Some of you have read about the seven hives at our Nature Preserve that floated down the creek in the big Atlanta flood on Sunday night/Monday AM.
I have been feeding and trying to keep alive the remnants of the seven hives - bees that are flying around where they used to live at Blue Heron. I set up a box there that I can't tell if the bees are simply eating the honey I left for them there or are moving back in - the frames are gross - dead capped larvae and mud as their characteristics.
My inclination is to go get the hive box that they are gravitating to and move it to my deck to combine it with another hive. The only other viable solution is to buy a queen for the 400--500 bees that are there and frankly, in this economy with my own business really down, I can't afford that....and it's such a long shot that they would make it.
As the bee flies, my deck hives are about exactly 2 miles from Blue Heron. If I move the hive box, I guess there's a good chance that the bees will go back to Blue Heron where they will no longer have a hive.
But if I don't move them, I don't think they have a chance since they have no queen.
There is also the problem of it being a natural field (overgrown) and now quite muddy so that I can't go there after dark, but would have to go at dusk to move them, which means some will be left no matter what. I can leave a nuc hive there to hold the stragglers and go back for them later.
Does this sound like a viable plan? Do you have other ideas? I've never faced anything like this before and don't want to condemn these few bees who survived the 100 year flood to death if I don't have to.
Linda T concerned in Atlanta