about 3 weeks ago, I hived what we thought was a second cast. Not sure we got the queen either, I hived them at 2am (long story involving being unprepared) at night, and when I returned around noon, all the bees were sitting outside the hive and scouts were dancing for another site. Hmm.
Anyhow, we put them back into the hive (they conveniently sat on the white blanket that we had used to catch them) and I gave them a brood comb from my other hive.
We've had not too bad weather, well, its not been great, but there were definitly periods of forage to be had.
They have been taking about a litre of sugar every 5-6 days and there are just about enough bees to cover 4 1/2 combs. My hive had dimensions 40cm top, 35cm high, 2cm bottom, and they drawn the combs about 2/3rds of the way downwards. (topwrangler, is that deep in your book? If so, shout if you want photos of my weak or my strong hive
Today I decided to actually count for sure how many combs they made. Well. They made the pollen/honey store at the entrance, then a broodcomb, next is the comb I gave them, then another comb(the one I'll be talking about) and then a small comb (about 12cm wide). The comb itself doesn't look nice -- it had lotsa dead bees stuck in the comb (starvation? But there is honey stores all round!) and the wax looked dark yellow and brittle. No brood on it.
At that point, I decided to move the feeder closer to the combs (it was right at the back until then) and close the hive up and ask for advice (it also got a bit dark all of a sudden, as rain clouds blew over).
The colony is very quiet and unfazed by being examined, so I don't know if they are queenless. They aren't totally meek tho, I did get checked out and also stung on the finger, and there is not bad traffic at the entrance for such a small crew.
I'm in UK, so, there is a bit more honeyflow now, then very little in September and the it starts to get icky here.
Can/should I transfer another comb or two from my swarm that I hived 7 weeks ago(and which is going real strong) or should I just leave them to either make it or not?
Also, are they diseased, and should I ask our apiarist to look at them asap, or does this have time till Saturday (when the weekly club meeting happens?)
I'm feeding them a 1:1 (vol) sugar syrup with a 1/4 spoon of vit C in it per litre currently, can I improve on that?
many thanks for any advice :>
It's always your choice, but I'd wait and see how they do. Make sure you see some brood sometime soon. Let them build up and you can always combine later if they don't take off. Swarms are notorious for taken off vigorously.
I'd give them a frame of brood and also see if there are any eggs layed by the queen. I think your moving the syrup closer to the cluster was a smart move on your part. It maybe that the syrup was to far for them to get to it. Another question I have is there any comb with honey - syrup in it? If not then I do think they were starving. Something kept them from going in back for syrup, keeping brood warm, weather to cool to brake cluster, etc. I would also talk to the inspector. He might see somthing that you do not.
Hope things go well for you.