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I recieved a swarm of bees, on monday. My wife picked them up at the post office. She called me at work and told me that alot were dead. I told her to make sure our local post master saw that there was alot of dead. When I got home I saw that there was probaly 70% dead :eek:. The queen was still alive and seemed healthy. I saw no sign of mites or anything else. The post office gave me no problem about paying for the swarm. I went ahead and hived the swarm. What would you more expierenced beeks say my chances of getting this hive to survive is. Should I steal a frame of brood from my other hive to help give them a boost or should I just wait and see what happens? Thanks for the input.
 

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There's a lot of factors here. If there's disease involved, your chances....whatever they are....drop dramatically. I assume that you are attributing the death to heat / handling / shipment time. If that's the case and your remaining bees are otherwise healthy I would say that your chances are pretty good. Adding a frame of brood and even shaking some nurse bees in will raise your odds a fair amount. You really want to get enough bees to cover brood and if you can feed, you'll artificially increase the efficiency of the field bees. I know you said that you saw no obvious disease or pests but it's hard to rule out everything. Keep a close on on them as they build up!
 

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I second Ravenseye's comment, and add: Feed feed feed, both syrup and pollen supplement... they won't build up as fast, but they will make it. If you keep the feed bag on until they get built out into two deeps (assuming that's what you'll want for winter), they'll get thru winter, and hopefully you'll have a gang-buster colony next spring.

In addition, I'd be sure to use shb traps. Some of them may have made the trip in the package also. And if not, they're bound to be in your area anyway.
Good luck!
Steven
 

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Oner the past years I have found that the feeder can that's shipped with the bees does not get pierced properly and the bees die of starvation.
I have had feeder cans that were just dented and it was good that I shook them out the next day when I got home.
Check the can and see how full it is.
Ernie
 
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