hi from tampa fl
hi, i'm jeff from tampa fl. I have had a hive in the wall of my shed for the last six years and have been letting them be and we have all gotten along. It became necessary to repair the wall they were in not because of damage they did but just the siding rotting. I took a beginners bee class and then got a hive and tools and moved them into it on Valentines day. Some of them swarmed out of this hive the following week and I then captured them and put them in another hive. These bees left this hive two days ago but they are still in a pile at the front door on the ground. I have put a sheet over them and the hive but not sure what to do . I have e-mailed to the local bee group a few weeks ago but have gotten no response . Even at the bee class the "experts" sid I should just kill these bees as they were "wild" but I never have been stung except once when I was picking up the first swarm when they moved to a dangerous place for them and the public. The first hive seems to be doing fine. Any help would be appreciated.
When any bee is in "Swarm" mode they will be as docile
as they can get. Even africanized.
The key indicator would be how they behaved when in
their "home" and not in swarm mode. Were they gentle?
Chase you over 50 yards or so?? Lot's of stings?
The only sure way is to send a sample be into a lab.
Killing "wild" bees in heavily africanized areas may not
be the worst advise. But in your case they seem to
be gentle and worth hiving.
Others from Florida will give more informed advise.
Post this in "Beekeeping 101".
Again........ welcome and check out the whole site.
There is a wealth of info for you.
These bees are not aggressive at all, they did not freak out to bad when I removed them from the wall and that hive was in a stud cavity 8'4" tall, completely full.
I want to be clear. Living in the north I have Zero
experience with africanized bees.
That said, based on reading and hearing from others
here, it sounds like you have bees that are not AFB.
And worth getting into hives and making honey for
I can't imagine someone telling you to kill them based
on your description. Especially if you survived a cut
My in-laws live between Tampa and Plant City in a little community called Thonotosassa. Lots of orange groves around them. So good to see you on here! Regarding your bees from the wall...make sure you got the queen or the bees will often continue to leave the hive you put them in over and over again to look for her.
If I could keep bees down there I would enjoy getting some of that Orange Blossom honey! Do be careful as some AFB have been reported in the Tampa area. I don't think you have them or you'd know it! ;)
the original hive i put the bees from the wall in seems to be doing well as they are making hive, could the others have left because there were just too many of them?I found the queen when i was taking them out of the wall and put her in the new hive by hand on a peice of the old cone. The hive in the wall was huge!! These bees are very gentle , the hole in the wall they were in for years was only three feet away from the door and I was always in there working and out in the yard in front of them with power tools and such. One time a neighbors 4 year old daughter shoved a stick in the hole and only one bee came out and stung her. I went out and there was a big glob of them on the stick like they were trying to fly it back out. I live right by downtown tampa by the river and have a key lime and tangerine tree in my yard which always have plenty of fruit
I suppose it is possible that you had a small swarm issue from hive # 1. Glad to hear you made sure you had the queen in that hive too. Wish I was closer to you where I could come over and help. Guess you need to determine if the second hive has a queen. See if you have eggs in hive # 2. If not, give them a frame of brood from the other hive (make sure the queen is not on that frame) and then maybe Hive #2 can raise a queen. Its a bit too early to do that proceedure up here, (cold) but in Tampa there are probably drones flying now that could mate with a virgin queen, right? Hope you find someone down that way that can give you some additional guidance. Best wishes...
howdy jeff... another former florida boy (reared in a strawberry patch) here.
it is just about impossible to determine 'race of bees' visually. sometime you can measure naturally made cells and get a good clue. when in question I send a sample off the texas state bee lab which gives me either a + or - determination. I would quess the state of florida has a similar lab for the same problem???
moving bees from wall to movable frames has always been difficult. with the recent arrival of the small hive beetle I suspect this is getting even more difficult. one characteristic of african hybrids is they abscond the hive more frequently than their european cousins. however some time bees will find new box unsuitable.... these have not yet been blessed with the smell of any former bee residents.