Did I lose my queen and other newbie questions?
Hi- I'm a new bee guardian and I'm trying to figure out what's happening with my hive. Maybe it's completely normal, but I feel like something is off.
Here's a little timeline for you...please let me know what you think.
May 4th: Swarm installed. Quickly started building comb.
May 10th: Hot day--one comb fell and I removed it the next morning. They had already begun to rebuild the comb. (now I have a little double comb on this bar--should I remove the extra comb?)
May 21st: I moved the hive about 30 miles. Move was uneventful and only lost a few bees.
May 30th: Up until this day, everything seemed to be going well. They built comb out on about half of the bars, good activity every day, bees coming back with pollen, etc. This day, however, something was wrong. My parents checked on the hive before I got home and said it was very windy and a large cluster of bees was on the backside of the hive. I went back to check on them later and I could tell something was wrong. There were bees that looked like they were wandering aimlessly around the outside of the hive. Some on the house nearby and many dead or dying on the ground. Everyday, I've noticed guard bees at the entrance, but today, no activity at the entrance and not a lot of buzzing.There was also a small cluster of bees on the underneath backside of the hive.
May 31: Lots of dead bees from the previous night. Still no guard bees, but more normal activity. I went into the hive to look for the queen. I started in the back and tried my best to differentiate the types of comb, but since I'm new, I don't exactly know what I'm looking at. The closer to the front I got, the more agitated the bees became. I had to close it up before I looked at the final 2-3 combs.
I went out of town for a few days and came back yesterday. There are a LOT of guards/bees at the entrance to the hive. They have continued to build new comb and there are lots of bees coming and going with pollen. I'm wondering....did I lose my queen? How would I confirm? What do I do now...? Or is this completely normal cycle of life? How often should I be going into the hive and how important is it that I know what different types of comb are being built?
I know that's a million questions, but I'm just trying to figure out if I need to intervene or if they will work this out. Thank you in advance.