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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hived 2 packages of Russians last Thursday. On Tuesday, I checked them, the queens were released and they were festooning. Today when i checked them for food I found that one hive was empty! they had drawn some comb in front of the foundation (wax coated plastic that I had gotten from a reliable beeks estate). There were just a few workers and drone left. The other hive is going strong.
Questions: Should I put the comb in the strong hive or just save it?
Should I leave it in the hive and see if a swarm takes up residence?
How long should I wait before installing another package or a nuke?
I knew this could happen but I am really bummed and want another bunch of bees asap!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY, I GOT A CALL THAT THE FARM BY MY REMAINING HIVE IS SPRAYING TOMORROW. i COVERED THE HIVE WITH A COUPLE OF SHEETS TO KEEP THEM IN (AFTER DARK) BOY ARE THEY MAD. i AM REALLY AFRAID i AM GOING TO LOOSE MY LAST HIVE NOW!
 

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Where are you located in Chester County? I'm just dead south of the Norco Mall. This morning my wife told me she saw a large number of bees around one of our pine trees. I rushed to get dressed, but by the time I did, they were gone. If you are close, maybe they were yours. I set up a swarm trap away from my hives. If I catch them, I'll email you to let you know, and get them back to you. :thumbsup: If you are REALLY close, what farm is spraying, so I can see if I have to enclose my bees?:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Bumbles,
I am outside of Coatesville, so your girls are safe. I am really bummed as it seemed I was off to a great start. In the Chester Co Beek newsletter, a W Graham has nucs for $100. Do you know this guy? I am probably going to call him tomorrow.
Not looking forward to letting the girls out tomorrow night. I got my first sting covering them up! They should be really grumpy by tomorrow night.
 

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are you sure they left I ask because I hived 3 new packages this year and two of them drifted to the third till there was almost no bees in the other two. So now I have one boomming hive. I had two hives that were weak at another site so i took the two queens and introduced them to the weak ones now there doing better. so it wasnt a total loss. Im going to make a few splits this year so Ill put them at the new site. check if your first hive seems to have a few more bees than it should you might find your second hive in there.
 

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MeriB; Sorry I couldn't help you out. Never heard of the guy you asked about. If you're not sure, ask someone in your club. I bought 2 packages from Jim Bobb, one Russian from Martin Bee, and a nuc from Bjorn Apiaries out near Lancaster. The first 2 have already made their runs for the year. Bjorn raises norther bred queens that are very hygenic. He mignt not have nucs until later. Last year, I got mine around the end of May. He sells 5 fram nucs for $85.00. J & J Apiaries also sells 4 frame nucs for $77.50. Both advertise in the PA beekeepers newsletter. If you don't get that yet, I can send you the contact info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have already emailed Bjorn apiaries. Can you send me the other contact info. Is it possible they just didnt like the foundation? The built the comb in front of it in both places.
 

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There is a chance the bees drifted to the strong hive. Feed as much as you can, and in 3-4 weeks, if you have 6 frames of brood, you can do a 3 frame split and add a new queen and have 2 hives again.
 

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J & J Apiaries: 142 SR 1002 Tunkhannock, PA 18657. Phone# 570-836-4108. Try to call Bjorn (Mike Thomas) at 717-938-0444 in the evening, around 7:00 PM. He's not as responsive to email as he is a phone call. I've also had luck catching him at lunchtime.
 

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Is it possible they just didnt like the foundation? The built the comb in front of it in both places.
In front of what, the outside of the hive box(s)? What kind of foundation are you using? I've had trouble with plastic, especially if it's not beeswax coated. The best results I've had is with crimped wire beeswax in my deeps, and cut comb foundation. Otherwise, without seeing your hives, it's hard to tell. It could be many factors, from your location (especially if the farms adjacent to you are spraying!) to having too fresh of paint on your hive boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The comb was on the frame in front of the foundation but not attached, Bees were walking on the foundation under the comb.
Both hives were painted at the same time with the same paint. Packeges from the same supplier, installed at the same time. Located next to each other, facing the same direction. Only observable difference was , foundation they were on wax coated plastic, and they were calmer at installation than the bees who stayed. The bees who stayed are on wired wax.
Meridith
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No bees to be had for love or money. The reamining bees in the absconded hive are still drawing comb, better than the full hive! I guess i will let them work as long as they will while i wait for bees to become available or I have enought in the other hive to do a split! Thanks for the help.
 
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