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My queen was delivered via UPS today. Unfortunatly I'm not able to get to my hives until a couple of days. I keep my hives in Oklahoma and I live in Texas. Upon arrival I put some drops of water, which the bees drank up very quickly and a drop of honey on the cage. I put the cage in a Tubberware (without a lid) and covered it with a cloth to keep them dark. How long can I keep them alive like this???
 

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I have had them for 4 days in cage with no problem. Did same thing drops of water. Kept in dark room tell put in hive.
 

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I don't recall exactly but I'm sure I've had many queens last for many days. I used to have some hives almost 40 miles away, and also sometimes had to wait to install them. As long as the attendant bees are alive, they can feed the queen with sugar from the plug and the water you (must) provide at least a few times a day.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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1 drop of water every day. Keep in a dark quiet room temperature place. The queen will last as long as the attendants do and that is usually a week or two at least. Give her new attendants and you can go another week or two...
 

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Will being penned up for that long a period affect egg laying once released?
 

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Based on the two week delay I had seen in some package queens, I suspected that. I banked some of my queens from early spring until fall one year and no matter how long they were banked they would start laying immediately if I introduced them to a nuc or a hive. I think it's banking them too SOON that is the cause of the problems with banking, not too long. Still I try to collect them on a Saturday bank them for only two days and ship them on Monday.
 
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