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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ordered some Russian bees and hived them on Monday. Everything seemed good, bees were active and the queen was alive and well in her cage. I pulled the cork on her cage and stuck a marshmallow in the hole and put the cage between a couple frames and closed up the hive. The bees have been really active and working on the sugar water I have in the hive top feeder. So on Friday I open up the hive and the queen is dead in the queen cage. The marshmallow and her attending bees were gone so I know she didn’t get trapped in there. Any idea what happened? Did the bees just kill her?
 

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I doubt they killed her. I imagine the caging thing is pretty stressful, and some just don't make it. I've had one die that way once, and my package supplier gave me a replacement queen. Perhaps yours would do the same?

One thought - did you ensure the screened side of the cage was towards the front or back of the hive, and not blocked by a frame?

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I doubt they killed her. I imagine the caging thing is pretty stressful, and some just don't make it. I've had one die that way once, and my package supplier gave me a replacement queen. Perhaps yours would do the same?

One thought - did you ensure the screened side of the cage was towards the front or back of the hive, and not blocked by a frame?

Greg
I did make sure the opening wasn’t blocked. And all of the attendant bees were out of the cage so I know she didn’t get trapped in there.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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That is not what Greg asked. Was the screen side out and not pressed against another comb? The attendent bees can eat the marshmallow. The queen needs to be fed. If the outside bees can't get to her through the screen, she can starve.
 

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That is not what Greg asked. Was the screen side out and not pressed against another comb? The attendent bees can eat the marshmallow. The queen needs to be fed. If the outside bees can't get to her through the screen, she can starve.
Sorry. Yes, the screen side was down and the cage was between 2 frames.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Call your package supplier and request a new queen. Take pbotos of the cage installation and the dead queen if you can. It is possible that she was rejected and the bees killed her as soon as the marshmallow was eaten through even though that is not likely. Really hard to say for sure why she died but it does not appear you killed her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Any chance there was a virgin in the package with the bees?
I didn’t see any other queens but that would have been tough to see. If there was a virgin, I’m not sure there are any drones around here yet. All my drones are still capped. And I did email the supplier right after I saw she was dead.
 

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I didn’t see any other queens but that would have been tough to see. If there was a virgin, I’m not sure there are any drones around here yet. All my drones are still capped. And I did email the supplier right after I saw she was dead.
The way bees get shaken into packages a virgin could happen. They can be hard to spot especially if you were not looking for one to be there and no signs of eggs or brood. It is a slim chance but it could explain for the dead queen. I think a virgin could quite handily knacker a queen in a cage. Might be worth thinking about before you throw in another queen.
 
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