New package with dead queen absconded, how do I level out my bees across hives?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    902

    Default New package with dead queen absconded, how do I level out my bees across hives?

    There a lot of threads regarding splits, and I've read several, but my question is pretty specific, so I'd like to ask it.

    I'm a newbie and just did three Carniolan package installs a little over a week ago. My third package had a dead queen in it, and while my package source gave me a new queen immediately, the bulk of that package has absconded and the remaining handful of bees died.

    My three hives are all together on the same stand about a foot apart. I did my first hive inspections this weekend, and hive 1 looks like it's got a good package of bees and is queenright. Hive 2 has a lot more bees and is also queenright. So, it looks like most of the absconding bees went to hive 2. Hive 3 is empty.

    Normal Packed Empty
    1 2 3

    I'd like to get bees back in hive 3. I'd really like to try to have the girls raise their own queen there, if possible.

    How would you get hive 3 going, if you were in the same shape? I know there will be different opinions, and I'm interested in all of them.

    Additionally, I've got 6 acres and can move hive 3 a small distance away but not far.

    Thanks for any thoughts you experienced beeks might have.

    Brent in Kansas

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Mt Juliet TN USA
    Posts
    319

    Default Re: New package with dead queen absconded, how do I level out my bees across hives?

    Opinion number 1:
    It takes a really strong hive to raise a good queen. And you won't have a really strong hive at this point with the packages you just installed. One option is to let the two starts you have build up strong enough to take bees and brood out of and start a nuc in your other hive box at a latter date. But I would still get the nuc a queen that is already laying. A laying queen puts a nuc four weeks ahead of one that has to make a queen.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: New package with dead queen absconded, how do I level out my bees across hives?

    Opinion number 2:

    Since the package supplier has already given you a new queen to replace the dead one with it would make sense to take a frame of brood / bees and a second frame with drawn comb and procede to make a nuc using the queen that the package supplier has given you. The bees should be left in the nuc alone for about 12 to 24 hours to make them realize they are queenless, then introduce the queen in the queen cage without the candy cork. Let them go ahead and release her. Queenless colonies will gladly accept any queen that comes along.
    Thomas Bartram

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Lawrence, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    902

    Default Re: New package with dead queen absconded, how do I level out my bees across hives?

    Folks, My apologies here, I should have made it clear that the replacement queen died as well. The dead bees I found were likely attendants.

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