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May have lost my queen


Hello, First I’m new to bees
I received my package from a local bee yard at around 10am (wife picked up), I installed the bee into my new brood box treated with a few drops of lemongrass and put my frames in at around 7pm after I got off work. I planned on letting them eat through the candy but my cage was the type with only a cork and forgot about the marshmallow, so it removed the cork and hung her hole down on the first frame. I heard somewhere its best to just release her but as I hung the cage I saw her immediately climb on top of her cage and then quickly put the lid on with a jar of feed over the lid hole. I don’t think she got out but I can’t be sure. I did open the box late last night and there was a very large group of bees where I saw her last so I hope she is still in there. I’d like to check but I really don’t want to disturb them if she is in there. When you think it’s safe to check to see if she is still alive? I also made the mistake of leaving the cage in the hive hanging from the frame, If she is in there I hope they didn’t kill her.

Another thing is some the bees (about the size of a fist) dropped to the ground below the entrance and were still balled up at 3am this morning and another group is balled up in the package cage. Neither group has attempted to find the hive group. Is this something to be concerned about?

Do I need to look into finding another queen?


I’d brush up the bees outside and put them into the hive. And then leave them be for a week or so and then check the combs for fresh eggs, if you put in drawn out comb. If you got only foundation, then wait longer for them to build up. Of course you have to make sure they have enough food, if there’s not enough flow outside. But just in case you might want to try to find a source for another queen.


Take the cage out as soon as you can and push the frames together or they will get very creative with comb around it and there may be a heck of a mess to sort. Don’t do anything else and have a look in a week


I had my wife check on them and it looks they are finding their way home


Before anyone asks I do have a feeder inside the super over the lid hole


I’m going to try to sneak a peak when I get home from work while getting the queen cage out. thanks


The frames are together and the cage is between the box and frame one, I guess I need to get the cage out soon though


Get the queen cage out and leave them alone. Just make sure they have syrup to give them a boost. These little bugs are surprisingly good at getting on with life despite our “help”.



The flow box super is on way too early. You should not be putting that on for another month.


He said he has a feeder inside it. :blush:


There no frames in the super it’s just to cover my feeder


BTW she wasn’t in there and there were zero eggs. Nice comb but no eggs sadly enough. I hope they like the new queen I put in there yesterday (installed with marshmallows this time). Oh well I’ll learn, I can’t wait to get back in there and see what my girls are doing.


I was out in my yard and happened to look at the entrance and saw my new queen hanging out coming in and out. She would fly briefly then return within a few seconds and go back in then go again and come back. Is this behavior something I should be concerned about? Shouldn’t she be inside laying?


Couple of points.

First you have the flow frame super on back to front. It makes no difference now because you are just using it as a box for your sugar feeder. When you do install the flow frames you will want the opening end opposite the hive entrance.

The flying queen sounds a bit like she is a virgin and is orienting for a mating flight. Either that or she is trying to entice some of the colony to swarm away with her. How certain are you your hive really was queenless? Eggs can be very hard to spot if you are a novice.


Did your package come with a virgin queen or a mated one?
If she was a virgin, could she still have been there when you put in her replacement and could she have done her in?
Are you sure that was a queen flying outside your hive?
BTW…queens don’t entice bees out to swarm. The worker bees starve and bully the queen out.


But that is the thing the first and second queen were/ are mated, the last had nice big butt. I’m pretty sure the old queen is dead, plus if the old queen was in there I would think two mated queens would have fought to the dead by now it’s been 5 days since I put in the second queen. The second is a Carniolan/Kona Red and first was a italian queen if that makes a difference.


I modified my super so the window is on the other side, my access to the flow frame is on the back.

I used my geology glass loupe 10x to examine the brood frames and didn’t see anything. I’m going to wait till this weekend and check again. As for her being virgin, I guess she could be but she had a beautiful thick butt and lots of attendants feeding her. It may be just a fluke cause she sure didn’t have many girls following her.


Some package queens take as long as two weeks to start to lay. I would not assume because you can’t find a queen that she’s not there. No offense but I don’t trust a new beekeeper to be able to tell a queen from a drone until they’ve had a bit of experience. Maybe you saw the queen, and if so, yes, orienting is what she does before she mates. But maybe you saw a drone…


That’s is the first thing I thought and it could’ve been, but wings were definitely shorter. I hope that was the case, I guess the only to find out it is to get back in the hive. I did see a post about you talking about seeing queens being outside the hive but it being a very rare occurrence. But again is the chance she is just a fat virgin queen.

From beesource ">How many times does a queen go out of the hive per day “approx”???

In theory none. I have rarely seen a marked laying queen on the outside of the box (a couple of times in 37 years). Once I found a marked laying queen in the hive next door to where she lived being balled. But only once in 37 years…"


I see what you see from the picture it looks like an entrance below the flow frame access cover but thats the back of bottom screen board where I have screen blocked off till it warms up.