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I tried to adopt a tiny colony that moved into my camper trailer, cut them out June 4. They swarmed almost immediately, I posted about it at http://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...small-feral-colony-think-we-ve-lost-the-queen. I bought a frame of brood and a queen locally and put them in. It took them a long time to chew the queen out, at least 4-5 days, and since then I have no eggs. I don't know if they killed the queen or what, but there is no evidence of a queen present. I'm thinking about starting over with a nuc, but I don't know if that's a good idea this late in the season. And I don't know what to do about the remaining bees, I don't think I want to combine them if I do get a nuc, and I don't want to leave them to gradually die off and get overrun with SHB or moths or whatever. They seem reasonably healthy, making a lot of honey, don't have tons of SHB and no mite problem I don't think.

I have seen mention of 'shaking them out' and letting them find other hives to join. Do they do that? If I just shake them all out and close up and/or move the hive what will happen? I have freezer space to freeze the frames before adding a new nuc, or until it's better timing to start a new spring nuc. I could use any advice whatsoever what my next move should be.

Side note: I saw some fighting at the entrance the other day, but only that one time. Robbers? Or what?
 

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Do you have other hives?

If they had a population (which doesn't seem to be the case) I might give them a frame of eggs/brood and let them make a queen then combine them with a hive that needs a boost.

You might just shake them out save the frames, anything else you add is likely to go to waist.

As the nectar slows the robbing attempts increase, those are robbers trying to get in the hive.
 

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Thanks for the input. No, I don't have another hive and there was not very much population. I decided to quit while there were frames worth saving and shook them out. The frames are in the freezer and I put the rest of the components in plastic bags for now. It was pretty sad, but they have pretty much all dispersed now. I'm going to wait until next Spring when it's a better time to start over, and get more educated in the meantime. Might even start with two next time, like pretty much everyone recommends, even though it's just in my small suburban backyard.
 

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Reading your previous thread you linked in post 1, seems like you did the cutout, then on next inspection found queen cells, plus no young larvae. Which means they did not have the origional queen so started making replacement queens.

These queen cells would have hatched, and probably killed the laying queen you introduced, virgin queen beats laying queen every time.

The surviving virgin would likely have gone on to mate and start laying, unfortunately you have not allowed quite enough time for this to happen, it can take a little longer than a month, and based on the timing of your first thread it seems you may have shaken them out in a little less than a month.

That's my best guess based on info you have given, but there are other possibilities also.

Anyhow you can chalk this one up to experience, you have certainly asked a lot of the right questions and seems like you are on the right track. I am sure that if you start with a nuc or two next spring your chances of success are very high. All the best for next season!
 

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Thanks Oldtimer. In hindsight, I think they would have had a better chance if I had just added the frame of brood and let the existing queen cells hatch out instead of introducing a new queen. The local guy I called said if I let them make their own queen they would get mean, but I've talked to others since who disagree. So I did knock off the queen cells, making the new queen I put in the only chance for the colony. When that queen was lost, whatever happened to her, the hive was lost.

I knew going in the odds of success were less than 50/50, but I have indeed learned a lot. I will do a lot more studying-up before I take another shot, and make a stronger start next time.
 

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Oh OK, didn't know you killed the queen cells, which means you actually did everything right, in terms of prep to introduce the new queen. Success with most things is not 100% garuanteed and you just got unlucky that's all. Next time around you will probably do well.
 
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