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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found today that one of my packages has disappeared from the hive. About a hundred dead bees on the bottom. The bees had no drawn foundation.
I took the hive body and put on my strongest hive.
Any Ideas?

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Sol Parker
Southern Oregon Apiaries
http://www.allnaturalhoney.com
 

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Sounds like they absconded. Has there been plenty of forage available, and if not were they being fed?

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Rob Koss
 

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How long from when you installed to when they left? If it was in the first couple of days, then they absconded (swarmed?). They were still thinking of themselves as a swarm and decided they wanted better quarters.

Sometimes I've seen a package move into the one next door. Is there a really strong hive next door to the empty one with twice as many bees?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do have that hive I installed two queens in, while other hives have 2-5 frames of bees at this point, this hive has all ten filled up, I added a second hive body today (the one with no bees). I dont know how all those bees got in that hive, there shouldnt be brood hatching yet.
Also, I have one hive that was down to one frame of bees and seemed to be dying. I added one frame of very young brood and bees to it and they seem to be doing fine, though with such limited numbers, I doubt they will do any thing much this year. I hope if they lost their queen that they will be able to make another one.
I almost dont wanna feed them because of what happens when I do, people say that boardman feeders cause robbing, and they do, but the hive that I have an internal feeder in, was almost attacked today. The side where the feeder sits had bees literally hanging off it. There were bees all over the thing trying to get in.

Thats Farming

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Sol Parker
Southern Oregon Apiaries
http://www.allnaturalhoney.com
 

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They are like kids. If you feed one you have to feed them all or the strong ones will rob he weak ones. I'd probably go ahead and feed them all to help out the struggling ones.

I'm guess from the uneven distribution of bees, that you package moved into one or more of your other hives. Hard to say what the queen did. Maybe they killed her or maybe she absonded with some of the bees, but my guess is most moved into another hive.
 

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Packages on foundation have to be fed right from the start,no matter what is blooming.If you are handy with a soldering iron you can collect old jars and solder a piece of 1/8 inch copper tubing to a hole drilled in the jar lid.Now drill a hole a bit larger than the tubing right in the middle of your hive lid.Use a tubing cutter to cut the pieces just long enough that they will come even with the inside of the hive lid.These are cheap easy feeders that will stimulate the queen to lay without promoting robbing.This is for migratory covers ,not with inner covers.
 

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Micheal, the above post sounds like holes we have from the ferral stock.

By the way how are your bees doing? I had one hive swarm twice. I was able to catch one. Other than that each hive has a few capped honey frames, and I'm looking forward to a good honey crop.
 

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Brandon,

I think you are right about the hole in the cover on our hives. It sounds just like that.

I gave you the heavy ones because I felt bad about them not being cyprus and all so I was hoping they would prosper for you. All of mine are doing ok. Some are booming some are not. Two are too hot to handle. Some are sweet and nice. Some are small cell already, and these seem to be the most gentle and the most productive ones.

Had two swarms so far. Caught them both. I figured they might be a bit swarmy, but some of it is I haven't had time to keep up with them all. Some are a hour and fifteen minute drive away and between work, the weather and trying to take care of the ones in my yard and wax coat all that PermaComb, I haven't kept up. All in all they are doing well.

I think I've picked my favorite though. The one that is the gentlest and already has small cell bees and a small black queen. The bees are all Italian looking but she's just black. I'm considering raising some queens from this hive. I haven't had time to go through all of them yet, so maybe I'll find some more that I like this much.
 

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Hi Sol,

Sounds as if the bees drifted among themselves when installing the packages. Since the hives are all different strengths I would condisder equalizing the strongest w/ the weakest leaving the average ones alone.

Clay
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think I will do that next time I get a chance, my biggest problem is finding a good frame to transfer. There are alot of frames that are messed up because of my foundation misshap. Many frames are glued to the other ones.

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Sol Parker
Southern Oregon Apiaries
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You need to straighen out the bad frames as soon as you can. Try to move any with brood to the outside so they won't lay in them again, and any with honey and pollen, put them above a queen excluder so the queen won't lay in them. Eventually you can take them all out and scrap them.
 

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Sol,


One more thought here. Next time you hive many packages do it in the evening or even at night. This will minimize drifting especially when doing a # of packages. Hiving in the rain works well too. I have seen where many packages where hived and all the bees where all hanging in one cluster up in a tree abandoning queens still in cages. Got to catch the girls then split them up amongst # of hives. What a mess!

Clay
 
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