We got our first package of bees last thursday...I think they are dead We picked them up at Susan's house, went straight home and installed them...by 'the book'. Friday we saw a few fly but most that came out of the hive either fell to the ground or stayed on the landing board to never move again. Over the weekend we saw that a feral colony on the property was flying when the sun would break through the clouds for a bit, so we checked on our hive...no flight, no sound from the hive at all. We peered in through the screened bottom board and saw only dead bees..lots of them! We plan on opening the hive this weekend when the temps are up to get a good look, I fear that if we look now we could kill off any bees or the queen that just MAY be alive. hope hope hope
What have we done wrong...could the chilly ride from Independence to Susan's in the back of a pickup have caused the problem?...or the extreme cold of the weekend (Early Fri. morn we had VERY cold winds, Sat. Snow and hail and early Sun. we had freezing rain)? Or perhaps Nosema (the few bees that did fly were leaving mustardy colored marks on the outside of the hive)?
The Hive is new and placed in a clearing with good morning sun exposure, we have it about 2 feet off the ground because we have skunks, coons and our pesky curious free range hens.
I doubt the cold alone killed your bees. I take it you you got a four or five frame NUC. Open it up and look at some of the frames I expect that many bees will be in the cells head first and very dead. This is a sign that they starved to death. With the cold they could not get out for food and ran out of food in the hive. When hiving bees in the spring you must have frames of honey or feed sugar water.
Sorry about your loss. I hope it doesn't stop you from trying again. In this day and age I expect you will lose more than one hive. But starving is a problem that can be overcome. Many other problems just happen and we can do little or nothing.
We've had a hive-top feeder on with 1:1 sugar water...not good enough?
We aren't going to give up yet, got to much money and time into this adventure. Our neighbor/landowner talked us into keeping bees (something he's always wanted to do but never has the time), I don't want to let him down or waste the money he's put into this (he bought two of the hives and smoker)
This weekend we'll call around and see if there are bees to be had...heavy sigh...
I've been in the same boat this past week. picked up bees from Susan's house last Thursday, installed on Friday, using the method where you dump about half in then sit the package on top of the frames and cover with an empty super and both covers. when i went back a day later to remove the package (i was assuming the bees would have joined their queen below by then) those bees were still in the package and looked dead. not sure, i dumped them in as well and carted the whole thing into my garage. i know from seeing some of them they're not all dead, and the hive will be moved back outside tomorrow, but my guess is they're quite weakened because even in the garage it may have been too cold for them to get to their feeder. it IS depressing. i wish i could be a Tuesday's meeting to see how all of us novices faired. we'll see after this weekend if new bees are needed. i sure hope not. my best to all of out there trying to cope with the double whammy of inexperience and unfavorable circumstances.
We checked on our Bees...We have about 30 live bees, found the Queen...she's dead. The inside of the hive is a mess, there's brown mustard colored smears everywhere on the wood and foundation. I'm NOT a happy camper!
Tejay maybe i can help you. I picked up a swarm the other day if your interested give me a call. I haven't looked at it maybe tomorrow, If you pay for the new queen you would have a hive. Queens are around $15. Call me for the particulars. 503 873 8601. I should be at the bee meeting Monday nite. (in Salem)