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Author Topic: old bees joined new hive?  (Read 474 times)

Offline phill

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old bees joined new hive?
« on: April 20, 2013, 10:31:09 AM »
Three weeks ago I installed a new package, a couple of feet away from an existing overwintered hive. It was still too cold to give the older hive a thorough inspection, but it seemed healthy. When we had a few sunny days I saw lots of activity around the overwintered hive. But as time passed-- with the weather still chilly-- less and less activity. I was feeding, and noticed a sharp drop in the syrup consumed by the overwintered hive.

Finally this week it was warm enough. I pulled the old hive apart, and it was empty! No queen, no brood, no bees. A bunch of dead bees at the bottom of the hive, but not more than I'd expect after a cold winter. No signs of mites or disease. 2+ frames of honey left.

Then I opened the new hive, from a package less than a month old, and found it booming-- way more populated than I would have expected. I had added a 2nd deep last week, and it's already half full.

So did the bees from the overwintered hive join up with the new hive-- maybe after their queen died? I'm curious what happened here.

Offline Steel Tiger

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Re: old bees joined new hive?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2013, 10:44:42 AM »
If they did merge, I would suspect the the queen from the overwintered hive didn't survive.

Offline AllenF

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Re: old bees joined new hive?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2013, 02:32:33 PM »
The old hive died out completely a while back.  Any bee sign you saw was it getting robbed out by other bees.   

Offline phill

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Re: old bees joined new hive?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2013, 03:53:36 PM »
No, there were definitely bees living in the old hive a month ago.

Offline iddee

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Re: old bees joined new hive?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2013, 05:23:08 PM »
The bees from a queenless hive WILL join up with a queen right hive, so YES, they likely moved next door.
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