Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First time ever in eighteen years of beekeeping. So here's the haps... Sunny, 65f, not too breezy and just generally a beatuiful day in spring. This was a 3lb package that had been housed together for at least four days. When I pulled the queen cage there was no "ill" behavior towards her, no biting or posturing, just gentle bees crawling across the screen. The hive body had old (3 yrs+-) drawn foundation with freshly scratched honey plus a few new frames for them to draw on. I took out the middle five frames, dumped in the package then took the queen cage, pryed the screen back, and reached down into the hive body and watched her climb out. She took flight and did a tight circle then landed on the hive body and toppled into the mass. She was in there. I put the difference of frames into the body and juxtaposed the inner cover on top and gave them the rest of te sugar water. Everything seemed fine, bees out front fanning, nothing too special. After about an hour I closed it up and walked away. As this was (is) an outyard I came back in a week and NOBODY home, just few big black ants (75-100ish). Not too many ants that I would think would cause them to abscond.
All other packages installed in this fashon went fine.
These were Italians.
Thoughts? Experiences?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
honestly i have no idea why your package would leave, but i do have an ant solution.

I had the same problem once here in Florida, large black ants swarmed my hive and drove them out of the hive, also killing hundreds of bees. The best solution i came up with was to put the hive on a four legged stand and put each leg in a large coffee can and fill the can with vegetable oil. this makes a type of mini mote that the ants cannot cross. Hope this helped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
I always close my packages up for 24 hours with a feeder and slow release my queen. I know a lot of folks (commercial beekeepers) don't and direct release their queen, but I've heard too any stories like yours, and it's not like you can just run done to Walmart and get another package. I know beekeepers who have a package abscond even with a slow release queen method.

I think I'm about done with packages myself. I got three this year. One is struggling with tiny little bees. I've got enough hives to make nucs and splits for next year, and I'm really happy with my wild mated queens.

Sorry for your loss. That really stinks. I hope you can find a way to replace them for the season.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
I wish I would have closed mine up for 24 hours also . That could have been part if my problem I just had with packages also .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
Some queens don't like what ya give them and takes them longer to want to stick around. I've heard about these problems with swarms and package bees. One Beek I know uses a queen excluder on the bottom of the hive under the brood nest when putting in packages. Leaves it there until he's certain they have set up home = have brood all ages. He then removes the excluder and manages the hive as he does the rest. He also does this when putting in swarms just to make sure they stay put.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the sage wisdom. A slow release would have been prudent, hindsight. It was such a nice day I could understand her wanting to go outside, sheesh, I was.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top