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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I hived four packages, all from the same supplier. Two were Italian, and two were Carni.

One of these was really cranky. Instead of staying in the box when poured in, a lot of the bees flew out and one of them even managed to nail my wife who was walking back to the house. I didn't have any problem hiving the package, but I was surprised at how different this one was from the other three.

I'm assuming that I must have jostled this package in a different way than the other three and found a movement that was particularly offensive to the bees. Since these packages came from the same supplier and were assembled at the same time they all came from essentially the same bee stock, so the difference must have been something that I caused.

Any comments from the wealth of experience out there?
 

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What was the condition of the queen in that box? Also, was it the last box you hived? How close to dark was it? Just wondering, I hived six yesterday (well, actually I did four and my sister did two) but didn't see a big difference, except the last one my sis did it was almost dark, and the queen flew, and we don't know yet if we lost her. Did you spray any/all of them with sugar water? They were all really hungry when I picked mine up. They were also really agitated when I got home from work at 4:00. It was almost too warm for them in the packages I think. Where in MN are you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
>> What was the condition of the queen in that box?

As far as I could tell, fine and no different from the others.

>> Also, was it the last box you hived?

Nope, first one.

>> How close to dark was it?

It was about 5 PM. Local sunset is 8. So I would say "late afternoon". Nice sunny day, temp about 75, a little more wind than I would have liked but not bad.

>> Just wondering, I hived six yesterday (well, actually I did four and my sister did two) but didn't see a big difference, except the last one my sis did it was almost dark, and the queen flew, and we don't know yet if we lost her.

Must be the day for flying queens in Minnesota. One of my queens flew too (not the package under discussion, or even the same apiary).

>> Did you spray any/all of them with sugar water?

Yes, several times in the couple of hours before hiving. The feeders were dry. I sprayed about 20 minutes before hiving, sprayed again before knocking 'em down to pull out the can, and yet again just after pulling the can.

>> They were all really hungry when I picked mine up. They were also really agitated when I got home from work at 4:00. It was almost too warm for them in the packages I think.

I agree, but this would have affected all four packages equally, and doesn't explain why one would be so different from the other three.

>> Where in MN are you?

About as far south as you can get without slipping into Iowa -- Albert Lea.
 

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BeeBear,

Where did you get your packages?

Ron
 

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Did they come from Nature's Nectar or somewhere else?

I have had two queens fly this year. First time ever. Boy is that nerve wracking. Might be a good reason to do the marshmallow thing.

I would keep track of the hive that was cranky, it will be interesting to see how they perform. I wonder if they know something about the queen that we can't see (is she sterile, failing,etc...) or maybe they just want to be moody. I would watch to see if they try to supercede her right away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The packages did come from Nature's Nectar, although that's not really of much signifigance to the question of why one would be different from the others.

I also had a queen fly this year. Rather than tacking my question about that onto this thread, I think I'll start a new topic on it.

I will definitely keep an eye on that hive. As fate would have it, there was also a problem with the hive-top feeder for that hive. I think there's a leak in one side. Judging by the fact that there was syrup dripping out of the front and that one side of the feeder was empty, I assume that the girls got drenched. So if this hive performs differently, I'll never know if it was the queen, this incident with the feeder, or something else.
 
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