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Discussion Starter #1
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.

Hive "A":
~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.

Hive "B":
~Less dead bees. There were some scattered at the bottom of the package but not a solid layer.
~Chaos.
~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.
 

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Your two hives sound similar to mine. It is nice to hear that I am not the only person with hives that vary greatly in personality. I have been reassured by another beek that it is pretty common to have very different acting hives.
Have you started referring to one of your hives as the "good" girls and the other one as the "bad" girls?
 

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This is normal for packages to have many diff bees in it like these. It is also normal for a package to have a sort of bad attitude in the beginning as these bees are NOT the queen's actual brood. Give them about 45 to 60 days and then you can tell how "good or bad" the girls are going to be.. Usually a package settles down in about a week. I had two of 10 that were cranky like that and within a week they were as calm as the rest.
 

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I'll keep the prospective behavior change in mind. I know that I am constantly changing my mind on which one of my kids I like best. (the one not in trouble at the moment)

I was worried about the hive that got knocked over by the wind less than a day after installation. Those were the good girls. It took them 8 hours longer to begin their orientation flights and start bringing back pollen. By late this afternoon, I couldn't tell the difference in behavior between the two hives. It was nice to just see the air full of bees in front of both hives.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wouldn't surprise me if hive "B" turns up queenless. Aggression, disorganization, chaos.... Might want to peek sooner than later...
That's my fear. I'll check tomorrow or Saturday.

When I removed the queen cage and empty packages, I left them on the ground about 20 feet in front of the hives. 'queen cage for "A" was left in the empty super because there were still bees inside of it, cage for "B" was set on top of the empty package for "B". The next day there were probably 30 bees on the queen cage, so I placed in back in the super like "A". Mean while, the cage in "A" was being completely ignored.

I wasn't sure if they were just trying to get the last of the candy from the cage, they thought it was the queen because the actual queen wasn't in the hive, or they thought the queen was swarming.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I opened them up Saturday. I found the queen on the second frame in hive "A". I also found small brood.

Hive "B" had no brood, no sign of a queen. Lot's of empty queen cups.

I took a frame from "A" that was about 20% covered in brood and placed it in "B".

Maybe it's just wishful thinking but from the outside, hive "B" already looked calmed down a bit today.
 

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When you gave the hive the frames of brood did you shake all the bees off of it?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update

Last week I opened the bad hive and the only brood was on the one frame that I swapped. THat frame also had 5 or 6 queen cells, a few already capped.

I ordered a new queen, should be here tomorrow. This morning I removed the one frame that had the queen cups, took a frame of brood and honey from the good hive, and placed them in a nuc.

I didn't want tithe hive to go another 2 weeks without a laying queen. I also didn't want to risk them raising a queen and her be defective or not mate. By saving the queen cells, if something happens with the new queen, I can hopefully combine the nuc back in.
 

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I have had the same thing with my 2 hives. One seems lazy other seems on a mission. One is a little hot and the other is calm. One may cost me a divorce the other she loves. The one that may cost me a divorce dive bombed my wives dog and 2 bees stung him on the same leg. I was not going to let her know what happened but the dog told her all about it when she got home. So after $40 at Walgreen's for ibuprofen and benadryl and a few other things she made me buy. I have come to the conclusion nothing is wrong with the bees it is my wife and her dog :p
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've been thinking, maybe a little too much because I've got this crazy hypothesis.

In the good hive, the bees are split to the outer 3 frames on each side. What I mean is, lots of bees in the 3 left frames, more bees in the 3 right frames. Almost nothing on the 4 frames in the middle. A few bees crawling around maybe but no drawn comb. It's a bit odd, it is usually the opposite. When I installed the packages, I alternated between new foundation and partially drawn foundation. They have stopped using the feeder almost entirely so I assume a good flow is going on but still not drawing out the foundation in the middle 4 frames!

Every time I've opened the hive, I've found the queen on one of the 3 frames on the left side, these frames all have brood or eggs. However, most of the bees are always on the opposite side of the hive. I assumed they were storing all the honey over there. Well, when I made my split I wanted to grab a frame of honey from that side but to my surprise, they were all covered in brood.

The several times I've opened this hive, I've only removed 1 or 2 frames until I spotted the queen, no need to go further....



So, what're the chances I have 2 queens in one hive? Could the queen, and some of her bees, from hive B have made it into hive A without starting a war? I really don't want to keep opening the hive so it will take a week or more for me to check.
 
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