I will never buy packages again.
Long story short, a buddy of mine was getting deployed and had ordered nine packages. I have not bought a package in years, but he had already paid for them, and they would arrive after he left. I paid him for what he had in them. They arrived, I installed them, and they did well over the summer. They built up to two deeps, with full ofhoney in the top deep, and lots of bees. . It was my usual winter set up with a deep of honey and a candy board on top for good measure, had a warm day today, checked hives, and four are dead. My other thirty hives which are local queens that I have raised or gotten from a friend are doing fine. Before anyone asks, yes I checked for mites, yes I treated, and yes they had plenty of food. It has been somewhat of a mild winter, with flying days at last once a week. The package hives are in the same yard as my local bees. I knew I should have requeened as soon as I got them, but they were doing so well over the summer, I didn't. I don't claim to be a Michael Bush or Michael Palmer, but I usually have pretty good luck overwintering bees. The only common factor is that the dead outs were all spring packages.
16 y, 30 hives ULBN, treat when needed.