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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had 2 packages installed in hives for one month now... Would I be correct in assuming that none of the original 'installed' bees are still alive (or maybe 10% or so?). I heard the average lifespan is around 28 days.

I've had some trials and tribulations with one hive. They refused to build comb until I brought some capped brood from my 'strong' hive, then they seemed to get the idea.

The new queen finally arrived last Saturday (being queenless may have had something to do with their being lackadasical). I'll release the new queen tomorrow, 7 days seems long enough. They are not antagonistic toward her but can't seem to figure out how to eat through the candy. She buzzed quite loudly when I moved the cage (lemme out! :) ). About a dozen or so bees on the cage side, I assume they are feeding her but most seem to just amble about.

Looking forward to a week straight of above normal temps, they seem to be quite active today as it warms up.

Present score:
Strong hive -- 3 frames with comb (after I stole one)
Weak hive -- 2 frames with comb and looking forward to a new queen


Larry
 

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Bees live longer than 28 days. I'm not sure where you got that.

Winter bees can live 5 or 6 months. Summer bees usually live 50,000 miles roughly.
 

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Present score:
Strong hive -- 3 frames with comb (after I stole one)
Weak hive -- 2 frames with comb and looking forward to a new queen
After a month of being in the hive those packages should have alot more comb drawn than that. Are you feeding them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Summer bees typically live six to eight weeks, maybe a little less, and that's 42 to 56 days or so...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbasics.htm#worker
Thanks.... I guess I misunderstood a book I read. It was something like 'after a month you should see new bees', not 'after a month all bees are new'.

After a month of being in the hive those packages should have alot more comb drawn than that. Are you feeding them?
I am feeding both hives @ 1:1. Robbing a frame slowed down the 'productive' hive but at least got the slow hive rolling. In hindsight I wish I had waited a bit longer, and I should have taken an 'side' frame instead of the center one. I just removed and cleaned both top feeders and refilled with sugar water.

It's been unseasonably cold and rainy here the last month, but we now seem to be entering a warmer than normal period, hopefully this will help to get some productivity.

Is there anything else I can do to encourage comb building?

Thanks,
Larry
 

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Definately feed 2:1 when brood foundations are undrawn, so they can convert it to wax immediately (they have no place to store it). All the books say feed 1:1 in the spring and new beeks pick this up. 1:1 is for colonies overwintered or installed on drawn comb, to stimulate brood rearing. My goal would be to have about 7.5 drawn frames in 4 weeks, so I could add a second box after about 5 weeks.
 
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