Brand new to bees and the forum. Been wanting to get started for a few years and took the plunge this spring. Here's my first week's story. Looking for any and all feedback.
1) Picked up package on Sunday. Install was very messy as syrup had coated at least half of the bees.
2) It was pleasant on Sunday but a cold front came in that evening and put Sun, Mon, and Tue nights into the 30's. Losses from syrup coated frozen bees were heavy. Ziploc feeder bag in with 1:1.
3) no inspections yet, but peeked in on Tue and Wed AM and observed bees clustering together. Feed syrup in bag getting lower, so bees appeared to be feeding.
4) Wed evening arrived home to find that bees had swarmed to a nearby hemlock, close to ground. IMG_20130515_165320_665.jpg
I peeked in hive, there were still a few bees left. Took advantage of bees being out to clean out dead bees from bottom board. Trapped swarm and lowered branch into hive. IMG_20130515_175618_835.jpg
Very smooth process. Peeked in this AM and bees are down in frames and on baggie feeding.
5) The weather has turned much warmer and nights will only drop to upper 40's/50's.
Great week of highs and lows. The kids are all enjoying the process as well.
Questions and concerns I have:
Thoughts on why they swarmed?
Do I have a queen? I suppose I really won't know until comb is drawn and I can inspect for eggs.
Do I have enough surviving bees to draw comb? The swarm was about the size of a medium egglant.
How often should I peek in the top to check the baggie? I am thinking every 3rd day.
I am picking up a local nuc in early June, after that transfer and some additional frames are drawn would a frame or two of brood from the nuc help in the package hive?
Thanks in advance.