Packages do really good on combs that is for certain. Honeybees are reluctant to absconded from larvae but I am not sure if a package that hasn't accepted it's queen would react the same as a bunch of nurse bees fresh from feeding larvae from their original hive. I would think yes, a larvae frame would prevent some drift, but ultimately it is the quality of the queens that matters the most.
Absconding isn't a huge issue but always an issue.
These packages are just for building throughout the season, won't be more than 3 frames of brood at any time. (donor hives for increases & many mating nucs). Until late summer (July 15) then build to a single for over wintering.
I am wanting to increase brood production early this season but will not be able to supply my own queens until the end of May...when all hell breaks loose. LOL
Just looking for the best situation for the manipulation of these packages.
Thanks for all input as I usually have an issue thinking inside the box.
BTW packages up here in the north will be mid April with first nectar May 12? First pollen last year April 27.
In the clubs I help with we see a few hives abscond in the first few days after installation.
Not a big issue but in almost all cases of this the beeks were using screened bottom boards with no insert and often not feeding.
So a group of bees with an unfamiliar queen, not an established hive odor, no brood so no reason to stay, and a wide open hive allowing what odor is there to disapate confusing the entrance location.
I agree, conducive to drifting or worse.
A new beekeeper of my acquaintance hived 8 packages on foundation in new equipment. He shook the bees in and direct released the queens as he had been told to do since the queens had been in the packages an adequate time. As he looked back after finishing the last, every colony was now hanging twenty feet up in the spruce tree wind break behind the new probably paint smelly equipment. New beekeepers have an endless number of ways to fail.
I was in NSW Australia and we were installing packages. We direct released some and left some in the cage. After we installed them there was a cluster hanging in a tree. We caught it and then looked back through the hives to figure out which one had left. It was one with the queen still in the cage. All the bees were gone, but the queen was still in the cage. I've had similar experience when I've direct released some and not others. I'll find a queen still in a cage with all the bees gone, or sometimes I'll find a queen and a few attendants with all the rest of the bees gone. I think the quality of the queen is the issue, not whether or not she's in a cage. Also it's possible these packages had a virgin loose, or they just liked the queen next door better. That seems to be the case most of the time as the hive next door to the empty one will often have twice the bees.
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