Just transferred from nuc box...some dead outside

Hi! New here to beekeeping :flushed::flushed::flushed:

I got 2 nuc boxes yesterday and transferred each into their hives. Everything went well…I think. I inspected the frames but it’s hard for me to identify the differences still… yesterday evening as well as this morning there are dead bees outside of 2 hives. I live in the florida keys and it’s hot down here…and it rained hard last night. There was a bunch of bees sitting in a puddle and I assumed they were just drinking last night, but they are there still today and appear dead…maybe 30 of them? Also, there are about 20 around the hives dead. Is this normal? Maybe bc of the car ride (about 1.5 hours)? Or the transfer? I just want to make sure they are ok! I didn’t want to go check the hives today or bother them because I want them to settle in. I was going to wait a week before disturbing them. Any advice for what I should be looking for or doing next?

Thanks!! Looking forward to reading and learning from others posts!


Welcome to the Flow forum, you are asking good questions, so your bees should do well.

It could be from the journey (were they inside an air-conditioned vehicle or out in the sun?), or it could be from robbing, or they could be sick. Any photos of the dead bees?

I presume you put empty frames in with the nucleus frames to fill up the empty space in the box? If not, those need to go in as soon as possible to make a total of 8 or 10 frames, depending on the size of your hive.

If it is very hot, I would make sure that there is a good supply of water near the hive. This can be as simple as a bucket of water with a handful of sticks in it for the bees to land on and drink.

For a new colony, I like to reduce the hive entrance down to a couple of inches wide, even if the weather is hot. It means that they have less of an entrance to defend, and if there are robbers trying to attack, they will have a much better chance of fighting them off.

I like your idea of waiting a week before disturbing them again. I would take note of whether they are building new comb on the extra frames, and have a look at how the honey and pollen stores are going. Sometimes a new nucleus needs feeding, so if the stores look light, you may want to feed. You can post pictures here if you want another opinion. You will also want to see how much brood there is and what the brood pattern is like (patchy or nice and tight). If you can see eggs, then you can be sure you have a laying queen.

I would also join a local bee club to get some information on local nectar flow and general local bee knowledge. Some good books on beekeeping and bee biology are also useful. You may also want to think about strategies for managing small hive beetles and Varroa mites.

Please feel free to ask more questions, and we will do our best to help.


Hi Dawn!

Thanks so much for your reply. I do not have photos, however, I think that all is well. It has been amazing to watch them work over the last few days. I am very much enjoying their activity.

I have been doing research on Varroa mites…I want to make sure I know what to look for. Thank you.

Thank you for the water advice. I did that right after I read your message :slight_smile:
And yes, when I put the 5 nuc frames in, I also kept 5 of my frames in there on both sides, totaling 10 frames.

When I check the hives in a few days I am going to try and get photos! It would be nice to post some…as well as have them handy for when I do some research on the computer.

Thanks again for your reply. I appreciate it!



If those nucs were very strong- maybe they had 10,000 bees each. If they live on average 65 days- that means 153 bees would die every day… those that die at home are dumped out of the entrance.

When you transferred them the stress would only increase the toll…


@Semaphore - makes sense! I feel better about it now. When you put it into perspective like that…it’s not that many bees! Thanks :slight_smile:

1 Like

@Semaphore has given you sound advise and remember any time you disturb your hive there will be some bees accidentally killed no matter how careful you are and the bees will dump their bodies outside the entrance, it is a fact of life for a beekeeper.