Bee Swarm found on ground after cold night. Brought Back to Life!
Last weekend I found a pile of dead bees on the ground and some were still on the branch after a 39 deg night. All were motionless. Relocated them to a 5 frame observation nuc I had made. Foundationless frames and one that was 1/2 comb already completed with a few dead brood and some pollen left in. Brought them inside and 90% plus the queen came back to life (I know they weren't really dead, but almost dead).
Have not let them outside, I am worried they will be robbed and killed or abscond.
Feeding 2:1 with a little pollen sub mixed in. Some are taking the feed and putting it in the comb. No new comb building. Most of the bees are clumped on the comb 2 or 3 bees thick like a swarm. Are they stuck in swarm mode?
I think they should be doing more like making comb, brood, cleaning comb...
How long can I keep them like this? Can I put them in a cool garage until spring?
On the other side of this, that would mean one of my hives is queenless? or virgin or queen cell ready to hatch? I have not seen drones in a few months, will she stay a virgin until spring? Will the hive have enough bees to make it till spring?
I though about putting the queen in a cage and taking her to each hive and see what their reaction is. Which hives want to kill her or tend to her. Any ideas?
(I did this to a hive that was queenless (and failed to make a queen several times) put the queen at the front door and they started tending to her, opened the cage and let her walk in, the hive had brood a week later)
My guess is most will say pinch the queen and combine, and I might end up doing that, just looking for other options.