What to do

Asked May 13, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

I am trying to take care of a decimated swarm I saved from the middle of the road. I have no idea what I am doing but, I have managed to get them transferred to a hive box. They have been given the sugar syrup solution in a feeding container suggested by the bee book I bought. There are very few bees left after they had been squished by traffic. The queen is laying and they are capping the combs. They seem to be primarily focusing on brood right now. Some of the bees are scratching their legs and abdomin's. I am worried about the health of the hive I am trying to keep alive. What do I do next I have had them for 2 weeks now.

Lane County Oregon

3 Responses

You are doing the right thing by providing them sugar syrup. Keep feeding them for another 3 weeks if they are still consuming the feed. I would recommend feeding some protein supplement ( half pound or pound) as well. You can buy protein supplement from a bee store. This is the time when the brood (babies) rearing is high priority and hence you see that the queen is laying well and they are capping the larvae which is a good sign. If there are about 6 or 7 frames of bees in this hive at this time then there is a good chance that you will be able to make them survive. So keep feeding them. Good luck.

Thank you for the feed back I will get them some protein supplement. I only saved about 3 handfulls of bees from the swarm and they have only partialy filled 4 combs. But what do I do about the itching that they are doing? Are they sick?

I think you are referring to a behavior called grooming. Bees groom themselves to remove any debris or mites from their bodies. If you are able to send me a picture or a short video of this behavior then I will be able to provide you a better answer.