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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just received a queen cage in the mail. It originally came with 4 attendants. One was dead when I picked the package up from the USPS. Through the first night two more had died. This leaves me with the Queen and just one attendant. I will not have the hive available to insert her for 2 more days. Is there anything I can do in the meantime to make her chances of survival better? I am planning on putting her in a hive with bees shaken from a buddies hive. I also installed two packages just 2 weeks ago. Could I rob bees from them and use them in any way? Just starting this whole bee thing so any and all help is much appreciated. TIA
 

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I dont think 2 bees looking after a queen is nearly enough and am surprised the queen was sent with only four attendants, we use a minimum of eight.
You should definitely try to get more attendants as the two that are left are unlikely to last much longer.
If taking attendants from a queenright hive you need to isolate them for a couple of hours so they feel queenless, if you introduce attendants directly from a queenright hive they will most likely kill your caged queen.
 

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If you have one attendant you are fine for a few days. The bees have seen no water since they were mailed, and since you did not say you watered them I am going to assume you have not. and that is probably the problem. Take a clean eye dropper of a wet paper towel and ring a drop of water onto the screen of the cage. If they are in a cage with on candy plug, then I would use 1 to 1 syrup before water then water after the syrup is gone. Do this a few times a day and you can usually keep the queen alive for several days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry for the lack of detail. I have been giving them one drop off water twice a day since picking them up. They also have a candy plug. I have been keeping the cave in a drawer in our spare bathroom. Temps are around 65°
 

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I would take a checkblank size box and set the queen cage face up, put a wet papertowel in an open sandwich bag and a bit of comb with honey and shake in a handful of nurse bees. Some nail holes in the box would be good.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Vance's method will work. A longer version of Michael's response... You can also pull a frame out of the brood nest and grab the ones with their heads in the cells. You can use tweezers and grab their wings if you don't want to risk them stinging you. Put their head in the hole to the cage (with the cork out, of course) and once their head is in the hole they will smell the queen and run in. Add four or five.
 
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