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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    dublin, CA USA
    Posts
    20

    Default My bees swarmed and left 4 weeks ago, need advice! I'm in the California Bay Area

    I've been posting to the forum like crazy, trying to get through this.

    I noticed my queen was gone, then found out it was probably MY bees that swarmed four weeks ago. So no brood, no eggs, no queen! There are quite a few bees in the hive, but very few flights.

    I'm searching right now for an Italian nuc, thinking that as a beginner I'd like to stay with gentle bees for a while.

    Question: Due to my lateness in responding to the situation, should I go with mixed race bees and forget about the gentleness to get a queen & nuc fast as possible? Or is it ok to wait until Wednesday-Thursday for the nuc and queen by mail?

    Any help is appreciated!!

    Anne
    925.895.4033
    Dublin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,790

    Default Re: My bees swarmed and left 4 weeks ago, need advice! I'm in the California Bay Area

    A few days is worth the wait for bees you enjoy working.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: My bees swarmed and left 4 weeks ago, need advice! I'm in the California Bay Area

    ditto!
    Old Guy in Alabama

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Oakland, CA, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: My bees swarmed and left 4 weeks ago, need advice! I'm in the California Bay Area

    Well generally even the mutts here in the Bay Area are pretty gentle. Only guy I met locally who had temperamental bees was an old gentleman in SF. If you contact Fafhrd (I think that's the spelling) here on the forum he sells nucs out of Berkeley sometimes.

    Also, I don't know if they have any available, but Tinnocobee on the forum also sells bees out of Biggs, CA. That's a good bit north however.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    dublin, CA USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: My bees swarmed and left 4 weeks ago, need advice! I'm in the California Bay Area

    How long can bees last without a queen?

    Thanks..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Oakland, CA, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: My bees swarmed and left 4 weeks ago, need advice! I'm in the California Bay Area

    Well, it depends. If you have frames of brood to keep feeding them, a good while, of course if you feed them frames with young brood they'll also end up making their own queen.

    The issue is more that the bees age. Wait too long and even when they get a queen you'll end up in a difficult position that the bees that were left when the queen was introduced are dying off even as she's laying and making it hard for the hive to increase at a reasonable pace. But certainly they can go a couple weeks without much trauma. That's what happens anyway sometimes when a queen fails and they have to make an emergency one (actually they go longer in that case).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Default Re: My bees swarmed and left 4 weeks ago, need advice! I'm in the California Bay Area

    Quote Originally Posted by Shazam View Post
    Well generally even the mutts here in the Bay Area are pretty gentle.
    I agree. Most local swarms are now from hives started with packages. The only feisty ones I have caught this year were mad because they were hanging out in cold weather for a few days and later gentled down.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    dublin, CA USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: My bees swarmed and left 4 weeks ago, need advice! I'm in the California Bay Area

    It has been a month in my case, so the aging problem must apply. Plan is now to wait one week, check for eggs/brood and if none get a nuc and queen pronto. Well this is really a learning curve. Which is fine, as long as I don't ruin my hive as a novice. Also I need to start working on getting another hive..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Galt, CA
    Posts
    881

    Default Re: My bees swarmed and left 4 weeks ago, need advice! I'm in the California Bay Area

    I'm sure for a little cash, someone on here should be able to get you jump started, including myself. I'm just South of Sacramento, so about an hour away from you. Sacramento Beekeeping wants $140 for a nuc, but I would bet closer to $100 should be good for 5 frames of bees if your brought your own hive to put them in.

    C2

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