new package - first time inspection (long narrative)
This is a bit of a long narrative on my first inspection so please skip to the next thread if you wish.
I do have a few questions I will put at the end for those that make it that far. :sleep:
I installed a new package on for my first hive last Saturday and visited it today (Friday) almost a week later for the first time since the install.
Last Saturday was a warm day (70's) and package install went very well.
Since then it has been cold (highs in the 40's and 50's and lows in the 20's) and lots of rain every day until yesterday).
Left two quarts of sugar water in two entrance feeders last Saturday and both were empty today. Just dandelions in bloom now (really late spring this year).
Today was sunny and in the 70's again.
Probably about 30 dead bees spread around randomly on the black landscape fabric I put on the bare ground in front of the hive to keep the weeds down.
Suited up and removed the lid and the queen box was empty and there was about 6 inches by 3 inches of burr comb on the queen box.
Most of the bees appeared to be on a couple of the frames that already had some drawn comb when I installed the package and also between the adjacent frames with the queen box. (I am reusing someone else's old hive and a couple of the frames had old comb on them).
I gently removed the queen box with the comb. It was covered with bees and some of them were in clumps but i could not identify a queen, but could easily have missed her since I have never identified a queen before (and I don't think she was marked).
Anyway, I gently laid the comb on top of the frames while I readjusted the spacing of the frames (with the queen box now removed). I gently brushed the remaining clumps off the comb onto the frames and the remaining dozen or so bees flew off the comb.
I put the lid back on and gave them two new quarts of sugar water.
3 or 4 really irate bees followed me for about 100 ft. (around the garage and out of sight of the hive.
I inspected the burr comb and saw eggs so the queen is laying.
The burr comb also had sugar syrup in some of the cells.
Just a few questions -
Is the number of dead bees (about 30) in front of the hive of concern given the poor weather and temps?
What are the chances that the queen was on the burr comb?
(If so - hope I did not harm her or that she flew away).
Is it normal that there would be cells with sugar syrup adjacent to cells with eggs on the burr comb?
I can only get to the hive once a week or so - is two quarts a week sufficient?
How long should I feed? - (hopefully trees should start blooming in the next week or two)
Thanks for your help!
Re: new package - first time inspection (long narrative)
30 dead bees is nothing to worry about.
Two quarts of syrup a week is probably not enough. See if you can find time to add more during the week. I hived a package on Monday and by Thursday they had taken a gallon from a hive top feeder.
Feed until they have two brood boxes of foundation built out.