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Discussion Starter #1
I have just a few questions about my new packages (4 are 3 weeks post install, the other 2 are two weeks post install).

1. Since most of these bees were young house bees when I installed them, at three weeks will they not mostly become foragers? Does that leave enough bees to tend to the queen and the brood or do the house bees sense that this is a new hive and delay their foraging somewhat (if as usual the queen does not start laying for 3 or 4 days, that puts new brood hatching in about 24 or 25 days).

2. I have noticed that they have really slowed down on the consumption from the feeder (even the 2 hives that are a week behind the others), am I correct in assuming that this does in fact mean that a lot of them have indeed switched to foraging (there are lots of comings and goings at the hive entrace, also see a lot of pollen coming in).

3. I still have the hive entrance reduced to about 3 inches. When should I open it up (there is a cluster of bees on the outside of the hive entrances about the diameter of a softball every night)?

4. I have recently noticed in one of the hives there are a lot of dead drones on the SBB. Many, many more than any of the other hives. What's up with that?
 

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>1. Since most of these bees were young house bees when I installed them, at three weeks will they not mostly become foragers?

No. They will do whatever is needed. That is just the normal sequence of events with an established hive.

>2. I have noticed that they have really slowed down on the consumption from the feeder (even the 2 hives that are a week behind the others), am I correct in assuming that this does in fact mean that a lot of them have indeed switched to foraging (there are lots of comings and goings at the hive entrace, also see a lot of pollen coming in).

Some of them were foragers before, because they were emptying the feeder. Those are now going out to flowers.


>3. I still have the hive entrance reduced to about 3 inches. When should I open it up (there is a cluster of bees on the outside of the hive entrances about the diameter of a softball every night)?

How much room is in the hive? Do you have a SBB? I would just remove the tray on the SBB for ventilation, if there is room in the hive for the bees. I would open up the entance when you see a traffic jam at the entrance.

>4. I have recently noticed in one of the hives there are a lot of dead drones on the SBB. Many, many more than any of the other hives. What's up with that?

Is there a way for the drones to get out? In other words, they don't have to get through an excluder (because they can't) or a pollen trap (because they can't unless there are drone escapes).

If they can get out, then they probably disposed of them for whatever reason they saw. I wouldn't worry too much if they are drones. The bees will manage the drones.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Michael:

>How much room is in the hive? Do you have a SBB? I would just remove the tray on the SBB for ventilation, if there is room in the hive for the bees. I would open up the entance when you see a traffic jam at the entrance.

Still plenty of room in the hive. Also the trays are already removed from the SBB's. What would be considered a "traffic jam"? The bees coming and going are currently required to climb over or push aside the bees that are always "parked" in the intrance.

>Is there a way for the drones to get out? In other words, they don't have to get through an excluder (because they can't) or a pollen trap (because they can't unless there are drone escapes).

Currently the hives are a single deep w/no escapes , no bottom entrance. There is a queen excluder in place between the deep and the top entrance, so the drones are indeed trapped. However, I was under the impression that there should be a minimal number of drones in a new package. All 5 of the other hives are setup exactly the same way and there are only a handful of drones. When I add the second deep it will have a drone escape. In any case sounds like I should not worry too much about the drones. I will probably clean them off the SBB this weekend when I do my inspection.
 

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>Still plenty of room in the hive. Also the trays are already removed from the SBB's.

Has it been hot lately?

>What would be considered a "traffic jam"? The bees coming and going are currently required to climb over or push aside the bees that are always "parked" in the intrance.

A traffic jam is when they start piling up because they can't get back in, but they aren't bearding, they are trying to get in.

>Currently the hives are a single deep w/no escapes , no bottom entrance. There is a queen excluder in place between the deep and the top entrance, so the drones are indeed trapped.

That's the problem.

>However, I was under the impression that there should be a minimal number of drones in a new package.

An impression that has now been corrected.

> All 5 of the other hives are setup exactly the same way and there are only a handful of drones.

They probably had less drones in the package.

>When I add the second deep it will have a drone escape. In any case sounds like I should not worry too much about the drones. I will probably clean them off the SBB this weekend when I do my inspection.

Except that the bees want some number of drones and those are drones they will now have to replace. But there no use crying over spilt milk. You'll need a drone escape.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
>Except that the bees want some number of drones and those are drones they will now have to replace. But there no use crying over spilt milk. You'll need a drone escape.

Should I try to install an escape in the current deeps? I could probably do it without too much disturbance to the bees using a cordless drill. The bees are about three frames shy of drawing out on one side of the deep (seems like all six hives are like this, they seem to have started about three frames off-center and moved more to the right and are just now filling in to the left of the box), so I could put the escape in the bottom corner just below the empty frames.
 

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>Should I try to install an escape in the current deeps?

An escape could be a hole in the super. A hole in the bottom entrance block. Or a notch on the bottom of a bound queen excluder.

> I could probably do it without too much disturbance to the bees using a cordless drill.

Probably.

>The bees are about three frames shy of drawing out on one side of the deep (seems like all six hives are like this, they seem to have started about three frames off-center and moved more to the right and are just now filling in to the left of the box), so I could put the escape in the bottom corner just below the empty frames.

I'd just drill a 1/4" or 3/8" hole in the entrance block on the SBB. I hate to put a hole in a box.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
>I'd just drill a 1/4" or 3/8" hole in the entrance block on the SBB. I hate to put a hole in a box.

Good idea.
 
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