I'm a new beekeeper, and I've searched long and far to find a reason for what I'm going through... I have a lot "book" knowledge on the subject, but no direct beekeeping experience (3 weeks worth). The one veteran beekeeper I know isn't exactly sure what going on either, but here's the scoop:
I captured my first swarm and their transport and installation went without issue. After a few days I noticed they weren't foraging at all, and they just stayed in a ball (window view).... after a week, I knew something was wrong.. They had no comb built, no foraging, and I noticed they were dying fairly quickly. My friend said that I probably didn't have a queen and they were confused and probably distraught I immediately moved them to the back of the hive, installed a divider, and planned on getting another swarm (with a queen) and try to integrate them... Only thing is, days later, i SAW the queen from my first colony... just chilling there... took a pic and confirmed it with my buddy. So now I have no idea why they decided to give up on life and literally die by the thousands. As of today, that colony is completely gone.
I found another (larger) swarm and it's been 7 days since their installation. They began foraging right away, but still no comb building... ZERO... This colony isn't dying like the old one did... Within a week, the first colony had lost thousands of workers... I only counted 8 dead bees from my second (which as about 3 times bigger than the first).
I've now lost a lot of hope for being a bee keeper. I'm wondering if I've done something horribly wrong, or just have had really bad luck twice in a row. Any advice would be immensely appreciated. I plan on being on the forums a lot as I gain experience. Forums like this helped me when I got in to saltwater fish tanks, and I was able to pass on knowledge as I gained experience. I hope the same can happen here as this is a hobby I've wanted to get into for the LONGEST time and finally live in a house where I am able to. Again, thank you in advance for your help.