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I've seen a few videos on YouTube showing how beekeepers make package bees - the shaking, etc.

My question is, what happens to the hives after the packages are made? Shaking the bees doesn't get them all (especially those which are flying). Do keepers combine the remaining bees?

Also, do the queens included with the packages come from the hives that the packages come from? How do they make sure a queen doesn't get shook into a package?

Thanks - Steven
 

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My question is, what happens to the hives after the packages are made?

They get fed.

Do keepers combine the remaining bees?

No. Why would they? They want a large quantity of hives producing bees to sell. Combining into a lesser number of hives is counterproductive.

Also, do the queens included with the packages come from the hives that the packages come from?

No. They leave the queen behind so she can keep laying to rebuild the hive population so they can shake more bees from that hive in a couple weeks.

How do they make sure a queen doesn't get shook into a package?

A queen excluder keeps her in the hive. They remove the lid and put a box with slats for the bees to cluster on on the hive. Some put a handful of menthol in the smoker and blow a bunch of smoke in the entrance. This drives the bees up through the excluder and they cluster in the upper box you just put on. Remove that box and knock the bees into a bulk holding cage. Move on to the next hive.

To the best of my understanding that is how it is done.
 

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We never shake so many bees from the hives for packages that they need to be combined. In our case, the original colonies need to be strong enough to go into honey production soon.
The queens are either raised by the package producer or bought from a queen rearer. The original queen stays with the parent colonies. She is either found previous to shaking the bees and isolated or held back with an excluder.

Even so, an occasional queen does end up loose in a package. If your caged queen is dead, this could be the result of just that. Make sure before you requeen or you will lose the new one too.
Sheri
 
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