Dead bees...was it the cold?
I'm a brand new beekeeper with a 47" top bar hive (end entrance) and a 3lb package of bees installed March 30th. Everything has been going along fine so far. I had some cross-combing issues, but have been dealing with that by cutting off the comb and re-attaching using hairclips.
Anyway, the last five days, the weather took a turn for the worse and it has been cooler and rainy or very cloudy. The highs have been the lower 70s or upper 60s F and it has been dropping into the 50s at night. The bees have been flying, but not as many as before the weather turned and when I would peak through the window in my hive, lots of bees were just hanging out on the sides, seemingly not doing much. My last inspection was Saturday, May 5th just before the weather turned cooler. One thing I noticed was...not a lot of pollen stored.
Normally I see 1-3 dead bees near the hive entrance on any given morning. This morning there were 40-50. What happened? Last night (Thursday, May 10th) the temperature dropped down to 47 F and it was very windy all day on Thursday. I have noticed with the increased raininess a few bees in a cluster at the hive entrance at night and in the early morning. They aren't there during the day when everyone is coming and going. Did they get trapped outside and get too cold? I'm an urban beekeeper, so most of their forage is going to be landscaped beds, flower gardens, etc.
Sorry to go on so long, but I'm trying to provide as much detail as possible. Any ideas?
Thanks in advance,
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