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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have a hive (still the same queen) in it's 4th year, and roughly 1.5 months ago, I noticed no brood/eggs (bee bread/nectar instead), dwindling colony, etc. I figured I'd lost the queen or a swarm I hadn't noticed while traveling or something...But after some studying up I decided to wait and see what happened, since my local supplier didn't have queens yet anyway. Maybe she was quiet for the winter? Though in the past, since Bay Area winters aren't really winters, she hadn't slowed before.

The interesting thing is now 1.5 months later, their numbers have definitely dropped to maybe 300 or so. But still, workers aren't laying eggs, and the bees are still holding on. Shouldn't it be wiped out by now? Do I just have very long lived bees, or am I seeing robbers or wild bees who've taken up residence instead? I've pretty much decided to get a new package this week at this point, but then can I integrate these bees at all? Because of the shelter in place here I'm not sure I could get a second hive in time, so probably need to use the same. I have another brood box, but no other parts to a hive...

Thanks for your thoughts...not exactly a newbie, as I said, my fourth year. But it is my first hive, so haven't come to an end/transition like this before.

Arne
 

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Do you know for certain you are queenless? Four years is a long time for one queen. If you are not seeing any eggs and only a few bees, and no laying workers, then, I'd suspect they are not your bees but from another hive nearby that is cleaning out any leftover food stores.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you know for certain you are queenless? Four years is a long time for one queen. If you are not seeing any eggs and only a few bees, and no laying workers, then, I'd suspect they are not your bees but from another hive nearby that is cleaning out any leftover food stores.
I'm not totally certain, but we've been past whatever constitutes "winter" here for awhile, and still not brood and still dwindling bees. I think you're probably right about the bees being from another hive, I watched for a bit today and didn't see any pollen going in...Headed to get a new package this weekend!

Arne
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Hey Arnie, if you dont see a queen among a measly 300 bees, you lost the hive. Four years is a really long time for a queen to live these days. Hope the new package works out.
 
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