I was feeling pretty bummed when I wrote my last post. I cleaned out literally thousands of little bee corpses from both hives, to get them ready just in case I could find some new package bees (they only come in once a year, and my usual supplier had already sold out). I did finally find a new supplier--but they were sold out through 2015. sigh.
As I did my research I found out that 75% of Ohio hives froze to death this year. Hence--very short supply. I felt better when I realized there was nothing I could have done, even if I was a much more experienced bee-keeper.
And then--I got a call back from the supplier--they had had a cancellation from a major buyer (over 100 packages), and I was able to drive about an hour and a half to pick up my two packages (one for each hive) on Saturday. There were people there from other states, so I felt pretty good to have only a beautiful drive in the country (although, it took us considerably longer than 1.5 hours since we got lost and went in very large circles!). Both packages are now installed and getting used to their new homes. I am interested to compare the differences between the two styles of hives.
After I removed the (almost empty) syrup cans, I took out the queen (in her separate, tiny little cage), and then, literally dumped the worker bees into my waiting hive! It seems a little freaky to casually dump living creatures, but the bees handle it well!