Bees drifting?
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Thread: Bees drifting?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    East Quogue, New York, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Bees drifting?

    It is possible for a large amount of one colony to drift into a neighboring hive? I had a very strong colony in the fall dwindle to the size of a nuc without any signs of dead bees or swarm cells. I noticed the colony next door was exploding. The dwindling hive was left with a super of honey while the other was a mid summer split that was being fed sugar syrup and Honey Bee Healthy (bee crack). I thought possibly they were lured over by the HBH. I realize there are numerous possibilities and variables but was wondering if this could be one of them. Thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    DuPage County Illinois
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    179

    Default Re: Bees drifting?

    The strong colony might have been overcome by mites and left. Happens allot in the fall.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, USA
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    183

    Default Re: Bees drifting?

    Not likely (I would bet on one of the other possibilities).
    Regards,
    KGB-8Fmed

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,672

    Default Re: Bees drifting?

    agree- one of the other possibilities.
    They didn't move into the other hive. And they didn't just leave.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Bees drifting?

    I had it happen but the weaker left to join the stronger queens hive. The weaker queen was abandoned in her hive with some twenty nurse bees and 60kg of honey stores..No mite frass, no brood. They froze. She must have lost her laying ability. It was in late fall. I believe this happens with queen issues.
    She was never a good breeder I had to donate brood combs, an action I will never do again. Better to let them supersede or combine before winter or introduce a new one. They combined themselves though and gifted me with the honey.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,717

    Default Re: Bees drifting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayfer12 View Post
    It is possible for a large amount of one colony to drift into a neighboring hive?
    Most certainly, and there's usually a good reason behind doing so. I have one box - a divided Deep Long Hive - in which this has happened over the winter period. The reason ? Because the semi-abandoned queen is very old and presumably doesn't present herself to the colony as being the best bet for survival - so they upped sticks and moved next door, to where there is a first-year queen.
    Fortunately I spotted this when the 'sad' colony was down to about 200 bees, and have been able to nurse it through the remainder of the winter - my reason for doing this is that she's been my best queen ever, and I'm hoping to take a few more daughters from her in a few week's time - if I'm lucky. Fingers crossed.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hubert, North Carolina
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: Bees drifting?

    Since you asked about drifting, I'll answer it. Yes, drifting happens quite often in bee yards where the hives are aligned in a straight line and for the most part painted the same. You'll find that the hives on either end will build in numbers more rapidly than the others. This is due to drifting. Any hive will let a forager in when bringing in resources. This is easily fixed by changing hive positions. Just remember, bee's can't count.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    East Quogue, New York, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Thanks for the info. It doesn't sound like I had the right scenerio for drifting unless it was the HBH I was feeding the other hive. The colony that suddenly dwindled was very strong, with a first year queen and had a full super of honey for the winter. Mites are a big possibility since I was under the impression they weren't an issue in the first season of a new colony.

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