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Lost Package

1729 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  KQ6AR
Well crap,

Lost my first package of bees.
Guess my Queen did not like the hive I put here in.

There is still about a hand full of bees were the Queen cell was but there are only a hand full (and I do mean a hand full ) of bees around this spot

Any chance she is still there or did she take the majority of the hive and leave?

I placed them Friday before all the storms hit AL!


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Hi Larry,
You say you started a package with a queen cell. I didn't know you could buy a package that way.
When she hatches from the cell she has to go out to mate. Sometimes they don't make it back. Either way its too early to tell. It might take a couple weeks before you see eggs or larva in the hive.

It does sound like you need more bees in the hive though. Can you get a frame of capped brood, with nurse bees? I wonder if she was off on a mating flight, some of the other bees in the hive might be out flying around. Just a guess.
Sorry, Being new to this I was referring to the little cage the Queen was in,
in the package.

They had eaten the candy and I guess she just left with most of the hive.

Still learning

I had something very similar happen to me this year and other folks have commented saying that it happened to them, but all the old time beeks say its very unusual. Most of us get our packages from the south and I'm wondering if the increased rate of absconding is a result of African genes working their way into the domestic bee population.
We installed seven packages of bees a couple of weeks ago and they are all doing great.I was at the Indiana beekeepers meeting last Sat. and a few people there said that their packages flew the coup too.Not as uncommon as you would think.
What a bummer! I'm new to beekeeping also; purchased a hive (2 deeps + 1 medium) from a local beekeeper who is scaling back, & I didn't split the hive quick enough, so I missed a swarm from it (although I got to see it - really neat until you realize it is money flying away....). I've caught two swarms, and am building up with free bees; you may want to ask around & see if you can find a local swarm to catch. The two I have are super gentle & were really easy to catch (although I didn't understand what was going on when they were 'fanning' - I thought it was some sort of defensive move at the time - lol). The last one I caught was last Friday just before the storms hit here....I got a big glob of bees with the queen in the hive (they started fanning at that point, & running into the hive, so I knew I was in good shape), & then I had to bail out on them due to lightning/flooding rain. Anyway, don't get discouraged! The guy I got my bees from is a really good mentor to me; if you don't already have someone you can call nearby try to find someone - there's nothing like talking to someone & seeing things firsthand.
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Having lost a colony myself to absconding,I know the feeling.What bothers me is that I followed the instructions to a tee.They said to manually release the queen after three days in the hive.No candy was provided in the cage,only a cork(queen was also unmarked).This differed somewhat from what I've read but this was a reputable supplier who has supplied thousands of packages for many years and I took his word for it.Maybe the bees are changing and he is behind the times,I don't know.I do know I will never use this procedure again.Good luck everyone out there!
I packaged 20 this year and two absconded.

Need to close off the hole more and do it later in the evening is what I learned. We recaptured the two swarms though. And then did a force split. so we will see how many of the 23 we wind up with working out as viable hives.
2 of the 4 swarms I caught this year absconded. I recaptured one of them.
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