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If a newly installed package of bees were to abscond, generally what is the time frame for that to happen? I'll be installing in a top bar if that makes a difference. I ask, in part, because I was thinking about putting some #5 hardware cloth over the entrance prior to installation to prevent the queen from leaving, but don't want to keep the cloth in place any longer than needed as I understand that pollen will get knocked off from the foragers as they pass through.

Thanks,
Kevin
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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If a newly installed package of bees were to abscond, generally what is the time frame for that to happen? I'll be installing in a top bar if that makes a difference. I ask, in part, because I was thinking about putting some #5 hardware cloth over the entrance prior to installation to prevent the queen from leaving, but don't want to keep the cloth in place any longer than needed as I understand that pollen will get knocked off from the foragers as they pass through.

Thanks,
Kevin
Do you have any drawn comb? if yes using a couple combs seems to help. Avoid new paint or funky smells in the hive. Have that done well in advance. Keep the queen in the cadge, especially if you have no comb, she has nowhere to lay any way. Let them release her in 24-48 hours by chewing thru the candy plug. If no plug then open in 48 hours and release her. if they have comb to build , feed Syrup as they will need it. Use a divider board, and do not leave a screen bottom open. If the "cavity" is too big to defend or openings perceived to large to guard , they may leave. Just lay a piece of thin plywood or old carpet, old pants, over the screen until they are well established, or it is warm. Could try to make a nice small , tight top bar NUC, say 5 frames or so. then in 4 weeks move them over. If you use the divider, shrink the entrance, and cover the screen bottom if it exists it should be perceived the same by the bees. good luck let us know how it goes.
I have never had an Abscond but i generally give comb with stores, reduce entrance to 1.5 X .5 inch, use a solid bottom, use "used hives" and so far they have all stayed.
GG
 
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