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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

This is my first post other than my introduction. I hope everyone can put up with another rank amateur!

My situation is that I was taking down a deck in my backyard when I discovered that the neighborhood bees resided under it. I found a local mentor who was willing to let me help and observe him remove the comb and install it in my first deep yesterday.

Due to the partitioning of the deck by the joists underneath, and due to time demands, it was left to me today to remove another section of deck and check for either more bees or comb. There is no more comb, but there were a considerable amount of bees underneath, concentrated in some dry brush.

I did what I could to move more bees into the new box. Based on my observations last night and today, the bees appear to be taking to their new home, but I am still not sure that I moved the queen at any point.

Tonight I'll see if the old location has dispersed or re-concentrated. If the latter, tomorrow I'll make another shot at dumping them into the hive.

My mentor showed me that there was brood of varying development being inserted into the hive. My biggest concern is that I may need to get a new queen at some point, and I will be unable to contact my mentor for about a week coming up.

So: general thoughts/observations? How long should I wait before I take the rest of the deck down? (I have heard anything from a few days to a month.) For the time being, the new box is just a few feet away, and there is a bucket of old brood comb close to it. Assuming that I manage to get all the bees to stay put in the box, how likely am I to have the queen? I do want to avoid getting a new queen if possible, since these bees are really quite docile.

Thanks for any input you might have!
 

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Well, I'll take a stab at answering, even though there are far more knowledgeable people here. Oh, and welcome!

First, if you missed the queen, then there is a good chance they will raise a new one from the eggs and larvae you cut out and put into the new hive. If you missed the queen, then there should be a ball of bees around her, kinda like a mini swarm.

I would think if the queen had been missed, there would be lots of bees there with her. The bees you're finding maybe the ones going back to the old hive. They didn't orient on the new location.

Wait a week, then check the hive and see if they are making a new queen. That should tell you everything you need to know.

Pugs
 

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If you don't have the queen but do have very young brood or eggs in the comb you salvaged, the bees will make a new queen for you, bringing along the gentle gene that you admire. If you don't see new eggs or a queen cell starting after about a week, then you need to start thinking about a new queen. If you do see new eggs, you're queenright.

Not sure what is to be gained in delaying taking down the rest of the deck. I would just do it and get it overwith.

Wayne
 

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If the old queen is still at the deck, she should be in a ball of bees. If she was killed during the transfer you should find a queen cell in a week. Since you are in San Diego I would assume that you have a much longer year for them to raise a new queen than most of us, so you may not need to order one. Mating with AHB drones might be your worry.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone! I definitely did see the ball of bees today, but that brush was hard to pull out delicately and there's no saying who I dropped. I will look again, but even if it's inconclusive your replies have put me at more ease.

And yes, a new hobby takes precedence over mid-day manual labor in a bee getup!
 
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