watching the entrance
I recently hived a 3lb package of bees 1 week ago. On the 3rd day I openned the hive to make sure the queen was out, she was. I noticed that the bees have started to draw comb. (brand new frames, pierco) Today was the nicest since they have been packaged. This morning I noticed a lot of activity...bees 5-6 at a time bringing back pollen. Later this afternoon I went out to watch entrance, since I'm addicted, and noticed bees flying in and out and not many with pollen??? I also noticed 4-5 drones flying in and out too??? Should I bee concerned?? Might that be a sign that the could swarm??
Keep watching. Don't do anything. Take it from one who has killed more colonies by needlessly opening and manipulating them them than I care to admit. (That was a long time ago, when I first started out) Bringing in pollen is a good sign. They need drones this time of the year. The queen is out of the cage so I wouldn't open the hive for at least a week, and then only to see if she is laying. Don't look for her. Stop once you see eggs or brood. For now, keep watching them from outside. You can learns lots from what you see and what you hear at the hive entrance.
1 week ago.
They have moved into a new apartment, with no furnishings, no real jobs yet !
Give them some time, keep them fed with sugar water.
Bee's not only collect pollen, they collect water and nector which you can't see!
As for the Drones, a male has to get out of the house some times.
Wait a week or so, join your local bee club, and visit your public library, they have or can get thru inter-library loan bee books! Read, Read, & read some more.
Also remember to take every thing you see on inter-net forums with a grain or two of salt.
what happened to your colonies dsquared? stress?
I did stupid things like opening the hives too often, feeding syrup at the wrong time of the year (when they already had plenty of stores) dumb things that new beekeepers sometimes do. They love their bees to death. Mind you, this was twenty + years ago. Then I hooked up with some old salts who taught me that less is often more when it comes to managing bees.
I also have stories of colonies that got knocked over by cattle in winter and wintered just fine that way (on their sides), and colonies that I swore couldn't survive because the cluster was so small, building up and going gang busters.
The long and short of it in my mind, is manipulate your bees as little as possible. Do what is necessary and no more. The outside of your hives will tell you a lot. Also listen, and smell. Most people don't pay attention to their senses.
Tons of my new babies are returning with fat little pouches of pollen. I love watching them!