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  1. #1
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    Nov 2012
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    Wilkesboro, NC
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    Exclamation first time installing a package and....

    I installed a package for the first time 3 days ago. When i looked in the queen cage the queen was curled up but was moving, I installed figuring they might be feeding her or something. I came back 2 days later and the queen was dead and not released yet. i brought the queen cage inside and corked it. I bought the package at Miller Bee Supply. Im going there later to see if i can get a new queen. The bees with the dead queen are still alive, think theyll replace it? Anyone had this same problem with Miller Bee Supply? How long will those bees live without a queen? Thanks in advance.
    p.s I only have one hive so adding brood is not an option.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2012
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    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    See my reply in your other thread

  3. #3
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    More replys are welcome, i responded rob.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    When you find a dead queen in a package there is almost always a queen loose in the package.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    I also looked for brood when i went into the hive for the first time, no luck. If theres a queen in there thats not laying and i stick another queen cage in what will happen? There wasnt many dead bees in the package at all and there was still syrup in the can. Ill look for brood if i get a replacement queen from miller today before placing her in. Any experience with Miller? Will they have to order another or will they have them on hand? any ideas?experience?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Gaithersburg, MD
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    Like Mr Bush said, most likely you have a loose queen. If you stick another in you will most likely find her curled up in the cage too a few days later. If you get one and it ends up dead then, to me, this would confirm the presence of another queen.

    If the package was installed three days ago then there hasn't been enough time for the bees to draw comb and the queen to lay. If you installed on drawn comb it would probably still be too early to see brood. Give it a week.

    Also, w/out eggs the bees can't replace their queen so that won't happen. Not sure what the probability would be, but I would imagine that, if you have a loose queen, she is most likely a virgin (pure conjecture here). If this is the case she needs a week or so to mate and juice up the ovaries before she begins laying.

    If the replacement queen is killed (IN the cage) then give them a week or two to get situated.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    I think waiting a week to get another queen might not work. Ill get her and keep her in the cage until i know theres no other queen in the hive. Thanks everyone. Would it hurt if i went in the hive to look for brood today? Would it even hurt to just stick the replacement queen in the cage in the hive anyways just to be extra sure?

  8. #8
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    If it were me, and the queen didn't cost anything, I'd stick her in now. If she is killed you know you have a queen somewhere and you can rest easy.

    I'd avoid looking too much right now. They can be touchy when trying to get the broodnest established and the hive settled in. Poking around too much could cause the inadvertent death of the queen that may be in there. This is why I liked having windows on my first hives--the urge to look in on them is irresistible (still can't see if there are eggs though).

  9. #9
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    >I also looked for brood when i went into the hive for the first time, no luck. If theres a queen in there thats not laying and i stick another queen cage in what will happen?

    Likely they will kill her as well. A frame of eggs and open brood from another hive is always the best insurance.

    http://bushfarms.com/beespanacea.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    So you all think I should wait? I have no use for another queen...I only have one hive at the moment. Should I rubber band the cage to a frame like I originally did? My grandpa use to install queens by just pushing the queen cage into the entrance. What do y'all think? I don't want both of them running around because I'm afraid of swarming...or is that just silly? Thanks for reply's

  11. #11
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    If you have her and have no other need for her stick her in. If she is killed you have a queen, if they release her you have a queen. Swarming is not an issue for you since you have no broodnest.

    I just lay the cage on the top bars w/ the screen facing down between two of the bars so the bees can access the screen. Use a shim of some type (I use an upside down winter cover) to create clearance for the cage and put the top on. Check in 3 days or so (make sure you remove the cork over the candy plug) and release if she is not already out and still alive.

    You can slide the cage in the entrance if the bees are clustered to the bottom board or your nights are upper 50s or better.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    beekid,
    I have one hive that has been queenless since last sept. Only lost about 2k bees thus far. Check in another week to see if there are any signs of eggs or brood. If not, then re queen.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2012
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    Wilkesboro, NC
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    Could I make a split out of a 3 lb package? I have a nuc....

  14. #14
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    Mar 2012
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    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    In theory, yes...but I don't really recommend it as that'd leave you with EXTREMELY few bees in both hives until the first few batches of brood mature. It's something I've heard of experienced beeks who have plenty of resources (i.e. drawn comb, as well as bees/brood to use to "bail out" the new colonies when something unavoidably goes wrong) doing, but ABSOLUTELY would not recommend any new beek, with 0 resources to draw from, trying! Heck, who am I kidding, I don't think I'd likely ever try it myself, either

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    Ive read up more, im not going to try it. Thanks for all the input everyone, im good now.

  16. #16
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    Miller seems like a respectable outfit and I feel confident that they will make it "right" with you. I would contact them and let them know what the situation is and see what they have to say. Let them know that you've been informed that it is possible that you may have a queen already loose in the package and that you're willing to wait and see if any brood appears but that you will need a replacement queen in the event that no brood is found.

    Hmm, should he save the dead queen for....?

    Big thing is to contact Miller.

    Ed

  17. #17
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    I showed them the dead queen and i told them about the idea of a loose queen in the package, they understood wait 10 days and if no brood then order one and theyll reimburse me. They actually wanted me to order one anyway so id have it on hand, but i told them id rather wait so i didnt spend any of their money if i didnt have to. Very good service.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....


  19. #19
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    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: first time installing a package and....

    Its not totaly unheard of to loose a queen in a package, sometimes they get damaged putting them in the cage, sometimes the other bees will release and kill them.

    Splitting packages can be done if you have some drawn comb. a 1/2 pack does not have the resources to draw comb and raise brood. I split 25 everyyear, on drawn comb, and most do fine, but about 10% don't do well.

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