A package is about 15,000 bees or 3 lbs of bees. We had the shoebox-size box of bees in a bag to carry it on the subway from Brooklyn. We only saw only one bee while on the subway, so it worked out fine. I don’t know how that bee could have gotten out of the screened box, so it might not have come from us.

I checked the bees on Saturday, and all three hives are doing well. I am going to call them the old-white, old-green and lawrence’s hives.

Old-white hive — This hive was doing the best. We had seen the queen in the bottom box the last time we checked so we had put the queen excluder above that box to keep her in the bottom. She has been busy laying lots of eggs, which have been maturing into lots of brood. I saw at least 3 full frames of brood (capped baby bees) and lots of mature bees. The 3 frames of brood will add a substantial number of bees. I took the queen excluder off so that the queen could go into the second box and lay eggs there also. I’m a little worried that these bees might think they are too crowded, and swarm though I saw no indication of swarm behavior in this check. On the plus side, the honey super (the box on the top) was full of honey. When Lawrence gets back we’ll put another super on top for more honey.

Old-green hive — This hive was also doing well. There was a lot of brood, but it was scattered around the hive. In particular there was brood in the honey super. I didn’t see the queen, or many eggs. However, there was so much brood that I assume she was there somewhere. I put the queen excluded between the honey super and the other boxes to keep the queen towards the bottom. I carefully checked each frame of the honey super for the queen so I don’t think she is up in that box. We’ll check again this weekend. Since the honey super had brood in it, the honey collected by this hive was more scattered around the hive. Hopefully the brood in the honey super will hatch in the next 2 weeks, and they will then have a good place for honey. I’ll probably put an extra super on top of this hive also this weekend.

Lawrence’s hive — This hive was also doing well. It had 2 frames of brood. It wasn’t as far along as the old hives, because a package doesn’t come with as many bees as we had survive the winter. The bees had not done much to build out the frames (create wax comb) in the second super. However, I think we will have a really active hive when the lindens start to bloom in mid June. So my guess is we will get honey out of this hive also.