This is my second year keeping bees. Last year was a failure, I lost one to SHB larvae, and the other lost a queen and slowly died out.
I started again this year with 2 new packages. They got here last wednesday, and were installed that evening. They were both installed by removing the queen cage, placing her in the hive by the usual methods, and then replacing 4 frames in the hive with the package. The package was opened just as the top cover was being put on the hive. Only a few dozen workers escaped from each package. The entrances were blocked when they were installed. So far, this is how they break down.
The next day each hive was opened up, empty packages removed, and an empty super with 2 mason jar feeders installed between the inner cover and top cover. Each hive had freed the queen at this point as well. Each hive has an entrance reducer.
~Slightly more dead bees in the package. Not enough to be alarmed over but a layer about 1 bee thick covering the bottom of the package.
~Managed to remove the sticks that were used to block the hive entrance and start foraging the next morning. This impressed me, I had wedged the sticks in there and far as I could, they were able to pull them into the hive.
~These bees are much calmer. They have an organized stream of bees coming through the inner cover and going into the feeder, then back down again. They resemble ants in there behavior. There are no bees wondering around the empty super.
~At the entrance, bees come and go. There is no fighting, flying around, they just land and enter.
~They ignore me. When I open the top cover to change the feeders, it's like I'm not even there. I opened the inner cover yesterday and hardly any flew off. I removed one frame and the end and they have started to draw comb and fill with syrup. They still didn't seem to notice that I was there.
~Less dead bees. There were some scattered at the bottom of the package but not a solid layer.
~Entrance "block" was still in place.
~These bees are constantly circling around the hive. It's like a cloud of bees all around it.
~I don't see any fighting on the entrance, but they take there time walking around the landing before entering or flying off.
~Lot's of bees walking around the empty super. They are quick to fly off when I open to feed them.
~I have not opened the inner cover to check them because they are so quick to fly off.
~There seems to be a very diverse blend of bees in this package. Some have darker lines than others, some have no lines, several different shades of gold/yellow. No yellow jackets or anything, just several races of honey bees in one. I did find a dead carpenter bee or bumble see on the ground in front of this hive.
~Much more aggressive, much less organized.
~It's like this all day every day. The flying around the hive, "bee cloud", has calmed down a lot but still much more than hive "A"
Each hive in going through 2 half pint mason jars of syrup a day.
I'm waiting at least 10 days, maybe 2 weeks, before I do my first real hive inspections.