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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Clinton, CT USA

    Default 1st year beekeeper, Why are my bees still alive?!

    I wrote earlier about my "hive diminishing to nothing" and received many helpful comments from folks on this forum.
    Unfortunately, I did not identify my hive's queen-less state (from day 1) until it was too late to re-queen and save the colony. I am now entering my 52nd day since hiving my 3 lb. pkg. There was never any brood so no replacement of older bees took place. I've read that the lifespan of a honeybee is about 43 days. If this is accurate, why do I still have several hundred bees occupying my hive long past that lifespan? How is this possible? They are now consuming their capped honey but not doing much else.
    Thank you in advance for any answers/comments. I'm trying to grow my knowledge and could not find this info myself.
    Kit Sumner

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Johnson County, Indiana, USA

    Default Re: 1st year beekeeper, Why are my bees still alive?!

    I'm going to hazard a guess, but hopefully someone more authoritative will come along and give a better answer. First of all, I would say that 43 days is more of an average than anything. Secondly, it's the foraging that really takes a toll. If they're queenless, have given up, and are just hanging around the hive eating stored honey, they're probably going to live quite a bit longer.
    Once the bee is inside, Mr. Veil is no longer your friend.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Knox, Pa. USA

    Default Re: 1st year beekeeper, Why are my bees still alive?!

    the 43 days begins the day the last of the brood hatches out. if you had any brood at all there will bee bees until all the hatched brood ages out. as Khicks12 said it is a rule of thumb. as soon as you discovered you were queenless you should have bought a queen and introduces. even a hand full of bees can comeback as long as a portion of them are nurse bees. if you could get a frame of brood to go with it that would have insured some hatching nurse bees to care for the young, unfortunately I never saw your original post. there is a seller on ebay that is selling several frames of brood and a virgin queen. This would have been just the ticket to save your package. and still may if they still have any available.


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