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Capped queen cells in my new package hive

I did my second hive inspection today and I have capped queen cells and not much brood. It appears something happened to my queen. I saw some brood last week which was about 9 days in on my package bees and queen cells but read that it’s not a big deal to see queen cells uncapped when putting a new package in. This week though no new brood and 3 or so capped queen cells. Should I let those queens hatch or order a new package and add them together?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Hi Brian, welcome to the forum. If it were me I would just let them hatch and sort it out— if you are new to beekeeping it is too easy to roll your queen on a frame sliding them in when they are close together so you’ll want to take two frames out on the ends to make room inside the hive to spread the frames out to move them in/out to ensure there is space to not crush her; when you know which frame she is on then you can more easily put the ones you took out back in far away from her frame. That you have a few queen cells is a good thing as the bees will make sure the best one will survive and thrive. It’s not great that your package queen is gone/dead but that sometimes happens as rarely is the queen in a package actually from the bees around her and so they can decide she is not their queen and kill her. I’m not sure if you are beyond the period of time that whoever you got the package from would replace the queen for you but you could ask. If you put a queen in there I would tear down the queen cells then to ensure she is accepted.

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If you have capped queen cells then assume the queen is dead and I agree with what @Tim_Purdie has advised. Let the queens emerge and observe. Ok, as the queen is dead that is a set back to a new colony, but bee keeping has its up and downs.
A new package being added isn’t just a matter of shaking in a new package to an existing hive. That will cause World War 3 in the hive.

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