Bee Disaster! Help me figure out where I went wrong.
So this is my second year beekeeping in Arkansas. I have two hives with Russian bees and they had a ton of bees in them so I decided to try and do a walk away split with them.
With one hive that had two deeps I took one off and placed it on a new hive stand about 10 yards away. I tried to make sure there were plenty of bees in it and I added a top feeder on top. I put in the entrance reducer with the small opening and the hive body also had a hole. That left the other half with a deep and a medium (with mostly plastic foundation) and I put a bucket feeder on it. I didn’t put an entrance reducer in that one. I couldn’t find the Queen but figured either way it would be fine.
It was not fine. Today is one week later and I went out there and the original hive has a ton of Queen cells going but when I went to the single deep almost all the bees were dead, the front of the hive was covered in bee diarrhea like Nosema, and the inside was taken over by wax moth and hive beetle larvae and was damp. There was like one frame in the box with any bees on it and they looked unhealthy and we killed them so they wouldn’t spread disease. I assume my Queen had been in that box and died. The bottom board was covered in decaying bee carcasses and larvae. It was disgusting.
What were my mistakes? Anything I should do with the original hive while they are raising a new Queen? They seemed strong today.
On a positive note the other split went better. That one we took 5 frames from and put them in a nuc. The Queen remains in the original hive and the nuc seems to be doing ok though we didn’t dig through to look for Queen cells.
Roast me. Give me advice. I’m here to learn from y’all. Thanks.