Someone offered me as free hive and all his bee equipment in exchange for some honey. So I took him up on the deal. I brought the hive home which was two deeps high with bees and honey. This hive didn't have the reducer placed in the entrance. Temps here in northern MN have been about 10 to 15 below at night and up to 10 above in the day time. Next week we are in for some 25 below temps with day time highs of 15 below. So I decided to build a screened in area in my garage which is heated with floor heat, and is about 48 degrees, which is the lowest setting on the thermostat I put the hive in there and the bees started buzzing immediately. I was thinking it would simulate the stories that you hear about people in the old days could put a couple of hives in the root cellar. I covered my windows in the garage so it is very dark in there. The bees have a constant hum going and sound like the hive is doing well. There must have been some ice in the hive because it drained out the front the first day.
My question is, is it to warm in the garage to do this? The bees come out, a few at a time, and walk around at the entrance. Some bees have come out and done the cleansing flight. Other bees have come out and not gone back in. About 50 bees have died as a result of not going back in.
Any suggestions about temp, amount of light, etc.?