Alright, I hived my first swarm on Monday evening, came home and checked on them on Tuesday afternoon after work and found dead bees all over the ground infront of the new hive and some dead bees on the swarms SBB. I opened the hive and the bees were not happy obviously! I quickly came inside and posted a concerned question, then went back out to reduce the entrance ( should have done that off the bat, live and learn) and when I opened the hive to check about maybe 20 minutes after the first check my jaw hit the ground.........they swarmed and were gone!! My heart sank, but I didnt blame them as they had gotten their thoraxs kicked all day! I started looking around to see if they were in the trees and couldnt find them.
I went about my business and decided later to check around again, I was walking about 10 yards from the bee yard when I see bee activity on the other side of the corral fence, I peered over and there was the swarm on the fence board!! I quickly grabbed the water bottle and the hive body and a bucket and a piece of cloth for a bee ramp. I sprayed the swarm and then brushed the bees into the bucket, when I got everything that was clinging to the board I sprayed the bees in the bucket a bit more and then dumped them out onto the cloth and watched them walk into the hive.......again!! I kept looking for the queen but didnt see her, but in all that chaos, i could have easily missed her.
I left the hive and went and worked on some wooden ware in the shop, came back about an hour later, just before dark, and all the bees were in the hive. I carried it back to the stand, placed it and reduced the entrance to about 1/2" on the farthest side away from my original hive.
I came home today and thought I would be in trouble again. I checked the yard and only seen less than ten new dead bees on the ground. I climbed under the hive stand and with a flash light I looked up into the hive.......the bees were still there!!
Now here is a few questions.
1. With the entrance reduced, would it be safe to put a pail feeder on the hive in an extra box fully enclosed?
2. Since I am an honest person and would like myself and others to learn from my mistakes, heres what I think happend and why there was so much fighting, correct me if I am wrong! I didnt reduce the entrance to give the bees a chance to adjust to the hive, and I sprayed sugar syrup on the frames of undrawn foundation. I believe that may have caused the robbing binge. But my package hive has a hive top feeder with syrup, why would they rob the new bees??
Its a life lesson in bee keeping, and I am actually glad I learned it first hand. Sucks for the swarm, but I think they will be ok.
Take care and thanks for any responses!.............Jason