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Help--are my bees doomed?


#1

First time beekeeping, installed my Italian package into my TBH yesterday evening. 1:1 syrup is in a feeder jar inverted into a typical entrance feeder, but placed on the TBH floor. I didn’t hang the queen cage, but uncorked the candy end and placed it on the hive floor near the entrance. Last night temp went down to ~40. This morning, looking through the hive window, some bees are bearded up on the top bars nearest the follower board, doesn’t look like syrup level has gone down, and there are a LOT of dead bees on the floor. Couldn’t see the queen cage due to condensation on that end of the window. I’m at the office now, worried that the dead bee layer is blocking the entrance to the feeder. It’s sunny and cool today; if things warm up will the bees be able to clear a path through to the food? Should I go home midday and clear out dead bees or elevate the feeder?


#2

I would place the feeder inside the hive not behind the follower, the condensation worries me, moisture is a problem. I would go to a 2sugar:1water in the feeder, vent the hive, find the queen cage and normally hang it between the 4th and 5th bar but if the bees are still balled up put the cage as close to the ball as possible, the bees cannot stay on the floor when it is cold they have to ball up on top and protect the queen, make sure she is still alive, if not get a new queen. 40 is no big deal, but they cannot feed unless it is above 50 DegF and they cannot go far when it is cold so get the feeder as close as you can to the ball, they will be very docile. Trust me my install was much worse and I have kept my bees alive since April 27th feeding them every day. my temps are in the 20s at night.

Try that and let us know what happens


#3

I’m feeling soooo much better. Looks like the queen was released, and bees are building comb on the first two bars, and taking the sugar syrup (which always was on the bees’ side of the follower board, not behind it). We’ve had two gorgeous days in the 70s. They’ve cleaned house a lot, and nowhere near as many dead bees as I’d seen on the first morning. Opened up a ventilation hole 2 days ago, no longer any condensation. I did not find the queen, but whew, the task of learning how to take these bars out, get that queen cage up off the floor, and get the bars back in without hurting bees was taking all of my concentration. Next time I will definitely hang the cage. Still hoping/thinking the best. Thanks for your help.


#4

My pleasure and good news! thanks for the update