Re: Thank you for welcoming me to the Bee community - Cypress, TX
Welcome to Beesource!
If your top bar hive has an open screened bottom, you should consider closing off the screen with a board, at least until they have built substantial comb and brood. There are multiple reports here of new packages absconding from open screen bottom TBHs.
Did you direct release the queen? How long were they in the hive before they absconded?
As you are in Texas, overheating is a consideration. Your bees will be unable to regulate hive temperature with completely closed entrances. If you intent to keep it closed, at least use screen on the entrance.
Also, a better feeder is a good idea. One option is to punch/drill small holes in the lid of a canning jar and invert the jar supported by shims so the bees can access the holes.
Finally, you will get better advice if you put your location into your profile. "United States" isn't very useful. Send a PM to moderator Barry with a request to update your location. While readers of this thread can see you are in Cypress, that won't help in other threads.
-- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”