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I caged a queen and four workers, gave them to a friend and a day later they are all dead in the cage. If I miss handled one of them they would not all be dead. They didn't have an fondant but I didnt think that was necessary for a couple days. The only thing I can think of is maybe at some earlier point the cage came too close to the oxalic shop towels I was using? Its been a little cool but no temp extremes. Any ideas.
 

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Maybe lack of food and water? I know that at work we water and feed our caged queens twice a day, with tiny droplets and a smear of honey. (I just found this out because I was going volunteer to come up and check on them over the long holiday weekend, just for the experience; but I don't want to travel to work six times!) Also if they were out of your personal control perhaps they got too hot, which combined with lack of water would do them in. I am sorry, too, as it must be sad to lose them when you had a plan for them.

Nancy
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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So sad. I would suspect temperature first. It is really easy to overheat the bees in a confined space like a cage. The bees should have had access to fondant if you prepared the cage correctly but water could still have been an issue too. Was this a mated or virgin queen? Assume for a food issue, the attendants would sacrifice themselves for the mated queen. That they all died makes me think something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
She was mated. I guess I didn't realize that they lived off the fondant. The fact that they were all dead is the real head scratcher. They were with my friend for a night and a day so I can't know what happened during that time. I went to check her hive and the queen would have died anyway because the population would not have survived the winter. Someone is offering a nuc with a mated queen that she is going to add to the hive. I would like to avoid making the same mistake though.
 

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Sorry to hear of your loss. My vote is the amount of time the queen was isolated. She would be vulnerable for that long with only a few helpers to keep her warm/fed/clean etc.
 

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Oops, I misread the length of time they were isolated. Being as it was only one day my guess was the temp.
 
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