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Hi. I just went up to check on one of my new hives only to find a lot of buzzing and frantic bees. About 10 feet away was a small cluster of bees on the ground...when I walked over, I noticed they were surrounding the queen. She was marked and had clipped wings. I really don't understand how she got that far away from the hive. She didn't seem to be alive, but I need to go back and check after I get my veil on. So, two questions....1.any ideas what might have happened? (these bees came from TX...spent 5 days enroute and are in a foundationless top-bar hive. I directly released the queen and all seems to be going fine for the past 4 days (hived the bees early friday). The second question is, presuming the queen is dead....how long will the hive likely stay in place without absconding until I get a replacement queen?

Thanks
 

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I am sorry to hear about your queen. I have been watching for your post to see how the direct release would go for you. I too tried the direct release but they absconded from the hive.

My advise based on my limited hands on knowledge is: You should definitely get a queen in there ASAP. I would think within 24 hours. When I contacted my bee mentor she helped my save the rest of my second hive with some brood comb and I got a queen in the very next morning. Drove about three hours for her, but got her! The hive is doing great now. I slowly introduced the queen then released her on the third day since she was not freed. They were busy with the brood comb and did not build any comb around the introduction cage. They accepted her nicely.

I will be getting a new package this week. I am going to try the slow release method with the group and see how it goes. I think I may also give them a piece of starter comb from the other hive. A little incentive to stay!

I will let you know how it goes...
 

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Sounds like they kicked out and balled the queen. If this was a package it sounds like they weren't used to the queen or there may have been another queen in the package. Evidence of another queen in the package is that the bees are in a cluster away from the caged queen or the queen in the cage is d.o.a.

Bishop
 

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Would they normally wait 4 days to do that?
Bees do things in their own time. I had a swarm that took three weeks to abscond even though what they were in was perfectly acceptable in my mind. They didn't like it. So they left.

There's many factors involved as to why that queen wasn't accepted. A clipped queen can't fly far but I would think even clipped she'd be able to make it ten feet away from the hive. You might never know the reason why she wasn't accepted. She could have been damaged when she was clipped and marked. Something else could have happened to her that changed her pheromones.

Bishop
 

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:eek: Oh No! :eek:

Bees often reject clipped queens, but it may have been a failed absconding attempt. Who knows?

As for clipping queens, I've decided I would rather the queen fly off and have a chance of surviving, as opposed to her dying in the grass.

If the queen is clipped, she's damaged...
 

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very strange but sounds like an attempt to swarm. Books I read say that will happen if they try to swarm with a clipped queen. I guess it is more likely that they were trying to leave.
I don't get what people are talking about a clipped queen being a problem to acceptance - never heard or read any thing like that. I don't think they would ball the queen outside the hive. If they want to kill her I think they would do so inside the hive.

Mike
 

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Your new queen should arrive in a candy cage.
Just put her into the hive as is.
If there's a cork over the candy end of the cage you will need to remove it so that she can be released
Ernie
 
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