I have a package that i installed and i opened it up for the first time to pull out the queen cage. She was still in the cage, dead and there is signs of laying workers. Classic three and two eggs per cell. The book i have says to stick the entire hive in a wheelbarrow and truck it 300 yards away, get all the bees off with a bee brush, then put the hive back with no bees in it plus a new queen.
Is there an easer way to handle this?? thanks.
That is the standard treatment and I assume it must work.
It is difficult to get them to accept a queen with a laying worker around, but I don't think it's impossible. You have to stack the deck. You can take a few frames of nurse bees and emerging brood and put them in a nuc and introduce a queen and get them to accept the queen and then combine with the hive and see what happens. Sometimes the laying worker goes away. Not sure if it's the hormones or if the bees kill her.
Some people have not had that experience and say the laying worker will keep laying. It's up to you what you want to try.
Can I ask what time frame has taken place from installation of hive to dead queen discovery to now?
Could there be a chance there is a queen and not a laying worker? I say this because sometimes a new queen will lay several eggs in cells for a day or so. They will normally settle down within a few days. Killing the caged queen is a taletale sign of another queen in the package but the timeline would be important at this stage.
well, i installed the package a week ago, and when i opened the hive, the queen was still in her cage dead. She looked a little sluggish when i installed the package. So, seven days later, I open the hive and there is #1. Dead queen in cage, not released. and #2 Evedence of a laying worker. Out of 20 packages, I have to order three replacement queens. Two dead in the cage and one with just no evidence of a queen present. The last one may fool me when i open it to introduce the new queen, but for 9 bucks, not taking a chance.....
This year in particular I experienced an extra queen in 10% of packages. I would do a good search. I'm betting there is a queen in at least one of those three hives. Maybe two.