How long have you had your oldest hive for?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by paint504, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. paint504

    paint504 Member

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    New to bee keeping and was wondering how old a bee colony can last.
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    hive or queen? I have always had a hive here since 2012, tried to go down to 1 last year, a mated queen returned so I went to 2, she made it through the winter, although she has swarmed to a nuc and left a daughter who seems to have failed so I merged with a nuc with a small swarm/cutout whose queen is an egg from last year's original returned queen.

    I don't have a hive now that is as it was last year, and I sold off one last year, lost one to a freeze, etc. so define bee colony? in a way I have had this kind of bees and part of the dna here since 2012, in another way I don't have a hive over a year old.
     

  3. paint504

    paint504 Member

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    Queens come and go I'm talking about the bees themselves. They keep replenishing their numbers. I'm just wondering how long someone had a hive without losing them to a winter, disease, CCD, exc
     
  4. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    I think it's kindda like my ax. Its had eight handles and three heads, but I've had it for 35 years.:roll:

    Bees last, what, about six weeks... maybe 16 in the dead of winter. I doubt I have had a queen for more than 18-20 months without superceedure. Even on plastic, I don't think I have comb that goes more than three seasons without getting really nasty, so it gets scraped. I manipulate a good bit.
     
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I want to say 2 years in the same box. but a lot of moving from hive to hive around here.