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Discussion Starter #1
Just installed my first bee packages yesterday afternoon. Had a lot of activity and of course as darkness came activity stop. Just for the heck of it this morning before light I went to look at them and I had a few on the outside of the hive. As I looked closer on hive had a baseball size cluster under the hive. Are these bee's that just didn't make it back before dark or do they just like to hang out outside?

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Greg
 

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Newbie here too! Will relate one of our first experiences when we installed two packages 6 wks ago. Had residual bees left in the package cages after each installation. Left the cages in front of their respective hives. The first evening, a group of bees from each package did not find the entrance to the hive before dark and just balled up for the night inside the cages. Next day by noon, all the bees were gone from the cages.....I assume they found their way in by then as no more balled up wads of bees were seen after that! I bet yours will do the same thing today. By noon or so you will probably not see a mass of bees under the hive anymore. Just curious...do you have your bottom board (sticky board) in place or just the open screen?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Newbie here too! Will relate one of our first experiences when we installed two packages 6 wks ago. Had residual bees left in the package cages after each installation. Left the cages in front of their respective hives. The first evening, a group of bees from each package did not find the entrance to the hive before dark and just balled up for the night inside the cages. Next day by noon, all the bees were gone from the cages.....I assume they found their way in by then as no more balled up wads of bees were seen after that! I bet yours will do the same thing today. By noon or so you will probably not see a mass of bees under the hive anymore. Just curious...do you have your bottom board (sticky board) in place or just the open screen?
Just the open screen.

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Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just took this to show how they are clustering under the hive.

Is it possible their is another queen?




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Greg
 

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I'm a newbie too but have they eaten the fondant out of the queen cage? Did you have the package touching the hive when you left the bees for the night? I placed the package on a stool so that it was touching the hive and the bees could crawl out of the package and into the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Queen is still in the cage but candy is almost gone so she should be out today. I removed 5 frames from the hive and put the package in the hive and removed it this morning. Just a hand full of bee's in it. So I just left it by the hive and now they are empty. It just seems strange they are clustering like that.

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Greg
 

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If they're eating the candy then I'd just wait to see what happens when she gets out. I got my package last Saturday and didn't check it until Tuesday. That's when I removed the empty queen cage and checked to make sure that she was still alive. I did a complete inspection again this Saturday to check for eggs and larvae. Maybe you're checking them too soon, give them a little time to adjust to the new hive. I know your excited to get started but you'll have lots of time after they get settled in.
 

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If they're eating the candy then I'd just wait to see what happens when she gets out. I got my package last Saturday and didn't check it until Tuesday. That's when I removed the empty queen cage and checked to make sure that she was still alive. I did a complete inspection again this Saturday to check for eggs and larvae. Maybe you're checking them too soon, give them a little time to adjust to the new hive. I know your excited to get started but you'll have lots of time after they get settled in.

Just like a kid in a candy store.:D:D:D:D:D I will have to wait even longer because they need to draw the comb too.

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Greg
 

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Put the board back in! If you leave screened bottom boards open that's what bees can do. As far as they're concern they're inside the hive. Leaving the board out(I call it a debris tray)can also cause your bees to abscond. Giving them too much ventilation is not a good thing. Common mistake people make with screened bottom boards.
 

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That's what I was thinking! I would put that debris tray/stickboard back in there pronto! Like Slow Drone said, the bees have stopped looking for the door because they think they are in the hive now! With the board in place, they will go look for, and find, the proper entrance to the hive and can finally get to work!
 

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I put the board in a couple of hours ago. The cluster is about half the size it was. Will see what happens now. Funny the second hive right beside it is going in and out like they should and no bee's hanging on the under side.

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Greg
 

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I put the board in a couple of hours ago. The cluster is about half the size it was. Will see what happens now. Funny the second hive right beside it is going in and out like they should and no bee's hanging on the under side.

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Greg
It's because you have a stronger smelling queen in the hive the balled under some of your bees from your other hive could be at it now because of the no board in place. I learnt this leaven the board out also real fast . Since I had 6 and most drifted to one hive because of the strong smell'n queen with the boards out .
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I out the board in the second hive awhile ago. Will see what tomorrow brings.

Greg
 
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