As I noted earlier, I had a LOT of trouble getting my first 2 packages of bees, thanks to UPS shipping/damaging/taking 8 days to deliver on 2 day air, etc.
I had built two 4 foot long "tanzanian" style top bar hives, so when the 8 day old packages arrived, I put them into half of one hive and built another follower board. Then I installed the final two packages (they got here OVERNIGHT).
At 10 days out, one of the "fresh" packages built comb on 8 bars - straight and right in the middle of the bars, the other one has 6, but they are off-center to one side, and the 3rd (older combined packages) has about 5 bars, but crammed into one corner. After what they went through, I'm just glad they are doing anything!
I am seeing bees coming in to all 3 hives with pollen saddlebags!
I pulled one outside comb out and it had uncapped pollen and what looked like plain water, which doesn't surprise me, this is Arizona, I'm sure they will try to stay well stocked on water!
I'll bet those bees were shocked, coming from green and humid Georgia, to brown and dry Az!
Now I have to build another hive!
My bees are very gentle, I forgot to get a smoker, and installed them in short sleeved shirt, with long pants tucked in to some boots. No veil, no gloves either. I did take a shower, and dust myself with baby powder, since I read that they like the smell of that...
One sting from a poor bee that got under my upper arm, and stung me when I was squishing him. Not even a mark one hour later, and the sting was NOTHING like the fire ants we have here!
When I went in to take a look-see at 10 days, I also was in t-shirt, shorts, sandels, and the bees were so busy they never even noticed me. Of course, I didn't pull any bars out except for the last one nearest the follower board, so didn't disrupt them much.
They are SO COOL! Such busy little critters. Why didn't I do this 30 years ago????
Oh, and I REALLY need to order a smoker, don't I?
Any suggestions? (I like cheap but sturdy, lol)
Oh, one other thing, my DH is scared of bees, and said he doesn't want anything to do with them....curiosity however drew him over to watch me as I was installing them, and he ended up with lots of bees on him too! He followed diections and moved slowly, and just ignored the bees or brushed them very gently away. I think he will come around to "liking" them very soon!!!