Last night was too cold and gloomy to open the hive. We went for a look this morning at 9:00 am. I suited up while my husband got the hive cam and smoker ready. Several ants were on the top bars between the cover. I also found a big black spider which I happily killed.
I carefully opened the hive, starting at the back bars, removing the package box and feeder can which was almost empty. With the dead bees we found after installation and the dead ones in the box, we only lost about 60 bees from the package. We set the feeder can on top of the blue (pet) water jug (pictured full with rocks) to finish draining. Perhaps the bees will still drink it? The bottom of the hive was a little messy. A little wet from the syrups and crumby looking (from ants?). The half patty that was set on the box was soggy and little was eaten, though I did see a few bees on it. I could not find the quarter-patty that I had set at the back of the hive. I later found it in a photo and most was consumed. But the quarter-patty that was set below bar #1 was barely touched and soggy looking. I left the quarter-patties in the hive.
The jar I put in on the 9th was completely empty. I replaced it with new syrup. Lastly, I needed to remove the queen cage between bars #4 and #5. The bees were clustered in the southeast corner near the front and near the queen cage. I slid the bars open where the cage was at (expecting the cage to suddenly fall) and I found the bees were building comb around the cage. I cut it out with a putty knife. The queen was not in her cage, but other bees were. We tasted some runny "honey" from the cells on the cage. I did not pull any frames out and I did not look for the queen. I did get to see some festooning when I moved the bars open to get the queen cage out.
The bees were very docile during the 10 minute inspection.
It was light overcast, about 47 degrees with light sprinkles.
This photo was taken from the webcam at 10:00 am.
The syrup jar can be seen on the right side of the picture.