Found dead queen in introductory frame

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Guard bee
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:12 am
Location: High Point, NC

Found dead queen in introductory frame

Post by DuaneB »

Hi everyone,

Last Friday, I split 2 hot hives. Introduced mated queens (in an introductory frame) on Saturday. They seemed like they were going to be accepted. In both cases the hive bees weren't curled up and clinging to the frames. On Sunday, we left for vacation. Checked on them today. Found one alive and doing well. The door, on the intro frame, was opened and we'll see if she came out tomorrow. The other queen was found dead. I don't know if they stung her, didn't feed her or what. There was candy in both frames, but no attendants. This hive did have a frame of eggs in it. There were 3 supercedure cells on it. One capped, 2 about 1/2 drawn out w/larve. The one capped cell, was slightly damaged, because I didn't know it was there. A small piece of wax was knocked off, exposing the cocoon. I doubt they will fix it.
Both hives were left queenless for about 20-22 hours before the queens were introduced. If the one hive, with the capped cell, had started creating a superceedure cell before the new queen was introduced, could that have a reason the queen died? They knew they were making a new queen and didnt need/want her???

Guard bee
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Found dead queen in introductory frame

Post by Jacobs »

Sounds to me like you have about as good an idea of what is going on/what happened as can be had. I have seen bees ignore a queen in a cage after package installation, even to the point of the queen dying. In these cases I expect to find that the "mother" queen of a colony had been shaken into the package by mistake. If the bees had begun an emergency queen process and either you missed it, or it was early on but the bees were determined to go forward with it, you could end up with the result you got. Sometimes a colony of bees just won't do what bees usually do. Were the underlying genetics of your bees different enough that it made them less likely to accept an introduced outside queen? Was one of the queens you tried to introduce just enough different genetically that picky bees were less likely to accept it? It's possible. You used to see posts about trying to re-queen Russian bees with an Italian queen and the extra precautions that were necessary. I don't know if something like that is in play.
Guard bee
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Re: Found dead queen in introductory frame

Post by Wally »

My guess is you are correct. I have never waited to introduce a queen after removing the old queen or making a split. I put her in immediately, then release after 4 to 7 days if they haven't done it.
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