Today we came home and found our hive had tipped over. At first I thought maybe some kids came through the yard and pushed it over but upon closer inspection found that the "landing strip" as I call it had actually broken apart. I noticed that it was coming apart several weeks ago but then promptly forgot about it. Well, now I've learned a valuable lesson, when said hive is looking shabby I must repair said hive or I'm going to be in deep doo doo.
I feel horrible. There were lots of casualties. Mostly because hubby and I panicked and rushed to put it back together. We should have taken our time and worked carefully but a racing heart and uncertainty did not make for a good combination. We crushed several bees, mainly a heap that was laying on the ground and we just blindly happened to step on. Everything is back in place and the bees went back to business as usual. My only fear... did the queen get killed in that mess?
Any experienced beeks willing to share any tips on how determine whether the queen has perished or not, aside from the queen cells that the bees would make?
UPDATE: (8/23/10) I've learned several things.
1. I'm not the only person to experience the hive tipping drama.
2. The queen is most likely alive since my bees showed know sign of defensiveness when we put the hive back together.
3. I need to check the hive in 5 days to see if there are eggs just to make sure the queen is ok.
4. I should strap my hive down with a heavy leather type strap. Wrap it all away around the hive so in case it tips again all the hive bodies will stay in tact.
Thank you posters and beesource.com buddies for sharing all this information with me!!