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Two hives, one queen. What to do?


So I got my two packages last night. Installed in the dark - no problems. Unfortunately, I noticed that one of the two queens was unmistakenly dead in her cage (curled up in a ball not moving). I went ahead and finished the install as if she was alive because the bees were still attracted to her and the cage. However, since the other hive is only 6 feet away, I suspect I will end up with only one hive even if I manage to get a replacement queen in the next couple of days. I have contacted the seller but not sure at this point how long I will have to wait. Any suggestions?


I would contact the seller, yes, but I have never seen this unless there is a queen loose in the package. Odds are they have a queen and that’s why they killed the one in the cage.


Contacting the seller is a good idea. Do you have someone who can give/loan a frame of brood? Your bees will create a new queen from brood if they have fresh new brood to start with. It will definitely slow down your hive but if you do this quickly all is not lost. OR you can combine the two hives by stacking the brood boxes to create one hive by placing a sheet of newspaper between them.


I am in the USA SW so don’t really want a home grown queen (almost guaranteed to be Africanized). Also, I unfortunately have no friends… keeping bees :slight_smile: so no resources (yet) I can borrow from. I hope Mr Bush is right and I have an extra. Since it was dark almost all the bees ended up in the box so if so there is a good chance she ended up in the right place.


If the bees you are given are not africanized they cannot create an africanized queen. Of course, if they ARE then yes, you will get an africanized queen. Wow, I think I would probably combine the hives and later split and requeen.


OK. Maybe “hybrid” would be the correct term. Although the queen will be Italian she will most likely mate with feral bees. Looks like they plan to stay - at least for a bit. I see them moving the dead bees out of the hive. Interestingly, the queenless(?) hive is the first to rise this morning. The hive with the live queen seems to still be groggy while the queenless one is already busy (sun has just cleared the horizon as I type this).


Pic of my setup as the bees wake up to their new home. Using top feeders on both hives, shade cloth to help keep them cool, home-made clips, and cinder blocks to keep it high and dry during irrigation. The dirt mound in the middle marks my many failed attempts to grow an Avocado tree. Will eventually plant another tree there.


Take a photo, send it to the package supplier and ask for a new queen. Any reputable supplier will replace her. If not, name the supplier here, so we all know where NOT to order from. :smiling_imp:


Seller (Honey Hive Farms) was very apologetic. Going to get me a new queen by 9am tomorrow so all should be well.:relieved:


Excellent news! That kind of service can only boost their reputation. So glad they did the right thing. :wink:


My Honey Hive Farm bees are doing great, my queen seems to be a champ. If my hive was stronger I would be happy to trade frames with you. Unfortunately my hive is still in the building strength phase. You are in the south east valley right?


Got my queen this morning. Going to install at dusk. I have a question, though. Should I use smoke? Just going to briefly remove 2-3 frames so I can get the old (dead) queen cage out (its on the bottom) and replace with the new one. Hive is only 2 days old.


You don’t need to wait till dusk. And a bit of smoke won’t hurt if they look like they need settling. Good luck.


Too late - already dark. :slight_smile: No need for smoke after all - bees were already quite happy to just chill out. Maybe 10 flew up to check out the flashlight under my armpit; the rest just kept crawling around. Saw some comb started on the three frames I pulled. Mischief managed.