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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a brand new beek and just got my first package on 4/9/14. Installed package, queen, and Collins feeder in the hive and everything seemed fine. First 2 days there seemed to be lots of good activity outside, but by the 13th there was just a little coming and going. Today, the 14th I had to look and there are only maybe 200 bees left and not one single cell has been drawn on any of the frames. The bees that are left are mostly clustered in one corner of the hive. What could have happened? And, what do I do now??
Sad and discouraged in TN
 

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Sounds like you may have got a bad queen or she wasn't mated. I've heard horror stories from folks who bought packages out of GA. I've heard they've been horrible for the past two years. Don't be discouraged. Find a local beek and buy a nuc. That's a great way to start. You also build a good relationship as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm...but if she wasn't mated wouldn't she just go out on her maiden flight by herself and not take most of the hive?
 

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Installed package, queen, and Collins feeder in the hive and everything seemed fine. First 2 days there seemed to be lots of good activity outside, but by the 13th there was just a little coming and going.
was the feeder empty? were there many dead bees outside the hive? if so they were probably robbed out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I took out the cork end of her cage and jammed a mini marshmallow in the hole and laid her cage on its side on top of the frames. I also laid the box the bees came in on top of the frames and then closed it up. I came back the next day to take out the empty bee package and they had already released her. So I feared for the worst and I guess it has happened.
 

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There are several things one can speculate, and that is all it would be. Unmated queen lost on breeding flight caused the bees to search for new hive to join, Queen could have been killed, Who knows for sure. What is a reality is that with so few bees and no resources the colony is probably doomed, Contact the seller and see if he/She will do anything for you. If Not Find another supplier, keep your chin up and go forward. A local Nuc is a good option.
 

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Sounds to me like they absconded. That's a risk with packages that makes nucs more attractive if you are getting just a couple.

My first 2 packages cost about $100 each. 1 grew into a nice hive and 1 left after a couple of days. So I ended up with essentially a $200 package. At that time I could buy 4 frame nucs for $120 which in hindsight would have been a better purchase.
 

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Jipsy - Based on the date you got them and your location I'm guessing that your package might have come from Wilbanks and the bees were shook that very morning. Anything is possible - maybe you had a virgin queen for example - but it is also possible that your marshmallow release was just too fast for bees that had only been together for a few hours. A standard candy release takes 2-3 days (or more) and gives them time to get acquainted - while an accelerated release can result in the queen being murdered.

Sorry for your loss - I hope you are able to work something out.
 
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