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Bees Absconded. what next?

Hey there everyone, so a few weeks ago we were out of town and there was a big windstorm for a couple days. When we came back our bees were gone without a trace.
I put a little feeder water out to see if they were still around and I attracted quite a few feral bees but none that looked like mine.
I tried getting some swarm commander to attract one of the feral colonies in the area but after a few weeks none of them will stick around.
I guess i have a couple questions.

  1. Should i clean out my hive and sort of start over wether or not i try to capture a new colony or buy a new nuc starter. (is there potentially a problem with my frames that might be keeping them away)
  2. If i buy a new nuc when should i do it, seems a little early to do it but its los angeles so it never really gets that cold.
    3.Is there anything im not thinking of that i should do.
    thanks everyone. ill try to post some pictures of the frames tomorrow.
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That’s too bad @RyanKunk! Sorry they all just took off like that, without even leaving a note :laughing: -seriously though, your pics might provide some clues…guess the windstorm might have provoked them, but definitely rule out other possibilities. Pest invasion being a major one, but since you didn’t mention seeing anything when you opened the hive I doubt it…I’m also wondering if they had any stores, or perhaps decided to leave in search or better forage if there hasn’t been much around your area.

Another factor that could be at play is that your colony was Africanized. Feral Africanized honey bees (AHB) are present in your general area, so if your colony ever requeened itself the virgin queen could have mated with local AHB drones - these are far more assertive during mating than other honey bee strains and tend to outcompete them, so letting bees make their own queens in your area is risky. Sometimes this happens without us realizing it. Other bold traits of AHB include the well-known hive defensiveness and mass-stinging behavior, and the less-well-known one of higher rates of absconding.

So to answer your good questions, your hive ware should be okay to reuse if no obvious signs of disease or infestation, but in your shoes I’d buy a new nuc from a reputable supplier so you know you’re getting non-AHBs.

Anyway, pics will help & let’s keep fingers crossed it was just the bad luck of a windstorm!

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Change your deodorant :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.

Little blighters will do their own thing no matter what. Part of beekeeping I guess.

You should look out a local beekeeping club and get some local expert advice.

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I can’t fault the thinking and advice from @Eva. I’ve seen hives blown over in strong winds and the bees stayed put, I’m not saying your wrong about that but it might have been a coincidence.
A bought nuc should have better genetic than a wild swarm and not knowing about the traits of a swarm.

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