I can’t even explain how happy I was after I opened the bees today. It was wonderfully warm out so I made 4 cups of sugar water and opened things up. The population has dropped DRAMATICALLY, but they’re all still alive. Bees are programmed to continue out their normal routines, even without their queen, or so I’ve read, so that’s what I expected to be happening. The bees had moved themselves over to the three or four frames in front of the entrance, even though there was a frame of brood two frames away. I’m guessing it must’ve froze and was unable to heat back up during the cold snap so they abandoned it. But I checked all of the frames, just to get a full effect of the damage. And I found her. The queen! She was alive and walking around and fine by the looks of things! Here’s a picture. Of course the weather changed as soon as I opened the hive and immediately started getting cold and windy, so the bees clumped together a lot more and she got hidden but you can still find her if you look.
She’s the much darker dot towards the bottom right of the center of the picture. You can only see her behind because the bees started clumping together at this point (and the picture was taken at a weird angle), but she was definitely alive and well!
There’s no new eggs and all the food I gave them last time has been eaten. I would’ve fed them more today but I ran out of sugar. But the queen is alive which means that as long as they can stay warm enough they’ll be fine. I pray it’s warm again tomorrow so I can run to the store and grab some sugar for them. Feeding them store bought honey can be bad because sometimes there’s high fructose corn syrup in it which the bees can’t break down. Which is why buying local honey is always better! Plus it tastes differently every year, at different times of the year.
Anyway, here’s another picture of what the bees have been reduced down to.
I hope they make it through the cold! They’re pretty resilient though. I didn’t know bees could come back from the “dead” like they did. So exciting!