My bees finally arrived today. I should note that today was the WRONG day. I was not here to receive them, it was not the day I expected them, and there was a serious breakdown in communication between me and the apiary. I'm sad to say that they arrived like this:
That is what thousands and thousands of dead bees look like.
I have no idea what happened to them. I know that they left yesterday and arrived at my house about an hour and a half before I got home this evening, so they didn't sit in the hot sun all day. I'm so disappointed. Dead bees in a shipment are to be expected. They only live for about 45 days, so a certain percentage of these bees would have been at the end of their life anyway, but this is exceptional. There are maybe 25 bees left alive, out of roughly ten thousand. I'll be talking to the apiary to find out what went wrong and what happens next.