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Rookie here, already screwed up. Looking for advice on how to proceed

1972 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  noah930
Like I said, rookie here starting my first hive. So, ordered a package of Russian Hybrids and it arrived April 29th and installed that evening. We had 3 days of unusual cold and it struggled to get above 50 during the day, dropped into the low 40's at night so basically no activity during that time. Weather improved Thursday and Friday I checked the hive and the queen was alive and still in her cage, candy hard as a rock so i released her and put her in.

Last night, there were a bunch of bees gathered on the ground in front of the hive. I moved them around to find the queen in the middle, dead as a door nail. Not sure if she was rejected, starved, or what. But I have a queenless hive now.

Most vendors are out of stock on packages and queens. My original vendor has a replacement queen, but it will not ship until the week of May 13th, which i fear may be too late.

We are supposed to have a lot of rain thru Thursday then another cool down (Mid 60's during the day, 40's at night) and next week looks good so far (Mid 70's, sun, etc...)

Do you think i should get a replacement, or cut my losses and try again next season? Appreciate any advice anyone has. Thank you.
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Hi Yogi and welcome to the forum. Beekeeping is local so it would be to your advantage to put your location in your profile. My guess is that you released the queen too early. Yes, the candy is always as hard as a rock, but they will be able to release her 90% of the time. Queens in packages and the bees are not usually related so she is sometimes rejected no matter what. I would definitely look around the internet for mated queens. No question you can find one in time. J
Sorry to hear this, you can get a queen from Lappes next ship date is the 8th May
Hope all works out for you
I agree - shop around for a mated queen - far too early in the season to be thinking of giving-up for this year ... :)

You might also give some thought (depending on where you're located of course) to putting out some bait boxes and see if you can't catch a swarm or two. Much depends on whether there are other beekeepers (or even ferals) 'within range' - but there's not much money involved in doing this - and for anyone short of bees, it's worth a shot.
Question, why did you release the queen?
I updated my location, Omaha Nebraska BTW.

SNL, i released her because i thought she was supposed to be out by then. Rookie mistake for sure.

I'll check around to see if i can get a replacement soon. Not having much luck so far. Walter's Wholesome Goods has them and is not indicating they are out of stock or won't ship until later. I'll have to call them tomorrow to see exactly when they ship. All other's I've seen are out of stock or not shipping until later in the summer. I'm assuming i need to stick with a Russian queen since that's what the rest of them are.

Do you think the 13th is too long to wait?
Not sure you need a Russian queen. Many “ Russian queens” are merely hybrids. Me, I’d not wait for a “Russian “ queen.
I have to agree with Larry, get what you can as soon as you can so your current investment in bees does not go down the tubes. If you want "Russians", you can make splits later with purchased queens. Feed your colony now to get them to draw some comb and try to get a Carni queen if you can. If your package is actually made up of Russian bees, they might not be as accepting of an Italian queen, or so I have read.
Thanks for the advice all. I'm gonna get one here ASAP and see how it goes.
Just to give some food for thought. While unusual, but not unheard of to have a virgin Q loose in a package.
rwlaw makes a good point. They could have killed a virgin. I would still order a queen but do a search for eggs as well as tests for queenlessness prior to install. OP: look in the stickies for some Michael Palmer vids on this. J
Also find a local club. Someone near you can likely be of help. Many local "small timers" dabble in queens. May/may not get to choose from a ton of genetics, but any queen or queen cell will beat what you have right now. Check the queen breeders section of the forum. There is a sticky there regarding queen introduction. Great read.
hi yogi8019
if you have a frame or 2 that has drawn comb on it put the frame in the hive so the queen can lay eggs in the comb.
the queen cage= letting the queen out is a big mistake the other bees in the hive will eat the queen candy

feed you bees sugar water until the hive has adout 5 frames of brood stop feeding unless it is late in the year if they still are weak keep feeding them until it is to cold.
if you want i can help you any other questions email me.
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