I installed a new Italian package on Friday evening along with an Apiguard treatment. A small cluster of bees have decided to remain at the corner of their original packaging. I’m pretty sure I saw the rest do their orientation flight yesterday and heard a busy humming inside the hive today. What is this smaller cluster doing and should I do anything about it?
Hello and welcome to the Flow forum!
I think that perhaps they don’t like the smell of your Apiguard…
When you install a package, it is very important not to do anything that makes the hive smell “unfriendly” to them. Most Varroa treatments have an unfriendly, challenging smell to odor-sensitive bees. If you leave them in, there is a good possibility that the bees may abscond, especially as they don’t have any investment in staying - like brood or food stores.
I would take the Apiguard out, and then put the package box in front of the hive, if possible using a ramp up to the hive entrance with a strip of wood or an old sheet/pillowcase etc. Don’t leave it underneath the hive - it will be too hard for them to find the entrance. Make it easy and enticing, and they may go inside.
Good luck, and please let us know how it goes!
Thanks @Dawn_SD! I reopened the hive and found tragedy… the nurse bees with the queen in the cage had died, blocking her exit. And she was alone in the brood box but luckily alive! So I took out all the frames, cleaned them of the Apiguard I had scraped along them, opened the queen cage, and put the remaining bees in the brood box with her… time will tell if this is good enough . Thanks again for your help!