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Got a call for bees in the soffit of a shed. When I arrived it was a small garden shed with a handful of bees around a hole in the soffit. Not many coming and going and just a handful at the entrance. We opened the soffit and inside the hole was another handful of bees. No comb, just a hundred bees or so. They have been clustering there for about a week. They haven't increased in numbers and haven't drawn a drop of comb. When I would move them with a finger, to see if there was a queen, they would just move out of the way. Very gentle and easy to get along with. No queen. Four or five drones and the rest workers. We decided to leave them alone and observe them for a few more days. Any ideas?
 

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Sounds like what happened to me last year. I had a baseball size swarm show up on a car we had out front for sale. There was no queen present, just worker bees. I figured they were the tail end of a swarm that rolled through the area, and they lost track as to which way to go. I placed an empty Deep super on the car with some LGO, and they all moved in. I let them live out their lifes in the deep. They never drew out any comb. After several days they became lethargic. After two weeks they died.
In retrospect I realized I should have combined them, and given them hope by newspapering them with a strong hive. That is what I will do if it happens again. Older Beekeepers may advise differently, possibly fearing contaminating another hive. Its all fun and learning at this point for you, that is why I love this forum! Cheers.
 

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I have seen the same thing in the past, I also believe them to be stragglers from a swarm, or escapees from a destroyed hive, I gathered them up and places them near a hive that was strong, but not booming. most of them begged their way in. It never seemed to bother the hive, so they had not been sprayed.
 

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Oh, that is another idea that I didn't think of. I am willing to bet that if you got them in a box, and just before a warm daybreak, opened them and quickly sprayed with sugar water and then dumped them at the entrance of another weaker hive hive, they likely would be accepted.
 
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