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Discussion Starter #1
OK. Got a big problem. I put 20 packages in hives yesterday. One package had a dead queen.

Another hive got the queen out to quickly and swarmed, Flew the coup, Checked out, left the nest, gone bye bye. You get the picture.

I think I found them in the hive with the dead queen. There has to be 20-30k bee's in this hive.

The way we packaged them was to pull out 4 frames Dump the bee's in. Put in the queen squished between the frames. One frame in each had comb already. Put the box on top of the frames and put an empty deep on top with the feeder cover and left over can over the hole.

There are so many bee's in this hive that there is no way to sort through weather they have a queen or not. It was just a two deeps of bee's ooze. It was almost scary to open.

I am going to throw 10 more frames in the top box to give them something constructive to do.

Oh the fun of beekeeping. It always throws you curve balls.
 

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i dont think they swarmed, sounds more like they absconded.....youll have to give them some eggs to create a queen from....
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Went through all the hives and removed the second deep and cage. All the hives have bees not as many as I think I dumped in originally but bees. The super hive is the "absconded" queen and package in the hive that had no queen with that package of bees. Put in 10 more frames and so it is 2 deeps with a gazillion bees. I put in a big top feeder so they can chow down and build comb.
 

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You have to undestand the nature of a package and shaking bees into a package. You get a mix sometimes. The new queen found a hive, and some followed her over.....they must like her...LOL
 

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OK, so you made me REALLY.......REALLY REALLY jealous...WOW...that is an awesome sight!!!
 

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Two hives swarmed one in to that one i think and then one underneath. I am going to go capture it. Then the rest are covering the hive. I took scoops of them and put it into hives with less bees. Not sure if that was the right thing to do but, Figured they could use it and some will leave but, maybe some will stay. Will have to play the robbing and split game later in the season.

What a cluster this turned out to be literally.

I am thinking that the hives had not spent enough time with their queens. Also should have locked them in for a day and also not put marshmallow's in and should have just left her in the cage for a few more days.

 

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Okay.....I was thinking that you were exaggerating until I looked at the second photo. Wow!! Are there frames in there or just a big pile of bees?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
There are 10 full frames in the bottom and now 10 frames on top and they were all over the front. There was I think another swarm under this box also. We captured that group into another box also. I also took piles of them and put them in boxes that were light. But, that box is booming. In a week I will check and see who has brood and who does not and then get queens for those that don't.

So mistakes were not spraying them down with sugar water Also should not have used the marshmallows. Also should have done it later in the day or evening.

Now they are all in 20 boxes and we will see how it works out.

 

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Wow, and all the exact same color, with equal, even spacing, all in neat rows, set on identical concrete blocks. Sort-of like parking at the mall, but when you come out the parking lot is completely full of the same model/year/make/color car that yours is, and you didn't make a careful mental note as to which row and location your own car is at, so happy hunting.
 

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Geez, Tough crowd. That is just this batch. Home Depot oops paint 15 bucks got two 5 gallon buckets same color. I am going to mix some green in the next bucket to give it a greenish tint. This is my other apiary up near the house. It has baby blue, Grey, Green, Purple, Yellow boxes. Is that more to your liking? Same cinder blocks except I sprung and did two layers. My Forklift (tractor) will only pick up 30 at a time so had to skimp on the new hives. These will be moving later this summer down to where the mall hives are. :)

 

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I sometimes have a similar thing happen when I make up condo mating nucs. They are all so close together, when I take a frame of emerging brood, with adhering nurse bees, put them side-by-side in the 4-plex or 3-plex mating condo's, sometimes most of them assemble into the one compartment (there are no connections between compartments - just a 3/4" hole cut into each one), that, I assume smells the best, so I have to repopulate those compartments where the brood and queen cells has been abandoned. I've discovered that assembling these mating condo's just as it's getting dark, leaving them for two days or so to get used to their new homes before removing any queen cells they make for themselves and giving them one of my cultured, ripe queen cells - helps, but doesn't completely fix the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think that hive was having the best party and everyone wanted to get in. The lines were huge outside the hive. The bouncers only let in the hipsters. It was the place to be today let me tell you. :lpf:
 

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Your sixty pound package of bees, does look awesome. I hope you can figure a way to get them all sorted out or that's gonna be a hive ready to swarm about as soon as you can turn around and an extremely expensive single colony. Though it probably finished drawing the foundation last night.

If your schedule permits, you should probably spread those bees out into the various hives as soon as possible - once they all orient to the single box it is going to be much more difficult to separate them out again. Of course if it is raining or very cold they will possibly stay put until the weather is warmer and clear, but if there is good weather they will orient right away and that will make sorting them out, more difficult.

As you can see I've been trying to think what I would do to try to straighten out your situation.

My best guess would be to work at night using a bright red LED headlight (I work at night with one regularly). Bees will crawl in the dark, but they will fly almost not at all. Then separate them into the various hives, as evenly as possible while it is dark enough to keep them from flying, then either screen them into their respective hives for a day or two; or temporarily place small branches across their entrances to force them into reorientation mode, possibly both confine and branch. Of course make sure they have plenty of feed and that each has a queen.
 

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Just wanted to comment on the photo in post #15. Only a beekeeper would put a lawn chair 5ft in front on a hive and so many hives so close to the trampoline! I love it. The photos on this site have been priceless for this newbie.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Your sixty pound package of bees, does look awesome. I hope you can figure a way to get them all sorted out or that's gonna be a hive ready to swarm about as soon as you can turn around and an extremely expensive single colony. Though it probably finished drawing the foundation last night.
Great advice. I will be checking them this morning. You gave me a great idea to do two splits on them with two new queens. The place I bought them does owe me a queen so I could pick up a second.

Just wanted to comment on the photo in post #15. Only a beekeeper would put a lawn chair 5ft in front on a hive and so many hives so close to the trampoline! I love it. The photos on this site have been priceless for this newbie.
Yes you need a place to sit when you have a tough day in the hives. Yea we are moving it farther from the house. Just to many hives up close. 1-2 is fine next to the house. But, 30 is a bit much. Especially when a heat wave hits they seem to love our shampoo and get tangled in the hair and my guests for the barbecue. They don't seem to like it much. :scratch: Plus when my daughter does the tramp and hose on a hot day to many bee's come for the water by the hundreds.
 
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