new keepers from Stoughton, WI with robber and queen issues
Hello, new keepers here. My son and I decided to keep bees as a homeschooling project, and have learned much and had fun. about 3 weeks ago we realized that robber bees had invaded, and we were losing our honey. We decided to rescue what we had, taking the comb and all from 3 of the 4 supers. We put back the frames for the bees to clean up, then put on a robber screen to try to prevent the further robbing. Here's what we noticed: 1. There was absolutely NO brood - the queen must have been gone for some time.
2. While many bees are coming in with pollen, there are still lots milling around, trying to find a way in.
3. Before we put on the robber screen, we discovered a large grouping of bees under the screened bottom board. They are still there.
So, here are some questions: Should we assume that the bees getting in are part of the hive? What are those bees below the hive doing there? Should be attempt to remove those outside bees and install them in the hive (they were outside when we put on the screen, so maybe they can't figure out how to get back in??). Should be attempt to requeen the hive so that we can build brood to overwinter?
thanks for any help!