Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Dead Queens

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Grafton, NY, USA
    Posts
    190

    Default Dead Queens

    I picked up a package of bees from the southeastern US on my way home to the northeast and the queen was not inside the package, it was in a plastic cell with only one attendant outside of the package, so I attached it to the screen of the package for the ride home, but it appeared to have died shortly after leaving there (the attendant is alive still though.) (I have never experienced a queen death with a package before so I am not sure what to do (but they have always been inside the package in a seperate cell with multiple attendants.) Should I be able to request another queen or credit from the business I purchased the package from? Also, as I type we are having snow squalls (it was 60 degrees here the other day though and it should clear up tomorrow and be in the mid-50's... would it be too risky for me to open up the one hive I have that is doing well and risk breaking a cluster over brood in that hive? (I want to split this hive anyways this Spring as it appears to be pretty strong and I do not want it to swarm.))

    Take a frame of brood out of the strong hive in the next day or so or just see if the business I bought the package from will replace the dead queen or just locate a new queen to be shipped?

    Also, should I leave the bees in the package and keep feeding them until the new queen arrives if it will not be safe to open up my strong hive yet to use a frame of brood...or would it be better to put them package into a nuc until it is warm enough for sure to open up the strong hive with less risk?

    What is the consensus? (....I'm sitting here listening to 2 packages of bees and not sure what I should do for them.)

    Thanks in advance for your reply on this matter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bowling Green, Kentucky
    Posts
    419

    Default

    call who ever you got the package from and they should send you a queen immediately. As to what you should do with your package that depends if your new queen will be there in a couple of days I would feed and wait. if it is going to be a week I would mix them with another hive and then use frames of brood to make up a nuc when the queen arrives but that is just me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,740

    Default

    You should probably contact the provider to make sure you have a queen on the way, but odds are they have a queen loose in the package which is why they rejected the one in the cage.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Grafton, NY, USA
    Posts
    190

    Default

    Actually, the one died in transit within a couple hours of picking up the packages and the second one most likely died sometime overnight as it was dead when I checked the following morning. Unfortunately, the queens were given to me seperately in a plastic case (versus in the package with the bees) with an individual attendant (which both attendants made it, but the queens did not) ... I even had attached the queen case to the screen of the package in case the one attendant died so the bees in the package might be able to reach her to feed her.)

    I did get in contact with the company that I bought the package from and they agreed to ship 2 queens as long as I would cover the postage, and they are being overnighted so I should know if they arrive safely by tomorrow (else I'm out almost the cost of another package...and in hindsight maybe I should have just went that route...who knows) ...I'm still learning alot but it's the hard way....

    For future reference, what is the best method to transport queens so that they arrive safely?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default

    I would have tied a wire to each queen cage and hung them inside their respective packages, so the larger volume of bees could take proper care of them (kept them warm and well fed). Then they could have already begun the process of acceptance, too.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bowling Green, Kentucky
    Posts
    419

    Default

    In my opinion I would use another supplier as they are making you responsible for paying for the freight on their dead queens. most places I have worked with would have covered that as they want a happy customer with return buisness.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Grafton, NY, USA
    Posts
    190

    Default

    My school = school of hard knocks
    Motto: Live and learn


    Thanks everyone!

    Joseph, In hindsight, that sounds like the obvious answer...but....how would I have gotten it into the package without removing the can and bees escaping?

    Slickbrightspear, Surprisingly, it was less than they quoted me and as long as they make it I'll be happy and can live with paying for shipping...actually I may have made the mistake by saying I would be willing to pay towards the shipping.

    When they arrived all but one of the attendants in the one cage were dead and that queen was still alive but appeared lethargic and the attendant that was left was pretty beat up...only had one antenae...but she was a trooper...when given a drop of water she immediately fed it to the queen and was busy grooming her....the second queen had 3 of 4 attendants still alive and seemed to be more active...I just hope that they both make it and are accepted...the one hive had released the dead queen and her attendant, while the other hive had not yet done so... The supplier suggested that I put the dead queens in the hives while waiting for the new ones,...I hope that was sound advice, else I'll be in need of a new queen(s) again still.... also ... I placed them into a deadout that I split in half...one has two mediums with lots of honey and the other is one deep with a super of undrawn mediums and a styrofoam hive top feeder that I am feeding 1:1 syrup note: I had taken out one of the medium frames from the other hive and placed it in the deep box next to the queen case. Should I remove the undrawn medium super for now or should it be OK to leave it on?

    My other concern now is that it has gotten cold again here this week and therefore the bees will be stuck inside for a while again until it warms back up which may not be this week... today we even had snow flurries with some sticking to the grass... on a positive note though, there were not many dead bees in the package boxes, so I was thrilled to see that, although the hive that we have the feeder on had started drawing out comb and attaching it to the package box that we had left in there when we released the package on Sunday afternoon, should I try to attach that comb to a frame or just save it to melt it down?


    I also put on entrance reducers, is this a good thing or a bad thing to do at this point? Should I remove them or should I leave them on for a little while?

    Thanks again for sharing your experience and suggestions!

    --------------------------------------------
    Joseph Clemens Join Date: Feb 2005
    Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts: 1,386
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I would have tied a wire to each queen cage and hung them inside their respective packages, so the larger volume of bees could take proper care of them (kept them warm and well fed). Then they could have already begun the process of acceptance, too.
    __________________
    Joseph Clemens
    Beekeeping since 1964


    Joseph Clemens
    View Public Profile
    Send a private message to Joseph Clemens
    Find all posts by Joseph Clemens
    Add Joseph Clemens to Your Contacts
    ------------------------------------------------------
    #6 Today, 07:54 PM
    slickbrightspear Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky
    Posts: 85
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In my opinion I would use another supplier as they are making you responsible for paying for the freight on their dead queens. most places I have worked with would have covered that as they want a happy customer with return buisness.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default

    Once you know the tricks, it isn't very difficult to open the package, slip up the feeder can enough to slip a queen cage inside.

    First have the queen cage attached to the wire, then have it within easy reach. Next, loosen and remove the package cover, exposing the feeder can, then firmly bounce the cage onto a firm surface, knocking most of the bees to the bottom of the cage, then quickly pry up and lift the feed can until it clears the cage enough to slip the queen cage inside. Last, quickly replace the feed can, then fasten the queen cage wire so the queen is suspended inside the cluster of bees. If you are quick, few, if any, bees will escape. It sounds more complicated than it actually is.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads