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where are my bees?
Sun 7-Feb-10
3:41 pm
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janetb
pyrennees

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I had a seemingly thriving colony of bees from a summer swarm but when I opened the hive to check them they had gone.  Not a bee to be seen, alive or dead.  Two beekeeper friends say they have moved somewhere esle but we fed them so they weren't hungry.  I have read dire stories about colony collapse.  Any advice please

Sun 7-Feb-10
3:58 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Sat 12-Aug-06
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That sounds like one for Sherlock Holmes. Welcome to the forum, Janet.

We lost both our colonies two years ago - I mean they just died in situ in the cold snap even though there were still stocks of honey that we left for them. Both hives were repopulated by swarms in the summer. This year, it looks like at least one may have survived although we have not gone in yet.

But if there are no bodies, Janet, then they must have departed. Just my opinion as i am no expert.

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 7-Feb-10
4:21 pm
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janetb
pyrennees

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Thanks, I'd rather they had left than just died.  What did you do to entice the new swarms or did they just arrive?

Sun 7-Feb-10
5:03 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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You don't have to do anything if you have a hive. They will just arrive if they choose to. It's pure luck but a hive of some sort increases your chances as it provides a ready made home and may be found by the scouts who are sent to find a location for a new swarm. We think our both ours came from a neighbour . . but we did not double check with him! Embarassed

We got a swarm one year from a local bee expert who had left a simple "nuc" out in his yard, not with any intention, but a swarm just landed in it. A "nuc" is a mini-hive used for transporting colonies or housing them temporarily.

If you join your local branch of the beekeeping association (I can't recall its name off the top of my head) and undergo their training course, then you will be on the list to be given a swarm. Our first colony came that way, from somebody who was giving up beekeeping

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 7-Feb-10
5:06 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Oops - I didn't realise that your are in the Pyrenees, Janet. I have no idea about any beekeping organisations in France/Spain.

Never knowingly underfed

Mon 8-Feb-10
1:50 pm
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janetb
pyrennees

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Thanks, its good advice.  We have put the word out we are looking for swarms so hopefully in May/June we will repopulate.  We did put our name down for a course but it didn't materialise.  Just have to wait for spring to arrive and see what happens

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