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Discussion Starter #1
Earlier in the year a tree fell and it was forecast to freeze. I put them in a box as per all the instructions here and fed them. Last week, I noticed a swarm. So I caught it only to find out that it was the ones from the fallen tree that left. I put more syrup on them. I just opened the box and the bees are barely alive and all in a pile on the floor of the hive. THey are dying.

What did I do wrong? Did they freeze? Kind of sucks. I havnt opened my established hives since december and Im hoping they have survived.
 

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Not enough info. You caught the swarm, put more syrup on them, now they are dead.

From that, how would anyone have a clue why they are dead.

Here's a few things that could help figure it out. You caught them, what are they in, a langstroth hive or what? You put syrup on them. Tipped it over them or what? Did they have a laying queen after you caught them ie did they ever have any brood? Why did they abandon the other hive? Did they have any stored honey or did you put them on comb foundation or what? And a heap of other stuff that could make enough of a picture for it to be possible to answer the question.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They came from a tree that broke out of the top. I found them one day in a ball on the ground. So I put some of their comb in frames and put it the empty hive body. They all marched in. They had no honey. THey had no brood. It was all still in the tree, but I was under the impression that they would rob what they needed when the temp was above 40. Anyway, I tried to feed them, and they stayed there for a month. I used a hive top feeder. And they ate. I must have missed a couple of days and they ran out of food. Then they swarmed. I recaptured that swarm. Put more food on them. Still no honey and no brood. But now, they are dead. I probably should have taken a frame from my two working hives, but i wasnt willing to open them up to steal it from them because of temps and the fact that im barely a first year beekeeper. Kind of bummed out and Im sure I did something wrong...and coupled with the time of year....but Id like to know where I failed them. They were in a regular langstroth hive.

Here is my original post on the exciting catch:

http://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ht-some-bees-please-read-and-help-with-advice!
 

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OK well based on that they could have been queenless, could have had too many mites, or could have been caught without enough food, or being broodless for that amount of time numbers could have got low enough they could not resist the cold, could be other things also.
 

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You really did not fail them, the branch did. Dry sugar might have given the more of a chance to keep food handy, but without a queen there is no replacement for die offs, so they shrink until not enough to heat. A frame probably would not have given them a queen, though do not know TX.

Siorry to hear.
 

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Earlier in the year a tree fell and it was forecast to freeze. I put them in a box as per all the instructions here and fed them. Last week, I noticed a swarm. So I caught it only to find out that it was the ones from the fallen tree that left. I put more syrup on them. I just opened the box and the bees are barely alive and all in a pile on the floor of the hive. THey are dying.

What did I do wrong? Did they freeze? Kind of sucks. I havnt opened my established hives since december and Im hoping they have survived.
Swarms are iffy sometimes as far as the queen being bred or not. Alot of people that catch swarms requeen just to be safe. She/queen could be damaged/hurt by another queen...So she may not lay just right.
 

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Don't beat yourself up about it, sounds like the queen wasn't there for one reason or another. Sounds like it was the last of the hive that was left behind, once that happens, they're a rudderless ship. You tried, that's all that matters.
 

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Don't beat yourself up about it, sounds like the queen wasn't there for one reason or another. Sounds like it was the last of the hive that was left behind, once that happens, they're a rudderless ship. You tried, that's all that matters.
If you have enough honey for a bite of comb and some for a glass of tea...that's what matters!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, we always try to save things...bees, plants, animals, whatever. It often ends in disappointment, but thats the way it goes. It wasnt just a single hive that died..it was a THOUSAND BEES!

Welp, it was a fun learning experience. Ill know what to do now when another shows up. Id really like to CATCH a swarm in the spring in an extra hive body. I think I just need some lemongrass oil and maybe some drawn comb or something. Im not sure, but Id like to try instead of buying extra packages to build up my hives.
 

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I think the only thing you could have done is get the honey out of the tree. Syrup or feeding in the winter will kill bees is my experience.
 

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I think you did right in not stealing from your established hives. Why risk losing additional hives for one that probably couldn't have survived? I don't know about your temperatures when you were feeding syrup, but as was said you might have been better off feeding dry sugar. But if the queen didn't survive, all this is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic--the hive was bound to fail no matter what you did.
 
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