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Package with extra queen?


So yesterday’s adventure, installed new package into some drawn comb with a few honey frames. Went smoothly, hive settled in after an hour or so. Cleaning up my mess which I had moved 100 feet away (sugar can, etc) I find what I believe is another queen in the bucket I used soaked in the syrup that had dripped from the can. Because it was late in the day and I wasn’t sure what to do with her I placed her at the entrance of this hive, they started to clean her and she went in.
A. Is this a queen?
B. The packaged queen is in her cage inside, should I check it today? It is only 60 degrees here today after 80 yesterday?
C. Should I try to find the “extra” queen today and take her out, maybe putting her in nuc with another frame of bees? or will that disrupt/unsettle my package?
Any advice appreciated. thanks!



That doesn’t look like a queen to me, but the angle makes it hard. Much easier if you have a direct overhead photo.


Here is a screenshot from video, is that any better?
I feel silly but I really couldn’t tell, the queen in the cage was small also.


Still doesn’t look quite right to me. I can’t get a good view of the thorax, which should be black and pretty shiny. In addition, the right antenna and possibly the front right leg are missing. If that is the case, the hive will reject her. She can’t lay properly with a missing front leg, as she can’t judge cell size and know whether to lay a drone or worker egg.

If you installed yesterday, I would give them at least 3 or 4 days to release the queen. If you disturb them too early, you risk provoking an absconding. :blush:


Thanks again for your advice! You are always so helpful!


Hi @LC1, to me this looks like a queen. My concern is that this is a package, and a package will have a caged queen so something is not adding up, was there are gap in the queen cage, this could be her? When installing the package, did you insert the caged queen into the hive?
You mentioned that she walked into the hive, might pay to inspect the outside of the hive in case she didn’t make it, check the ground out the front. If she is out of sorts and unwell then she maybe outside.


She certainly looks like a queen as @Rodderick has said but @Dawn_SD has pointed out correctly that she has a leg missing as well as an antenna in which case the colony will not accept her. I would check after 3 or 4 days to be sure the queen in the cage has been released and then a further check that she is laying. There is nothing you can do in the mean time that will achieve anything positive that will not disturb the colony.


I know that @Rusty is very expert at identifying all kinds of insects, plus she is a Master Beekeeper. She might also have an opinion about the survival success of a queen with a missing antenna, if she thinks it is a queen. Let’s hope she shares an opinion, as I would love to learn her thoughts here.