining hive or any future hive you set up. Keep in touch.
David

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Maine-ly Bees
David Wallace and Family
Bowdoinham, ME
dwallace@llbean.com