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I purchased three 5 pound packages in may. I installed them and left them for a week. I checked and found the queen box empty saw no eggs. The next time I opened them up was two weeks later, bad weather wouldn't allow me to get in any earlier. When I opened them up I found only drone brood in all of them. I couldn't find a queen in any and assumed that she was gone. I waited a little longer just in case and nothing changed. I talked to the guy that I got the packages from and he said that maybe a worker took over as queen, in all three hives. I was told that the only thing that I could do to rectify this situation was to take the hive apart remove all the bees and that they would all return except the worker queen. I purcased new queens and waited a week. I opened them up to find no bees at all. I have been doing this for 12 years and have never experienced anything like this, Any feedback?
 

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many are reporting "absconding" from shook packages and even swarms. the whole story is not known, but the are several known reasons. i suspect most originate in genetic traits. sorry for your loss.
good luck,mike
 

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My six packages this spring were a disappointment. They were loaded with dysentery, though it cleared up quickly. 2 of the packages proved to be strong, the rest dwindled. 2 were requeened in time to save and one strong hive was split and a new queen added to the split. Some of the hives were here in Maine and some in NY's Hudson Valley, so it was not all climate-related issues.

First time I ever bought packages. My goal was to build these packages up for making late July nucs with northern bred queens to increase without the need for purchasing bees from other parts of the country (Note my attempt to not disparage our Southern friends.). I'll only be able to do some of what I hoped to accomplish this year due to the weak packages.

Wayne
 

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Wow, sorry to hear about the bad packages this year, but Kim, your story really bothered me. The odds of ALL 3 packages losing the queen and resorting to a laying worker? OUCH! Then ordering a queen and find that you have no bees for her to work with?? DOUBLE OUCH! If you were closer, I'd donate some bees to help you out with those queens.
I have a lady that I have been helping out here and there call me yesteday and tell me that her grandson came to her house for the weekend and he brought his dog. I guess the dog knocked the hive over and she didn't see it til the next day. She put the hive back together as best she could and now all the bees are clumped together in one corner, so shes wondering if they are ok. So along with checking on some bees in Manteca, and checking on the extraction in Stockton, plus possible starting another extraction across town here in Galt, I will now be going to Woodbridge to check on her bees...well there went this day off.
 
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