I have recently acquired a colony of bees at the tail end of the recent good weather. That night, the heavens opened & the temperature dropped. Not all the bees were ensconsed in their cosy new hive, with a beardy bunch hanging outside the entrance & the rest of them hanging just inside the entrance. (I could see them through the observation window in the top horizontal bar hive). They stayed like this for the next day, shifting slightly to the underside of the hive. It was suggested I gently smoke them to persuade them to move in, which was immensely successful. However, that night, they all dropped to the floor & were horribly sluggish. I have subsequently fed them with a sugar solution in the hopes this will give them a boost to survive till the next spell of good foraging weather. (And I was all for total non-intervention!! All very well until faced with life or death. It reminds me somewhat of those birthing plans we fondly make…..the best laid plans of mice & men) The sugar solution was consumed overnight. The weather has continued to worsen, but I have seen signs of more vigour & verve in the hive, although they haven’t shown any signs of building comb. They certainly are not behaving as I expected & I am also slightly concerned that they are queenless. If this is so, does anyone know what to do with this bunch of bees? Can you introduce a queened colony to a queenless one? If so, how is it done without a full scale bee-war?
Is there anyone out there who can help?