I have had an interesting experience installing my first package of bees about a week ago exactly. It was a lovely day when I put them in the hive and then over the course of the next few days it snowed in New Mexico and was windy so I didn't see much of them at all. I received my new package at a strange time not really of my picking through a beekeeping class and kind of hoped they would do ok because I have to leave town for a wedding this weekend and won't be here to check on them.
I went to the hive yesterday afternoon (after almost a week after installing the new bees) and found my queen dead in her cage. Maybe from the cold, but I'm not sure. My heart sank . I called my beekeeping instructor and he said he would call his 'queen guy' in California to see if he could get me a queen overnight to arrive on Thursday (which would be difficult to do this time of year). He told me he'd let me know what's up today (Wednesday), but I haven't heard from him so I'm expecting I won't see that new queen tomorrow morning. I'm supposed to leave town tomorrow night. The hive has no queen, but the rest of the bees seem to be working and active. I don't get back until the 15th. Are there any other options or solutions here if I can't get a queen before I leave? I'm afraid I might just have to change my travel plans, which will be costly and uncertain, but I certainly don't want to give up on my new hive. They have been in there for a week without a queen already. Any advice would be so appreciated!