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.