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Discussion Starter #1
I’m trying to figured out what I learned here. I recently installed a new queen into a small colony. I inspected today and found my queen drowned in the frame feeder along with about 500 bees.

My theory is that maybe frame feeders aren’t a good idea in the brood box? I’m surprised she fell in.

Maybe she fell in soon after being released from the cage in an initial exploration?

Thoughts?
 

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She may have been murdered and the body dumped in the feeder to cover up evidence of the real cause of death....or it may have been the fall alone that killed her. Has an autopsy been done?

Sorry, shane, just trying to cheer you up a bit......
...... but 500 dead bees in a frame feeder sounds excessive. Are the mesh 'ladders' in place in the feeder?
 

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Frame feeders are known for drowning bees if they have nothing placed in them to act as ladders for the bees to climb out of the syrup. What I have found that works best for a ladder is aluminum window screen cut to fit the feeder depth and folded in an accordion fold. The length of the screen will be 36 inches x about 9 inches deep.
 

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My bet the real issue is - incorrect using of the feeder (no scaffolding for the bees to climb out).
It never should be "500 dead bees".
Even a handful of sticks tossed into the feeder works.
 

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Was this a hive or a nuc?
If you use the frame feeder again just put straw on top of the syrup.
What do you plan to do about a missing queen?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Here’s the update and answer a bunch of questions:

1. I Have never had mass drowning death in a feeder before. That was new to me. But now my feeders all have floaters...Sheez.

2.This was a rapidly growing new colony I had moved from a decent sized cutout I rescue last month. There were about 6 frames of good brood and lots of bees. They were getting aggressive as the colony got bigger which is why I wanted tt replace the queen in the first place.

3, as insurance, I had removed the old queen along with a couple good frames 10miles away - just in case the new queen didn’t take.

4. my current queen death theory is the new queen was released by the colony and was surrounded by all her new subjects and walked across the top and fell into the drink and then all the bees followed her in! I didn’t see evidence of precapped larva so I don’t know she did much laying before drowning

5. new disaster.. the old queen that I took away. Apparently absconded. When I went back, there were a few bees and some wax moth damage. **** wild bees.

6. So I’m now out a new queen. And out the old queen. I ended up putting in a couple frames that had some eggs from a nice colony and will let them make a new queen.
We still have lots of drones here in houston so I’m comfortable she will get mated.

7. when in doubt, leave the bees alone. :) I’ll probably go look for healthy queen cells in 2 weeks ...
 

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She may have been murdered and the body dumped in the feeder to cover up evidence of the real cause of death....or it may have been the fall alone that killed her. Has an autopsy been done?

Sorry, shane, just trying to cheer you up a bit......
...... but 500 dead bees in a frame feeder sounds excessive. Are the mesh 'ladders' in place in the feeder?
:)
 
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