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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default What is the longest you have kept a hive alive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smarsh7903 View Post
    When I talked to the man that owned them, he said he got them in 98 and hasn't done anything with them since.
    I once was told about a bee tree that had been active for ten years. I kept an eye on it through that summer and fall, and when I checked on it the next spring, it was dead. Later that year a new colony moved in. I suspect that is what had been happening each year, making folks think that it was an old colony.

    The quote at the beginning of this post made me think of that bee tree and wonder how long anyone has verified that a colony has lived. Perhaps some of you have some stories to share. I am also curious about the average length of colony life.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,037

    Default Re: What is the longest you have kept a hive alive?

    This would be a good question for feral colony observer Dr. Tom Seeley. He has kept track of bee trees in the Arnot Forest near Ithaca,NY as part of his study of bee behavior.

    I removed a colony of bees from the eaves of the Church I attend because a new roof is being applied. That location had been a home for bees for well over thirty years. I have observed it for some 12 years myself. Max Coots, two ministers ago, mentioned this hive and another one in one of his Sermons. Over the last 12 years there have been years when it was unoccupied, but most years it was occupied.

    This could be an interesting question to see the answers to. Thanks for asking it.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,300

    Default Re: What is the longest you have kept a hive alive?

    I have six colonies in a yard that have survived since 2006 with no assistance from me. The most common cause for colony failure in my area is failing to requeen themselves when needed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Siloam Springs, Arkansas
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: What is the longest you have kept a hive alive?

    In keeping with these thoughts,

    How soon MIGHT a swarm / colony move into a recently vacated hive?

    As in : If you have bees checked monthly? / weekly? / daily? and find them continuously when can you be certain it is the same colony?
    Trying techniques that I doubt will work because I like to be right!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    greer south carolina USA
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: What is the longest you have kept a hive alive?

    i took two huge hives out of a building and i was told they were in there for over 50 years best honey i ever tasted much of it had turned to sugar

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: What is the longest you have kept a hive alive?

    Quote Originally Posted by seamuswildflower View Post
    i was told they were in there for over 50 years

    Do you believe that to be the case? I have to admit to being skeptical. I feel that most likely several different colonies have been there over the last number of years.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    789

    Default Re: What is the longest you have kept a hive alive?

    I still have my original colony which was caught as a swarm in spring of 2010. I'm sure that pales in comparison to other folks here. -js

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