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I hear people talk about treatment free and treating hives... So that brings me to this>>>>>>>>>>

I read a article in the paper yesterday where a local Bee Keeper removed a huge hive from inside wall of an old house that had been there probably 10- 15 years. They collected about 15 gals of honey......

How is it that a Bee colony can live and grow to a very healthy and productive size untreated and untouched by humans?????
On the other hand a treated or non treated well taken care of hive is so prone to death?
 

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> huge hive from inside wall of an old house that had been there probably 10- 15 years.

Without taking any side in the treatment/no treatment squabble,
:) it is possible that while the combs have been in that same location for 15 years, more than one colony may have been the occupants over that time period. Unoccupied comb is a powerful lure for a swarm looking for a new home.
 

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very good beeman! Humans are why honey bees are die. Often new beekeepers take too much honey, southern packages are hit and miss, and natural cell if you're a believer..... to name a few.
 

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You do not even need the vacant comb to be a powerful attraction. How many times have you removed a hive from a structure, Only to have to go back in a year or two to remove another from the same place. just the smell of previous bee occupation seems to be enough.
 

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For the previous quarter century, up until last spring, I had multiple colonies of unmanaged honey bees living concurrently in the walls of one of my barns. Sometime between Dec. 2012 and May 2013 they all died, absconded, moved to Florida... A few weeks after I noticed their absence, I had three new swarms take up residence in the anecestral "hives". Those three were cut out and now live in Langsunder my care.

Before last spring when the swarms were hived I'd always assumed that the bees in the walls were the same ones from year to year to decade to decade. Since then I have studied more about bees and paid more attention to their natural history, so I now believe that while the locations were occupied continuously, some years the bees died and were replaced by new swarms in the spring. I have notations in my farm books of having bees there every year, but some years when I was busy with other things and not looking closely, I have notations that the bees appeared to be "late to start flying", but eventually appeared. I now believe those were years when a colony was lost and the combs were re-occupied by new swarms.

Before I fell in love with my hives the bees in the walls were just there and occasionaly made an appearance in the journals in the same way I might note an observation about a bird, or the late flowering of some plant. Not something I was paying attention to, nor understanding the significance of noting the bees were "not flying, yet."

So it might appear that the barn-wall bees lived 25 years with no human intervention, I think that's not the case. I think the site was occupied by successive new swarms. Iit will be interesting to see if I get any new swarms there this spring. The masses of comb are now gone, but I'm sure that the cavities still smell strongly of "hive". And we put the siding back on with screws, so we won't have to bash it off, again.

Enj.
 

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>How is it that a Bee colony can live and grow to a very healthy and productive size untreated and untouched by humans?????
>On the other hand a treated or non treated well taken care of hive is so prone to death?

Since the experts assure me this is impossible, I'm sure they just imagined those bees. ;)
 
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