No idea what happened.....at 5:00 today when I left for practice they were busy and bringing in pollen. When I returned at 7:45 the hive was 100% vacant. Headed over to the farm to check that one and there were only about 150 bees in a ball at the top, not sure it there's a queen. Regardless, with only 150 bees it will be tough to get established and they will likely depart as well.
In both hives they had started to build comb. My guess is that the queen did not get fully established and when she ate through the marshmallow she either left the hive or was killed. There may be a swarm hanging in a tree somewhere in the neighborhood.
As an adventure I'm pretty bummed, but I'm not done trying. As an experiment I guess I need to learn why this happened.
Next step is to try and locate a nuc from another beekeeper and try again. Nucs are usually ready around June 1st. A nuc is an established colony meaning the queen is laying eggs and brood is developing in the hive.
I'll keep you posted on what's next.
4 days ago