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Four queens arrived in the mail this morning very weak. My local PO called me at 7:30AM to say they'd arrived and I collected them within 10 minutes. Some of the attendants were dead but all the queens showed some movement. I judged that they were too weak to introduce in that state to new hives.

So... thinking that what they most needed was to be warmed to the proper temperature and receive feed/moral support from other bees - after giving them some water (finger brush on cage) - I created what I hope will serve as an emergency queen bank.

On my strongest hive (2 deeps + 2 honey supers) I place a queen excluder over the top of the honey supers and a rim above that. I placed the cages (3 hole) - screen up - on top of the excluder and replaced the cover.

Has anyone done this kind of "rescue" before? Will what I did do them any good? What would you do in this kind of circumstance?
 

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An update - 6 hours in their temporary "home" worked wonders - queens and attendants were lively and ready to install after a nice nap (mine). 3 of 4 installed today. 1 to go to another yard tomorrow.
 

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Water is typically the issue. You did fine. I would show them to the PO and I would notify the supplier just so if things don't go well you have done your part in keeping people posted. But the queens will probably do fine now.
 

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On my strongest hive (2 deeps + 2 honey supers) I place a queen excluder over the top of the honey supers and a rim above that. I placed the cages (3 hole) - screen up - on top of the excluder and replaced the cover.

Has anyone done this kind of "rescue" before? ?
I used to bank queens this way...when I bought queens. Only, I placed the screens down. Used old 7 wire Root excluders. Wooden slats worked like shims to keep screen above excluder wire. Bees could get at queens and feed. I also used a rim as you say, but covered the cages with a wool cloth to keep the heat in. In cold weather, the cluster may recede to lower combs and leave the queens to get chilled. I kept many queens safe for weeks this way.
 
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