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Help, nucleus colony over heated during transport


Despite keeping the AC on, the bees blocked the vent and overheated. Just mounds of dead bees, it was really disheartening. I had two nucs and the other colony had a much smaller loss.

I installed both and hoped for the best. I was worried both hives lost their queen during transport. A few days later the weak hive is almost a ghost town and I could not find the queen. It also looks like a lot of the brood died. The other hive is comparatively packed with bees all busy working, it too lost some brood but not as much it seems. That said I can’t find any fresh eggs or locate the queen in either. I sat and looked for nearly half an hour in the strong hive(so few bees in the weak one it’s easy to go through).

There are a few possible situations I have

  1. Strong and weak hive both have queens, I just suck at finding her and the weak hive just isn’t recovering.
  2. Strong hive has a queen and I just suck at finding her. Weak hive is queenless and will been done soon.
  3. Both are queenless, Strong hive cannot make a new queen because viable eggs died during transit. Weak hive in the same boat and it’s only a matter of time before I lose everything.

I guess my question is where do I go from here?
My gut is to to count the weak hive as a loss and start fresh with that one while leaving the strong hive to continue and assume I just suck at finding queens.


Give it a week, then look for queen cells and young uncapped larvae or eggs. If you have lots of queen cells, they lost the queen. If you have lots of eggs or young uncapped larvae, they still have a queen. If the weak hive is queenless, I would consider merging it with newspaper with the strong hive.


Dawn thank you for your input. I think I will do that, it’s actually been almost a week(this saturday) and I’ve found 3 queen cups in the weak hive while none in the strong hive. No full queen cells because I don’t think there aren’t any viable eggs. I’ll wait until the weekend to be sure.


For anyone curious I’m 100% certain all the bees left and moved into the strong hive next to it. Not really any more dead bees than were there before, but also no bees working. I’ve since thrown out all the frames and cleaned out the hive body. Picking up a package tomorrow to go in it and start fresh.


Why did you throw out the frames? Just curious, because drawn comb is very valuable to bees. :wink:

All the best with the new package. I am very happy to hear that you are giving it another go. If the strong hive can spare a frame of very young brood, that will encourage the package to stay in the hive and not also migrate to the other hive. My own mentor told me about this. It hasn’t happened to me, but apparently strong hives are a real magnet for the weaker colony in a new hive within an apiary, especially if the hives are close together.


That’s a good idea I’ll do that if I can! It was raining off and on and real dreary yesterday so I didn’t get into the good hive anymore than to just peak in to see that they were in there…they were super quiet, but I’m hoping that’s just because of the cold and rain. I’ll be able to see if there’s spare today/tomorrow.

I know the comb probably would be helpful to the new package, but I threw away the frames because it had dead larvae and and other critters. I didn’t want to risk there being anything funky lurking in the comb when in put in the package. I’m a little gun shy now so to speak and starting with a somewhat blank slate just seems like a safer option.


Good call then. The last thing a new hive needs is a battle with pests! :blush:


A little update still no eggs or larvae in the “strong” hive. Really wondering if there’s even a queen as I still can’t find her.
I did get the new package and put it in. I was just using a veil and gloves and boy howdy next time I do that I’m getting a suit.

Anyway I put the queen mesh side up on the bottom of the frames. I checked 2 days later and she’s not released but I see where they’ve been chewing on the sugar cork.