New bee package install

Is there typically a lot of bees that die when you put them in your brood box from a bee package. I noticed bees flying away with dead bees as well.


Hi Bill, depends on the age of the package and the method of installing the bees. I found that vigorously shaking the bees into the new hive did damage quite a few of them and a large number subsequently died in the days after. Once I started using the No-Shake Method, those bee deaths stopped.


Let me start by saying that I agree with @Rodderick, however, there are some other thoughts that i have to offer.

In the last 2 weeks, I have installed 2 packages from Mann Lake. Both were outstanding - very few dead bees. But I am only 1 shipping day away from the supplier.

A 3lb package has about 10,000 bees in it. About 1/6 to 1/8 of those will die each week. So if your package took 4 days to arrive, you might find 500-800 or more dead bees in the box. That is normal and absolutely to be expected.

Most shippers tell you how to judge an acceptable loss - usually about 1-2 inches depth of bees in the bottom of the package. If you didn’t see that, your package was fine, and will probably do very well.

Remember to feed them. Definitely syrup, and if you can get a pollen substitute patty, so much the better. Good luck! :blush:


Can you suggest a pollen substitute patty supplier?

Thank You,


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My bees love these, but I only give them 1/2 or 1/4 of a patty, because we have small hive beetle in our area, which unfortunately love them too. If I just give a little bit, the bees get the food before the beetles do:

Mann Lake deliver very quickly, but you may not want this quantity. I need to tell you that it freezes really well though, and I have some that I have been using for 4 years. If you have a garage freezer like we do, new colonies really appreciate the gift of this stuff! :blush: