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I received 10 queens yesterday. They we're shipped in 3 hole California style cages. They had 5 attendants in each, but 3 or 4 cages had several dead attendants. The queen candy was 1/3 consumed from the inside.

Will the attendants eat the candy while banked in a hive? Or is this an indication that they have been out of the bank for a long time? Queens look ok, we shall see.

Those of you that buy large volumes of queens, is this normal?

Luke
 

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Several things could be a factor? I would introduce the queens as soon as possible. Yes the attendants would eat the candy and feed the queen.
 

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>I received 10 queens yesterday. They we're shipped in 3 hole California style cages.

California cage:
http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?261311-California-Mini-Queen-Cages-alternate-use-for

3 hole Benton cage:
http://www.beesource.com/resources/usda/queens-package-bees-and-nuclei-production-and-demand/
(figure 1. C)

There is no candy in a California cage unless it has a black tube attached to it with the candy in it.

> They had 5 attendants in each, but 3 or 4 cages had several dead attendants. The queen candy was 1/3 consumed from the inside.

It's possible they caged them with attendants and put them in the back and it was a few days before they shipped them. But it's not good to find dead attendants...

>Will the attendants eat the candy while banked in a hive?

Yes.

>Or is this an indication that they have been out of the bank for a long time?

It depends on the producer.
 
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