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Why are my bees still alive?

 
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Alan B
House Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2014
Posts: 24
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:48 pm    Post subject: Why are my bees still alive? Reply with quote

Last September a very late swarm (in UK) arrived in my neighbours garden and few yards from my own hive. I assumed it was probably from my hive (there being no other bee-keepers in the vicinity). I took some advice which concluded that there was an extremely good chance that the swarm was from my hive and that prospects for both it and hive were not good - i.e. too late for swarm to establish in new home and a likely virgin Queen left back in my hive (or no Queen at all). Prognosis for my hive occupants was curtains in a matter of a few weeks.

Here we are late February and my bees are alive and kicking. I am therefore curious. The only answers I can come up with to explain this is (a) the swarm was not from my hive after all; or (b) the old Queen never left with it - is that possible?

Is there another explanation?

Regards and thanks

Alan Best
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible for a virgin queen could get mated in september. It is more usual for bees to supercede rather than swarm at that time of year but the new queen would still need to mate. Assuming that this is possible all they need to make it then is sufficient stores and I remember september to be quite good. To paraphrase Ed Clarke in constructive beekeeping once you get to know bees it is hard to see how the mule got to be known as stubborn. Try to save your worry for when your bees aren't doing well or it will run out Smile
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a colony that I am 95% sure was queenless in November, which I never expected to survive, but it is still looking moderately strong as of last week.

As Winnie the Pooh said...
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

biobee wrote:

As Winnie the Pooh said...


Which time? .....
not where he says.... "if you are going after honey with a balloon the great thing is to not let the bees know you are coming."
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Alan B
House Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2014
Posts: 24
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks both for this. It was very late September with the swarm, but as you say the weather was good. Patience and observation will give me the answer in due course.

Regards and thanks again.
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AugustC wrote:


Which time? .....
not where he says.... "if you are going after honey with a balloon the great thing is to not let the bees know you are coming."


When he said, "You can never tell with bees."
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