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I installed a package of Italians from Georgia 3 weeks ago. It's been very active and on todays inspection found 6-7 seams of bees, brood of all ages, pollen, nectar and capped honey. I did not find and eggs but I didn't pul every frame. but I did find a queen cell as you can see in this pic. The cup is empty but it surprised me. Is this an issue to be concerned about? Thanks

2014-05-30 17.13.54.jpg
 

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Bees regularly make queen cups and then take them down...or leave them up...as insurance. Keep checking it for a larva and food. If your hive is queen right and they have room to grow...then there's not a lot you can do other than keep an eye on it.
 

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I started with four packages from Georgia last year. All four raised a new queen as soon as the colony was well established. No apparent problem with the original queens other than the bees didn't like them. I had several people here on beesource say they knew someone with the same story and seemed to be common. Those four packages turned into eight booming hives, all made it through the winter with no problem and have made quite a bit of honey this year.
 

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I also had problems with queens from the Georgia packages last year. They superseded the queens and finished gangbusters....And ALASS, I'm having the same problem with the G. packages this year==UGH== over half of my 12 packages are superceding and I have virgin queens showing up in places they shouldn't,,or at least wern't expected...I think I'm learning something about packages,,,and I'm going to try to avoid them next year and make some nucs to overwinter, If I figure that one out...:) I'm convenced that the factory queens "suck" I like my home grown ones much better...pardon my french...

==McBee7==
 

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I suspect part of the problem is that the queens were raised 1000 miles from where you are. Also, packages are made up of bees from a number of hives shaken into the containers they are shipped in and given a new queen in a cage, probably not the best way to start a new hive, but very very convenient as they ship well and usually produce decent hives. Having bees of all ages dumped into an artificial swarm with no preparation seems to confuse the bees until they get the hive up and running properly.

You really want a local queen raised from a successful local hive, as she will be the most adapted to your conditions. Remember that the larges buyers of packages are likely commercial operations who want lots of bees for pollination, not necessarily bees that overwinter well up north or respond strongly to nectar flow. My neighbor, who has been in the honey business for about 30 years now, has stopped getting Southern queens for that reason, they always give him trouble in the late summer when we almost always have a dearth and those Southern queens keep raising brood like it's springtime. They end up eating all their winter stores, honey and pollen, and have to be fed heavily in the fall to keep them alive over the winter. Our local "mutts" stop brood rearing in August and don't fire up for winter until mid September. Works out much better.

Peter
 
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