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Discussion Starter #1
I've been so worried that I didn't place the mason jars hole directly over the top entrance to feed the bees so I went to check one more time. I still can't tell if the dang hole are where they should be and I didn't want to move the jar since all the bees are huddled at the hole. There were 3 dead bees at the hive entrance and I flicked them off and there was no guard bee? :s It is raining, so I assumed they'd be a little testy when I opened the top of the hive to check the feeder but they didn't even care I was there. :scratch:

I "think" the syrup is going down. This time I marked it with a black marker to make sure they are eating enough. I know I sound crazy but I'd feel really horrible if they all died. There is no movement outside the hive (I know I know, because of the rain). I guess I am just looking for some reassurance from those with experience that this is all normal for the bees and nothing is "off" that I can help in some way.
 

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Even on sunny days my hives are sometimes so calm that there are no guard bees coming out to check on me when I tap on the hive or scratch at it to try and get a few to come out and look. So to me, not having a guard come check on you is normal... but especially if you just flicked a dead bee or three off the entrance, that's not even going to make enough of a racket for them to care unless they are what I would consider to be hot.

If the bees are clustered around the jar then they are eating... you might be able to tell better if you just try looking through the jar for their little proboscises (sp?) flicking in and out of the holes.
 

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It is rather chilly here in Minnesota today with the rain and overcast skies so it is normal for them to just stay put inside the hive. Today is good for the bees to stay inside and draw out foundation if it is new. You might want to put some 1/2 inch shims under the edge of the jar also. I do that with my feeder pails just to be sure they can reach it and I dont crush alot when refilling. One thing you will find out is these girls are one tough cookies and there is such thing as loving them to death.
 

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Honey bees don't normally get testy until they have something to defend. A package doesn't have brood, sealed food, comb, etc. to defend. Wait until September or October to see testy.

You also won't see guard bees unless bees are flying. If they are clustered, the guard bees will be there too.

Your new package of bees sounds perfectly normal. They really don't need you. The fact that they were dumped in a box without comb means that it would be nice if you fed them for a while.

It is kind of like having kids. With the first one we worried that if we didn't worry about him full time that something would happen to him. By the time the second one came we had discovered that babies are actually pretty tough.

Honey bees are also.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for the reassurance. I'm feeling much better about this process.

It is good to know that they aren't testy by nature. I guess I assumed a bee was always standing guard and ready to attack the moment it saw anything within inches of the hive. I have A LOT to learn.

bestbees, what are shims?
 

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Shims are anything you can find that will elevate the jar up off the inner cover like scrap pieces of wood. One thing I recommend doing also is taking down really good notes of the weather and progress of the hive. I often look back at mine to compare season to season.
 
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