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I'm new to this...I had one hive...bought a package of bees. Everything seemed fine. they queen was laying. the honey supper was almost full of comb after 4 weeks..brood in the hive body.

Three days ago I eyeballed the queen two frames of bees in the body with brood..then yesterday went out. All but maybe 30 or 40 bees are gone. Brood left behind in the frames. honey left in the super. There appeared to be a few bees that would fly in and fight around the entrance with the bees that remained. I'm completely at a loss. As I said I'm new to this.. I tried doing everything that was told to do in the books. Had grease patty was feeding syrup which they were going through like crazy. Would replace the syrup every 3 or 4 days. I was checking the hive body every couple days.

The one thing I did do was originally I have set it up with two hive bodies but read somewhere to start with one hive body..so last week I removed one of the hive bodies..there weren't any bees in it...they hadn't bred enough to move into the second body..no comb..nothing..so I figured it wouldn't be an issue to remove it. Could that have cause them to decide they didn't like the location? that disruption?

It just seems odd because I read all the time about people doing thing like swapping out old brood frames, checker-boarding.. etc etc so it just seems like removing a body they weren't using and reducing the size of the hive for them to live in would not have been so problematic. As it was half of the thrive was up in the honey super while the other half was two boxes down in the hive body...so I thought it would be better for them.

Aside from the obvious aggravation of spending all of that money to get up and running with a bee hive and having the bees abscond my main concern is understanding what I did wrong and how to work on preventing it in the future. I already plan on buying another couple hive bottoms and getting 3-5 hive up and running. So at least if one collapses I have other I can work on replacing with...but my main issue is educationally..what did I do wrong..why did they leave etc.
 

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I'm new to this too. I've never bought "package" bees. only nucs. I've read where its quite common for package bees to just up and leave. Were you going into the hive too often maybe?? That can make them want to leave too for quiter pastures. Dont' know if I can reccomend buying packages. I know a lot of people do and get them to work out but I've heard enough to know it can be hit-o-rmiss. May want to try buying nucs instead. Costs are about the same and you get a hive that while small.....has been up and running for awhile.
 

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I suppose I could have been. I honestly just don't know. I read that when you are just starting with a new hive you want to check on them about once a week. In the 4 weeks I had them I went in and verified that there was brood 3 time. after week 1 after week 2 and then just now when they were all gone. Otherwise I did crack the hive top once additionally to add a bag of syrup...Is once a week too much?
 

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I bought two packages this year to start this journey. 1 packed up within a week, while the other is now one of my strongest hives. I purchased two nuc's after the package left. Being new, I was in the hives every other day, so I don't think being in the hive too much alone causes them leave.

If they wanna leave, they are gonna leave!
 

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>what did I do wrong..why did they leave etc.

Nothing particular but there are a few things you could do better. Get some Lemongrass Essential oil and next time put four drops in the hive. Use just one box. If you had a SBB put a tray in so there isn't too much ventilation. If you can get some old brood comb, put a frame of that in.
 

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You stated the queen was laying.....I am also not an experienced bee keeper, but it seems odd that they would abscond leaving brood behind. Brood seems to be the one item that keeps them tied to a "home" more than any other factor.
 

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I suppose I could have been. I honestly just don't know. I read that when you are just starting with a new hive you want to check on them about once a week. In the 4 weeks I had them I went in and verified that there was brood 3 time. after week 1 after week 2 and then just now when they were all gone. Otherwise I did crack the hive top once additionally to add a bag of syrup...Is once a week too much?

I am sorry you lost your hive. I know how frustrating this can be. I am in year 2 on my second hive as i lost my only hive during the winter. I now have 1 hive from pck and 1 brand new hive sitting empty waiting on bees as i am running low on funds. I too drove myself mad reading, wondering, worrying and checking on the hive all the time. This year i took a step back and i am letting the bee's do there thing. I check hive every couple weeks and watch them with admiration and pray that nature will do better than me. Try to relax just know that as you know better you will do better. I wish you luck and hope you don't get discouraged we all loose hives and never know why. Mine starved to death with frames full of honey everywhere. why.. who knows hope this year will be easier on me. Best of luck
 

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I know this feeling of wanting to know the answer. I lost 2 hives my first year starting out. Bad ants!
All you can do is continue to learn. Buy local nucs if you can and not a package.
Now I am expanding and learning as if it was my first day in beekeeping. Sometimes the answer is hard
to come by. Bees just do what bees do.
 
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