Following, the strips being inserted into the hive, my bees began bearding in extraordinary numbers. I thought the bees may have been getting out into the fresh air for a while because the strips might have been irritating. I could only guess; I didn't know anything for sure.
When I put the handful of bees back into the hive, I took off the two Mite Away Strips. The bees were a bit frantic at this point, so I couldn't gather up anymore and the last of the sunlight was completely gone. I just had to hope the bees on the outside of the hive would somehow survive.
But by morning, it seemed like half of my hive was gone. The top box was all but empty of the once thriving activity. A few scragglers remained of the thousands that had been there. It was devastating.
A small huddle of bearding bees was on the outside of the box and I scooped them up and put them back in the top box and closed things up. I still have no idea what happened. I called the company where I bought the strips and they said nothing like my experience had ever been reported.
Since then, the top box has filled back up with about a quarter of the bees that had been there. I have no idea if my hive is large enough to get through the winter. If anyone has any ideas about what happened, I'd love to hear from you. I'm completely puzzled and very sad.