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Just got home from my bee yard an hour away. 2 packages of Buckfasts from Georgia, both looked really healthy. First one went very smoothly, but the second one may have been missing the queen. She did not seem to be in the cage, but there were a few attendants, and one bee that was dead (dried out and broke in half) that appeared to be a drone. What are the chances that I got a package without a queen?

These were purchased from a local company that brings them in and the soonest I can get a new queen would be Wednesday. Hopefully I can get a free replacement if I go this route. What I am wondering is my other options in this scenario. First off, will a newly installed pack of bees be fine for 4-5 days without a queen? If I get a new one, and then find out she actually is in there, what do I do with the extra queen? Could a 3 lb package be split into a second hive or a nuc so soon?

Another idea I had was that if the mentioned hive doesn't have a queen, and I do not get a new one, could I combine the two colonies into one big one, let them grow for a month, and then make a split once they can grow a new queen on their own? Another possibilty would be bringing a frame of brood from my city Carniolans and let them make a new queen from that. Would a package of bees live long enough to see this idea through?

I have a few years under my belt, but it seems like the deeper you get into this, the more things happen that I have to learn about. I am most likely just going to try and get a new one, but I am curious what others would do in this situation. Thanks ...
 

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It is a good practice to put a frame of brood in each package when you install them as a boost of nurse bees as they emerge. Who knows how old the bees in the package are, But by putting a frame of brood in the one in question, well that`s a good idea, if is Q lees it will make you one . If it does have a Q then you can see the diff that a frame of brood makes....Pete ....N3SKI
 
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