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Thread: My queen died

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Lawrenceville, GA USA
    Posts
    9

    Default My queen died

    I am a new beekeeper. I installed my bees from a package on Wednesday. I returned to make sure the queen was out of her cage on Sunday and she was dead in the cage. The attendants were still alive and not all of the candy had been eaten. She was alive when I installed them. What could have happened and now I am stuck with a hive with no queen. I have called the supplier and they can not ship a new queen for another week. Any suggestions?

    thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Charles Town, WV
    Posts
    306

    Default Re: My queen died

    Often it means that there is a queen that was accidentally shaken into the package (or at least that's what I've read here). Same thing happened to me last Saturday. I was fortunate enough to be able to go pick up a new queen right away, so I did and released her Monday evening. I'll check on her in a few days. Your colony probably will be okay waiting another week, and by the time she arrives, you'll be able to have a good idea whether there already is a queen in your hive. If so, what to do with the new queen is another question. If not, then she's there and you can introduce her.

    As always, take note of my signature line....
    - Bruce
    I have one TBH and have yet to overwinter it. Don't do anything soley on my advice!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    cumberland me
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: My queen died

    I also had the same thing happen to me. I installed a couple of packages almost a week ago. The queen cage was empty in one hive. I assume the queen is out. Also the bees had built a little comb by the cage. It was too cold except to quickly open up the inner cover. I looked down at the candy plug and saw that the candy plug was gone. I put my queen cages in with the candy plug facing up. In hindsight, it was too cold to do anything at all. The queen is either out or she isn't and it is too cold to do anything about it for awhile. The other hive was not so lucky. The queen was dead in the queen cage. The bees in the hive had eaten the candy but not completely through. The bees in the queen cage had eaten very little of the candy. I opened up the queen cage and let the workers out. When it gets warmer in a couple of weeks or so, I will check for a queen. The weather is too cold.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,272

    Default Re: My queen died

    Few years ago I would have said you when a queen is dead in the cage, and the workers still alive the package contained two queens most likely, But the way things are going with bees these days I would not be so sure. However I would act under the assumption that is a distinct possibility. inspect for a queen, if you cannot find her, being a new beekeeper, it does not mean you do not have one either. I am Assuming that since you stated you are a new beekeeper. That you started out with a hive with un-drawn frames. But it matters not. By now the bees should have some of them drawn. Inspect them to see if their eggs in them. If so you probably have a queen. I say probably because as someone will surly interject, there is a possibility you have a laying worker. However slight at this early stage. Usually laying workers because of their smaller stature tend to lay eggs on the side of fully drawn cells. So an egg in the center would aid in determining the probability of having a queen. There are other ways to be verify but they will take more time that it will take the supplier to get you another queen. In any event. Keep the girls fed. And they will manage to her majesty gets there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    cumberland me
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: My queen died

    Yes, I am also thinking that a dead queen in the cage means there is a good possibility of another queen in the hive. There is no harm in waiting in my opinion. You could contact your bee supplier and tell them what happened. They would most likely send you another queen. My bee supplier will send me another queen. I will wait and make sure I am indeed queenless. Good luck.

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