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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
One of my 3 packages absconded. There are about two frames of bees that decided to stay...the rest up and left (including the queen). There is no brood. I'm planning on using the newspaper method to combine this small/weak hive with one of my others. When I put the weak hive on top of the stronger hive, should I provide an entrance for the top hive or plug it?
Thanks,
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm sure there are a multitude of factors that would make bees abscond, but it seems odd that this one package just up and moved out. I have two other packages on either side of this hive (maybe 10 ft apart) that decided this was good enough to call home. Any thoughts on why this would happen. Next year if I install anymore packages I'll make sure I have my swarm trap set up PRIOR to the installation.....maybe I can save myself 70 dollars!
Chris
 

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You could also just shake them out. They will then find their ways into one or the other of your hives. Quick and easy.
 

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Chris,
Don't know if this will make you feel any better, but I got an email from our local bee association a few weeks back saying at least 5 of those getting packages this year had them abscond. Unusually high.
Arvin
 

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I just finished two combines last week and I just put the paper between them and left them alone until the next day and in both cases they had chewed through the paper.
 

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With this newspaper combine method, do you use just a single sheet of newspaper, or more than one thickness? Thanks....
 

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Five years ago I recieved two packages and one of them absconded the day after hiving. I came home from work and recognized little to no activity in one of my hives, opened it up and found a handful of bees. There is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing $80.00 decided to fly off and find a tree or someones wall...
 

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MIXOFSAM... You stated you didn't know why this package left. If I understand your post, you had 3 packages set up ten feet apart. That is way too close to put package bees. It is a good bet that your 3 packages drifted into two colonies, and one of the three queens was killed. Package bees have little or no alligence to the queen in the package, there is no brood to hold them, and they will drift badly, especially when they are that close. I personally like 50 yards between packages, even more is better.
cchoganjr
 

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I would not combine. Give them as much brood as they can cover. Eggs and larvae are a reason not to leave. Chances are you did not loose your bees, they just are not where you left them. Keep moving brood over as they can cover it untill the hives are equal again. Next year, ask how long the bees have been in the package, and maybe "grass" them in.

Where did you get the packages?

Roland
 

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I personally like 50 yards between packages, even more is better.
cchoganjr
I installed 100 packages in the same location. Hives are on 4-way pallets. The whole group is in an area 40' x 80'. No issues here. Their all still there with minor drifting.
 

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Any time I have got packages ,I had a few abscond. So now, any hive I bring to the apairy I feed them and keep them closed up for at least 3 days. If you can open up in the evening and close up @ night. Works better. Lots of orentation flights during enterance open time.. I have done this with all my swarms and cut-outs for last 2 years. Haven't lost a bee since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
MIXOFSAM... You stated you didn't know why this package left. If I understand your post, you had 3 packages set up ten feet apart. That is way too close to put package bees. It is a good bet that your 3 packages drifted into two colonies, and one of the three queens was killed. Package bees have little or no alligence to the queen in the package, there is no brood to hold them, and they will drift badly, especially when they are that close. I personally like 50 yards between packages, even more is better.
cchoganjr
Hi Cleo,
Now that you mention it, one of my hives seems to be"boiling over" with bees. Possibly that's the case. I thought 10 to 15 ft was pretty good seperation. When I drive by other bee yards they all seem to be side by side with maybe a foot seperation. Maybe these are all well established hives. I had no idea they would actually move into another hive like that. I have mine set up in a horseshoe shape to try to reduce drifting....didn't think I'd have to contend with a whole hive moving in to the next hive.

Chris
 
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