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Discussion Starter #1
All the books say to start a colony in the spring for all good reasons. What is the latest in the year that a colony can be started and survive on own? What is the latest that a colony can be started, manually fed, and still survive? I am in Northern Illinois. We will be removing a hive from a building in late September (no other choice on timing of the removal) - are the bees SOL?
 

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Probably SOL, but manually feed sugar/water, and try to put them on some late flowers such as golden rod, or near a flower garden. Good Luck
 

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Is this a ?wild? colony of bees that are being removed from a building? Or was the colony in a boxed hive and is now being moved?

If its a wild colony of bees, you are probably only getting the bees and maybe the queen. I say, maybe on getting the queen, as she is hard to find, she will actually run and hide. Trying to find the queen as she moves around among 30k to 40k other agitated bees is difficult.

Lets look at what the bees will need to survive the winter, namely a home with drawn comb, enough bees to keep the queen warm and enough honey to sustain those bees through the winter and long enough for them to collect the spring nectar flow.

The magic word is enough, if you determine that the colony will have enough to survive the winter then I say "go for it". If they don't make it, all you're out is you time and effort.

Keep us posted on your decision and progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The hive was 17yrs old at least as was in a historic building that needed a new roof immediately. We successfully removed the honey and brood comb and wired large parts of it into frames creating a new box hive. We are still trying to determine if we have the queen and if she is not found by this weekend will requeen immediately. The bees have started to clean up the hive clearing out dead bees, establishing new new comb to hold the wired in comb and transfering some of the old wired-in honey comb into the "new" drawn comb we put in. They have not used any of the drawn comb for brood thus maybe no queen. Our weather has been ok for foraging during the day and there is still lots of goldenrod and such around. We have our fingers crossed.
 
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