I opened up the beehive this morning to check on the new residents. It's been a week since they arrived and I was going to have a quick look to make sure the queen was released and all was well. Imagine my surprise when I took the lid off and found NO BEES. They're just...gone. I don't understand. I thought that swarming wasn't normal for a brand new (very small) colony needing to build up its numbers. Swarming is usually an overcrowding response. Given that they were only at maybe 1/5th of their ideal population and in a brand new home, I can't imagine why they just up and left.
I've had a lot of disappointments, frustrations and mishaps out here over the last couple of years, but this is the first time I really feel like crying.