Well - yesterday I prepared two nucs with two frames of brood, two frames of honey and one frame of open cells from each of my two strongest hives. I have a polystyrene nuc box that has the circle rotating entrance guard. See photo -
Since I am unable to move the nuc boxes away from my yard I set the setting where no bees could escape (the mesh setting) yet let air still pass through. I did this fearing that if I had left it wide open that they would go back the original hive which was only a few feet away. Well - big mistake. Today the temps got up to mid 70's and I was driving 3 hours each way to get my two new Russian queens. When I got back and opened the first nuc the bees seemed fine, albeit irritable. When I opened the second nuc there was a few bees kind of staggering around and hundreds if not thousands of dead bees. Upon closer inspection I found what happened; the bees clogged the air vents and more or less the entire nuc died of over heating. There are a few bees that survived but the vast majority perished. Needless to say I feel absolutely AWFUL! I feel like I have earned the next recipient for worst beekeeper of the year award.
Now on to post mortem mode. My question is - what do i do with the frames of brood and eggs that are in the nuc? Is it likely that they got too hot and are cooked too? How would I know if they got too hot? How hot is too hot? What kind of temp's can brood take? I really can't begin to imagine how hot that nuc got but it was hot enough to kill most of the bees. I know I have to clean all the remaining dead bees out of that nuc tomorrow but don't know what else to do.
I am now kind of panicking wondering what to do with the frames that are left in he nuc? Should I start completely over - new brood frames, new open eggs / larva frame, new honey frame?
Since it was almost completely dark when I discovered this I just put the new queen in the box with the bees that were still alive. I scraped off as many of the dead bees as I could and made sure the entrances are now open - free of dead bees. I now just need some advice for what to do come day break tomorrow.
UGH~ This is so sad!