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Hiving packages done - Questions.

2056 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Mike S
I hived my two packages today, after a 7 hour round trip to pick them up. It went well, but has left me with some questions... I'd appreciate any insight you folks could offer.

1) Bees are crapping all over the place. I've got about 6 little poop stains on white blue shirt... normal? The books never mentioned what crappers these guys are...

2) One of the hives has several poop stains down the front... Seems more than the other.... Normal?

3) Many bees wouldn't leave the feeder can or the package box... so I left them in front of their hives, in the hopes they'd go inside at nightfall. It's too early in the season for other bees or wasps to be out yet, so no robbing risk I think... Will they eventually go inside?

4) I already see different behavior of the two hives... One has a cluster of ~20 bees surounding the entrance... whereas the other hive has none. What gives?

Appreciate any insight into these observations...
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Well I would have banged the packages abit more to get them out. leaving them in the package over night you get a ball of dead bees.

and they will do a cleansing flight.

and they might have disintary sugar water with Honey B heathly will help that
Depending on how long they were in the cages before you picked them up they maybe were just holding the poop to long and as soon as they were able to take flight they let 'er rip.

Next time bang them all out of the cage.

Good luck
I did try to bang them all out of the box... I wasn't sure how agressive to get, so erred on the conservative... same for the feeder jar...

I suspect I may just have to yank the boxes/feeders away tomorrow, despite the presence of a few stragglers which will probably end up stranded away from their new home.

Update: I went outside with a flashlight. One jar/box is almost completely vacated. The other has a fist-sized ball of bees on it. Maybe 1/8 of the bees, so I don't think it's a case of queen-out-of-box.

Funny to see the two hives develop different "personalities" already.

BTW, they built some comb in one of the packages... I took a bite, but then stopped, wondering if it may have been medicated - Is it customary to medicate package travel feed?

See less See more need to bang them around a bit to get all the bees out. They seem to handle it well. I too will leave the boxes and feeders out overnight. If that small cluster of bees is still in there, just know them out into or in front of one of the hives and let them sort it out. I don't know if it's customary to chemically treat a package but I wouldn't be surprised. Finally, it's not abnormal for bees to leave little yellow "calling cards" on you during a hiving but if there's a lot, I'd think about treating. I nearly always treat for Nosema when hiving a package. Fumagilin in the syrup is what I use.
Here are a couple package installation videos. They give you a good idea how aggressively you can bang the bees out of the package.
That second video you were sure going to town. I installed 6 packages last Sat and I was terribly slow, my first ones. My packages came with the plastic queen cages and 3 of 6 I banged to shake them down and the queen cage plastic string broke and she fell down in the sea of bees. The queen boxes used in the video look much better? I got pretty aggravted digging out the cages, no stings though. I got them all hived successfully and things are going well today a week later.
The best way I have found to hive a package is to rermove the Queen cage and feed container then cover the opening back up. Remove the wood strips along the edge of the package and peel the wire back all the way and dump the bees out the side, its alot faster and less tramatic on the ladies.
I might try taking the side out next time too.
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