I installed four new packages yesterday. I put hive top feeders on with a gallon of syrup in each. I plan to just let them be for a week so they can get settled in. Today, I did peek under the covers to see if they were feeding on the syrup. On 3 of the hives, the chicken wire ladder was filled with bees and feeding away. I was very pleased. On one of the hives, very few bees were up in the feeder. My first guess is, they absconded. Is there any reason to think otherwise? I don't want to open up the hive in case they did not abscond and are just slow to start feeding. If they really did take off, should i remove the hive, or just the frames? also, any harm, in just letting the hive be for a week until I do an inspection, or will wax moths be an issue? also, there is hive entrance activity. I'm not terribly stressed, I do have 3 other successful package installs so far plus my overwintered hive. Just wouldn't mind some opinions and advice.
leave them alone for a week or so except to refill the feeders.
Nothing you can do for them that they can't do for themselves.
I'm curious if the 'quiet' package is the one with the funny acting queen you mentioned?
My take is that if the 'weak queen' has succumbed the bees from that hive will find their way into the other queen right hives since they are package bees. Are the queens clipped?
no the quiet hive is not the one with the suspicious queen. I do not believe the queens are clipped. The person I bought them from told me to make sure I cover the cork hole with my finger when I direct release as so she wont take off for the light. Queens arent even marked. Grrrrr.
We are in a light nectar flow here (maple) and the bees are busy bringing in nectar loads (and lots of pollen) for the last couple of days.
If that package is foraging then they may be getting nectar from the environment and don't want the sugar water.
do you see some foraging activity at the entrance? fat bees coming in without pollen?
Hmmmm, I never knew to look for that. I always just looked for pollen. I hope that is the case. Ill snap some pics on a super fast shutter speed and look for that. Regardless, best thing to do is still just let them be and investigate further in the hive next weekend.
Maybe the queens not being marked is a good way for me to get better at spotting them.
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