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Despairing Package

1465 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  rfathera
This is a new one on me.. I installed a new package of bees on Monday and the queen was freed from her cage on Wednesday. I peeked in on Thursday evening and no bees. I have never heard of a package swarming but that is what it looks like. Only thing left was one side of one frame of foundation drown out and a small bit of pollen in it and about 150 bees, nothing other than that. Any ideas what happened?
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Some time a new package will abscond. There is something they did not like. There are a couple of ways to keep this from happening. One is to put a queen excpluder on the bottom of the hive. Then the queen can not leave and the workers will not leave her behind. The other way is to put in a frame of open brood the bees will not leave the young behind. A new package will stay more often than they will leave but is does happen. I have seen it more often when bees are put into a freshly painted hive and the bees dont like the smell. I have also seen it for no reason at all. Sorry about your bees.
Thank you for your reply. I remember reading about that now. I had forgotten all about it I have never had that happen to me before.
I hived two packages,with no problems, one stayed and one left. I was able to get another packege and hived them on May 3. Dropped the queen twice, didnt smoke to take out the cage and REALLY got them mad. So far they have stayed. I think we do the best we can. All the rest is a crap shoot.
Did you leave them plenty of suger and water?
As mentioned previously, if you can give a package a frame of brood they will be more inclined to stay put, it will also give them a big head start because at best you have ~30 day window where you have no new bees hatching and as such your entire population is effectively old bees.

That frame of brood will help out immensely.
Also use you entrance reducer on smallist hole for one day then next size hole for one day then remove.
I had a bee keeper tell me to leave the entrance reducer in for about 12 days. Is there any truth to this?
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