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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last spring, my bees were gone. I never checked to see if they had died or if they had just swarmed and left. All I know it that there were bees in there when I readied the hive for the winter and in the spring there was nothing, so I took this last year off.

The other day, I saw that the hive was alive!!!! A very active colony is in there now!!!!

Now...I am in Northern NY. Is there any more risk that these bees would be more aggressive since I haven't a clue where they came from? Do I treat them the way I treated my other colony that I had for 3 years?

Thanks!
 

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They may be more aggresive but they probally won't be. Treat them like any other colony of bees. Are you sure a swarm moved in and those are not robbers you see. It is a little early for a swarm to have moved in in your area but it is possible if someone placed hives nearby that just came from almonds. Or the swarm moved in last summer.
 

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con grats on free bees!:D if you don't like the nature of your bees just requeen.
 

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Sounds like a wonderful "gift".:)

I would suit up well for the first inspection, and take it from there. They may be very gentle or not so gentle, only one way to find out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would say that they are definitely not robbers. We had a mild winter and although I agree that it's early for bee activity in our area, they have been in there for about 5 days now...there are a lot of them and they were acting like they were there to stay.
 

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Let them settle down and clean out their new home.
Check the entrance for pollen foragers. Pollen foraging indicates a laying queen, somewhat.
They will become defensive when they have established a brood nest.
Now you know why we use comb in our swarm trap hives.
Nothing like free bees.
Ernie
 

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oh....and don't forget to take down the for rent sign now that you have them moved in :lpf:
i have been patiently waiting for a spring jump, even thou it's early here as well in nw wyoming, maybe i can get lucky as well and get a swarm this spring :lookout:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A couple of days before I noticed that the hive was active, I saw some bees in my front yard in some flowers that had just bloomed and thought that there must be a hive not too far away. Now I realize that they were likely from my hive that I thought was empty out back!
 

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Isn't it way too early for a swarm in New York! I'm pondering the idea that last years bees never died myself... Are you sure they died last year? If they did, maybe robbers, not sure. I'm miffed...


[In my best Dr House voice]



I reread the message... You said...

"so I took this last year off".

but the bees didn't. You had a swarm move in last year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The bees were definitely gone...empty hive all summer. I kept hoping someone would move in, but nothing. When I last checked the hive in October, it was still quiet. March was a mild month here with temps way above normal. Several days ago, it was in the 80's. I first saw the bees on a day last week that was about 86! It looked the same as a summer day, when lots of them were clumped around the entrance with some flying in and out. I checked on Sunday and it looked like it would normally look like a day in the upper 60's...not like it was a few days before, but still a lot of activity going in and out of the hive. Looks like the normal hive activity I've seen in the past. At what point would I know they weren't robbers and there is actually a hive in there? It's going to be cooler for the next week now and I will be out of town next week, so it will be a couple of weeks before I can pop the lid and take a peek.
 
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