bees left and then swarm came back to our hive several weeks later?????

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by drew, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. drew

    drew New Member

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    So, about a month and a half ago our bees left, beetles took over, lower hive boxes were a mess. sad day. went over and looked last week and the bees are back, coming and going as usual. i haven't opened it up yet. what am i missing. did queen leave and get mated and then come back? realize this is my second season for keeping. we were two deep boxes strong and added super and queen excluder, the queen was in the lower boxes at that time. once the first super was drawn out w/ half honey filled we added another super, puting the new super on bottom of partial filled super. i don't know where to go with this now. thinking about removing supers, letting them build up lower hive bodies again for winter. any thoughts?
     
  2. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    Wow! Lucky you!

    I'd definitely take a look in that hive when you get a chance. If it's still infested with beetles, the ladies could be overwhelmed and you might need traps or treatment to make sure they make it. Also, if there is little to no honey down in the deeps, they'll need the honey from the supers. They would likely not have enough forage/time to fill up 2 deeps before winter, depending on how much longer you have before it's cold and how much is blooming around them. Keep an eye on it, sometimes bees will relocate honey down to where they want it, you'd not want to overwinter with 2 supers on and definitely don't want any empty boxes on for winter.
     

  3. drew

    drew New Member

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    so, should i maybe remove the unfilled supers, leave the queen excluder for now and then remove the partial super as winter approaches. is this normal at all? is that in fact what probably happened, the queen left to mate or something.
     
  4. drew

    drew New Member

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    could it be that queen died, and what i am seeing is robber bees from an different colony somewhere? if so, i would expect to open it and see no brood or new capped cells correct. just robber bees cleaning house.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    with robber bees you generally see the remains of the capping on the bottom board.
     
  6. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Drew I very much sympathize with you on the beetle issue. I lost 2 hives to this this year. I blame myself for not recognizing that there was a real problem that I was unfamiliar with. If you have any of these pests left in the box, or even their eggs you need to think ahead to protect the new (old?) colony. I am putting screened bottom boards with trays filled with oil on each of my other hives and they are working well at trapping beetles. Since you can't always see the whole hive at once it is easy to miss just how many of them are in it. It doesn't take much for SHB to get out of hand, and if the bees are not strong enough in number to keep them jailed the bees will move out because the conditions become intolerable and the beetles take over leaving a huge mess.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Why guess? Open it and then we will know.
     
  8. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Go out early and listen to the hive and knock on it if there are bees home you will here then if they are robbers there will be no one home. also if bees are robing a colony yellow jackets most the time will be there also.