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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks
I am brand new at this so if what I am talking about is a rookie mistake, just let me know. At this point in life I have thick skin.
I bought a new English hive last April and a NUC with two medium brood supers. Moved the bees over and all was well. In late summer we opened the hive and bees were everywhere packed in the hive. We added a queen excluder and another medium super with he thoughts that crowding as what we believed was an issue. In late March we had several warm days with no visible bees. Out of concern we took the top off the hive and there were no bees in the hive, no dead bees under....... nothing. There was some honey left in both the supers below the excluder.

We figured we had somehow made our first mistake as bee keepers and all had left for better dwellings.

Today I walked out and bees are coming and going flying in and out of the hive. Will bees come back after seemingly abandoning an active hive?
This may be such a basic question and if so we apologize. Would someone like to share any thoughts on what we might be seeing.

Thanks so much in advance

Ricky
 

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Sounds like a swarm moved in. It's relatively common.

If you still had honey they could be robbing it, but typically they will rob it out earlier in the season before nectar is available.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Burns375 is probably correct, a swarm moved in. We have just entered our swarm season here. PM me your address and I'll come by and take a look at what is going on.

PS. I live in Aylett, but work downtown just off Maury St.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update
A great new friend JW Palmer stopped by this afternoon and after taking my hive apart we found there were no bees. The bees I were seeing are taking advantage of free honey and syrup I was providing. One issue we did see was evidence of mites through out the hive. No live ones present. After cleaning and examination we set the hive up to try and capture a swarm in coming weeks and aggressively address mites in the summer if we get lucky.
Most importantly I am absolutely impressed by John being willing to come to my house and offer his insight on what might have happened and what we could have done differently. I look forward to one day being able to pay this kindness forward. I will also update in coming weeks with our success in re establishing our hive.

Ricky
 

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Good on jwpalmer. Always nice to hear. Good on ricky for giving credit where credit is due. Makes me wish I were a better guy.
Cheers
gww
 

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Hats off to JWPalmer for walkin' the walk. Welcome Dalerk. Start reading some good bee books and read the forums. J
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update no. 2

Well I guess being lucky does have something to be said for it. My new friend Mr. JW Palmer helped me understand the health of my hive and why my hive was abandoned last year. After cleaning he added some lemon grass oil to the entrance, hopefully to attract a swarm. I have checked the hive multiple times this spring without seeing bees. Cutting grass yesterday I was delightfully surprised to see a very active hive with many bees coming and going continuously. there were many bees at the entrance. It seems I have been adopted as a new bee keeper!!!! LOL

I am interested in any comments or suggestions to help a new hive get established and have the best chance of success. Also what I need to do as far as treatment to help protect against mites and other parasites, with timing for a location in central Virginia.

Thanks for all the help and comments for someone inexperienced.

Ricky
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Ricky, that is fantastic news. My own swarm catching efforts did not prove successful this year, but I have been splitting like crazy, so not a huge deal.

Give the girls a few weeks to settle in and then check for the normal stuff. You may need to start feeding in a few weeks also, so be prepared. You have my number, call me if you have questions.

PS photos are always nice
 

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Good Job Beekeepers. I think bringing in new beeks is a real joy... they all ask the same questions I DID WHEN i STARTED. Most folks I know that are crazy about bees will do about anything to handle some bees. Helping someone get started is a great way to live life... JWPalmer you are a true MENTOR.
 

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I am interested in any comments or suggestions to help a new hive get established and have the best chance of success. Also what I need to do as far as treatment to help protect against mites and other parasites, with timing for a location in central Virginia.
Dalerk,
Congratulations on the swarm, it's been a lean year here for them too. The best recommendation or suggestion I'd offer is to set a little bait for an experienced beekeeper; a cookie, bee talk and/or an adult recreational beverage has been know to attract herds of them. I've heard rumor there maybe a few in your area.
Seriously, a local mentor is your best resource and it sounds like you have started to establish an interaction.
 

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I had a beautifully written, emotional reply to this thread...then I hit "reply to thread" again instead of "post" and it deleted. Oh well.

Dalerk, great news about the swarm. Even better news that you connected with another beekeeper.

JWPalmer, you are the man for taking time to help Dalerk. We should all be so lucky.

Let's continue helping each other out, eh?
 

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u will find a endless wave of learning experances in bee keeping,its a whole world in its self. u got a mentor that loves 2 keep everthing intersting,and on target.There is always something 2 learn about bees ,and I hope u stick with it!
 
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