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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Curious about this. I know many remove attendants before introducing the cage, so assume a few days is fine.
I purchased a queen two days ago and this morning, all the attendants were dead. Unfortunately, I can't get this cage in the hive until Sunday. I know I can probably safely add some nurse bees, but I didn't want attendants as this is going into a lw hive. A bit of an experiment and it involves delayed release. Guesstimates are welcome. Thanks, J
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Boondocks. I think the 16 hrs is an outlier though. I have caged queens without attendants (essentially food) and know they lived far longer. Its a bit of a mystery because when you install a queen without attendants she doesn't eat unless and until the nurse bees start feeding her. But if they don't, how long can she last? J
 

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Thanks Boondocks. I think the 16 hrs is an outlier though. I have caged queens without attendants (essentially food) and know they lived far longer. Its a bit of a mystery because when you install a queen without attendants she doesn't eat unless and until the nurse bees start feeding her. But if they don't, how long can she last? J
Fivej - I'm asking a question to your question. You're saying that the queen will not on her own take a drop of sugar water gently placed on the screen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Kevin. Most agree that a mated queen cannot feed herself. When we put a drop of water or sugar on the screen, the attendants feed it to her.
When most beekeepers agree on this point, or anything really, it is the equivalent of of proof positive. J
 

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Mated queens will eat honey, royal jelly, and drink water. It is an often repeated myth that they don't. I watch them do it in my observation hives and even have it on video. However, you could leave the queen in the cage and put the cage in a screened box with some nurse bees and a piece of queen candy if you don't want to put the nurse bees in the cage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone. And I thought this issue was pretty well settled. If you look through the achieves here, and the writings of respected beekeepers, almost everyone is of the opinion that a mated queen will not feed herself. I have never seen it, but haven't been at this too long. Thanks again. J
 

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My bees thankfully have not read the archives. Sometimes the queens will nibble at the candy right away, before I put in any nurse bees. As for how long I have not tried to push the envelope.
1. You can replace the nurse bees. I usually let the queen run into a new cage and put in nurse bees so they aren't crowded with dead. When you install you can let the nurse bees out.
2. You can put the queen in a box with some honey amd wet paper towels and shake in some nurse bees. That's what the battery boxes are that hold about 20 queens.
If you are installing the queens in a couple hours she is certainly fine. If its gonna be a couple days give some company. I assume she will be in better shape if she's been taken care of and that will increase acceptance. Let us know what / how you do....
 

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I don’t know whether a queen can feed herself. What I do know is they don’t live long without the presence of attendants whether in the cage with her or on the opposite side of a screen. If in isolation, I wouldn’t expect her to be alive for even 24 hours. I don’t even trust caged queens with attendants to survive more than 4 or 5 days as they survive much better when fed by attendants outside the cage.
 

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Just because you can sprint across a busy interstate, does not make it a prudent thing to do.

Listen to Mr. Lyon.

Crazy Roland
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thankfully, the queen was alive today, at least two days after the attendants died. She appeared well, but time will tell. Thanks for the input. J
 

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Thank you everyone. And I thought this issue was pretty well settled. If you look through the achieves here, and the writings of respected beekeepers, almost everyone is of the opinion that a mated queen will not feed herself. I have never seen it, but haven't been at this too long. Thanks again. J
This topic reminds me of how the "science experts" at one time thought we humans are the only animal being able to use a tool till one day a female scientist proved them all wrong, observing chimps. Now we know even crows use tools, among other creatures. People in general do not like disrupters like TF, for instance. For change demands some sacrifice or profit loss. Just a thought. No innovation will come without disrupters, though. Let's keep challenging the status quo and improve our beekeeping.
 
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