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I installed my first bees, thee packages, and in spite of my bumbling and incompetence the girls are doing a great job! I just kind of dumped them in and left them to their own devices. I have two all medium Langstroths, both foundationless, one with starter strips and one with just guide bars, and one top bar hive. The mesh I chose for the bottom of the top bar is too big (gutter guard) and the bees are ignoring the entrance I provided and prefer to squeeze in from the bottom. I put a board under the hive to leave about a half inch and they seem happy with it.

I checked on the sixth day, and all three hives are drawing comb like mad. I've been feeding them, but I see bees coming in with huge loads of pollen from tulip poplars, I think, so I'll probably let them finish the sugar water they have and stop. I'll feel a lot better in about three weeks when the brood starts hatching and the numbers go up. Unfortunately, my incompetence has resulted in a number of deaths by crushing.

I do have one question about water. They have water in the hives now, but when they seek their own water source, would a small steam about 200 feet away through the woods be close enough, or should I worry about giving them something closer? The latter would be a bother and an expense, but I'll rig something up if necessary.
 

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i think a stream 200 feet away is plenty close. i have learned in the past year not to sweat the small stuff like that. bees in the wild have to travel for water. keep things simple and enjoy your bees.
 

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Don't concern yourself with the water issue. They will find it. They may even go past the stream and find water somewhere else. You may never see where they get it. No big deal.

I would keep feeding as long as they are taking it. They will often quit taking sugar water when they get on a nectar source. You will be able to tell when to stop feeding when it's the right time.
 

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I checked on the sixth day, and all three hives are drawing comb like mad. I've been feeding them, but I see bees coming in with huge loads of pollen from tulip poplars, I think, so I'll probably let them finish the sugar water they have and stop.
Keep the feed bottle on top of the hive until you super. They will stop drinking the SW when they find a better source. If you leave it there then when they don't have a source they can still use it to draw out comb. You could even leave it there while they are drawing out the comb in your supers but, pull it before they start to fill any of the cells with honey.

They like the real stuff way better then the phony stuff so dont sweat leaving it there. I guess I would say that is what I would do. Every one has there own opinions. Good luck to you.
 
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