Hello fellow beekeepers! So I had a recent sad outcome with a nuc that I obtained April 2018. THEY ARE ALL GONE!
So, the girls did GREAT with the install, reproducing, maintaining health. They overwintered PERFECTLY! At the end of March/beginning of April of 2019, they began to emerge and forage again, the hive was booming. I observed them on a multitude of days, bringing in nectar and pollen, they were docile and healthy. On April 5th, the hive was full and active. I returned after a weekend away on April 8th and they were GONE, ALL OF THEM, GONE!!!
I waited a few days, then went in for a brief look. The hive was LOADED with amazing, dark beautiful honey, at least 6 frames full. There was still some capped brood which was also healthy looking. I left the empty hive there a few more days and had scout bees (or so I think) checking out the entire hive (front, back, sides, edges). They were going in and out (no pollen pants) and fighting with one another outside the hive.
Yesterday was a very cold day, NO BEES were scouting it out, so I did a full inspection. There were no empty queen cells or supercedure cells. No evidence of moths, mites, hive beetles. It smelled incredible. I harvested 2 frames of honey. I got rid of the screened bottom and replaced it with a solid bottom and did an autopsy of the 50-75 dead bees on the screen and the debris on the white board underneath - they looked perfect, but some did have their tongues out. FYI: I only have one hive.
My guess: they absconded. Maybe found a larger home, as there was very LITTLE open space left in there. Only other thought is that the hive location is a little damp and cool as it is at the bottom of our meadow.
- Will my bees come back?
- Do I leave my hive up with hopes of my girls returning, or a scout bee loving my hive and leading her swarm to it?
2 1/2. If I leave it up, what do I leave inside, how many empty frames/honey frames/brood frames?
- Do I take the whole hive down and harvest that amazing honey and start again next year at top of the sunny meadow?
- What is everyone’s guess, what happened to my bees!?!?!??!
Thank you all for being a supportive wealth of support and knowledge!