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Dead queen 20 feet from hives?


Hi y’all,

Walking around in the garden today, I noticed a group of bees on the ground all milling around one dead bee. Upon closer inspection, it looks like a queen (I’ve taken photos and videos and will upload).
I’m assuming this wasn’t a failed swarm, since wrong time of year + just a handful of bees clustering? I would have understood better a dead queen at the hive entrance, result of a queen fight, but 20 feet from the entrance?

All opinions welcome!


I might bet one of the hives have superseded their queen and the old one has been chucked out. Only one way to find out.


Thanks Dee! I would have expected her to be found dead at the foot of a hive then? Whereas here she seemed to have been alive enough to fly 20 feet?


My hive’s undertaker bees carry bodies 20 ft or more… :cry:


Oh wow. OK!
And all those bees milling about her— do they not realize she’s dead? Or perhaps a ritual ceremony?


They are attracted to her pheromones. You might want to pick her up and put her in a tiny bottle of rubbing alcohol or even neat vodka. That way you can use some of her pheromones if you ever want to hive a swarm or a package of bees. Like lemongrass oil, it helps persuade the bees to stay put. At least then she continues to perform a useful service for your bees! :blush:


I freeze my queens. They are useful if you can’t find a queen in a colony you need to remove. Pin the dead one on to a top bar then close the top for that proverbial cup of tea. When you return often the live queen is trying to nobble the dead one. It’s worked for me twice.


That’s genius! Thanks Dee!


GREAT idea, thanks Dawn.