Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just got 3, 3lb packages of bees today, I will let the provider remain nameless at this point to see if they rectify the situation. 90-95% of the bees were dead on arrival as well as 1 of the 3 queens. They came in plastic cages with no syrup can. It appeared that the bees had been heavily saturated with syrup water prior to shipping. The hole package was a gooey ball of basically dead bees.

I dumped one package of bees in a hive with a live queen. There is a huge pile of dead bees in the middle of the hive. Do I try and remove some of the dead bees?? I opened the package with the dead queen and propped it up next to the entrance in hopes that the few remaining live bees would migrate into the hive and join the others. Any other suggestions??? I left the one package in my garage which appears to yet have a live queen as there was a baseball size group of bees clustered around the queen cage.

The UPS driver made the comment that I was the only one he delivered today that sounded like they had any live bees in them!!:eek:
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
5,796 Posts
I assume you have already contacted the shipper. If not, that is your first step, along with taking lots of photos. I would dump all three packages into a single hive and leave both queens in their cages for the time being. Then feed those bees! If you can scrape out some of the dead, that would help. See if you can salvage enough to make make two small hives out of the remaining bees. If not, you might be able to leave one queen banked while the other one gets to work making more bees. See the thread UPS lost my bees at:https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?360555-UPS-Lost-my-bees
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I did call them once I realized the situation. They are on the east coast and were already closed for the day. I left a message.

I left the covers open on that single box when I installed the bees. I just checked on that hive. Looks like the queen and a most of the live bees had migrated to a back corner. Hoping in the morning that I can just lift the box and sweep the dead bee pile off the bottom board. I will add any live bees and the other caged queen to that hive first thing in the morning. I would say there might be 150 live bees in that hive as of now.

How many live bees does it take to support a queen to make a viable hive? Doesnt seem like there is any way that there is enough bees to support 2 queens. I have a relatively strong hive that I started last year. I dont want to weaken them, but should I shake some bees into the new hive? They are at a different location so it would be a hassle to try and bring them to this hive.
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
5,796 Posts
Mating nucs can contain as few as 600 bees, so I think around 1000 bees, two cups, should be able to survive and reproduce. It will take some effort on your part. You may want to bring some bees over once you make sure these are going to live.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I will try and make 2 separate hives from what I have remaining from the shipment. I will add some bees from my existing hive in a few days if it looks like the queen is going to live.

The supplier called this morning and said that they had received a bunch of calls with the same problem. They seemed to think a bunch of bees got left outside in a rainstorm during the shipping process. Sounds like they are going to work to replace my packages. Fingers crossed that it will go smoothly.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top