I removed a hive of bees from a tree near my home last week (North/East Georgia). All seems to have went well. They have taken to their new home and 4.9 mm foundation with ease.
My question is, what type of bees do I have. My father told me that they were always called "black woods bees" or "wild" bees.
The bees are black in color and have a light or little to no yellow bands. The cells that they came from measured out to 4.91mm. They are ill tempered, and keep a partol around the hive of about 50+ ft. The patrolling bees will buzz around you untill you leave the area. If you swat at them (yes, I know better but my old hound dog doesn't) you are encouraged to leave a little quicker than you went in the patrol area.
When I open the hive, smoking helps a great deal, but unlike my Italian bees, I have to keep on smoking them on and off to keep them under control.
It anyone can tell me what type/race I have. I would appreciate it.
I would guess they are A.m. melifera (black bees) possiblly german type. I doubt they are pure and most likely have a bit of yeller blood in them. Interesting to hear they came from 4.91 cell size. Can I forward this info to bio bee list?
I agree that they sound like A.m.m.; I believe many or most of the imports to the US were the continental 'German' type. Bad temper is a well-established characteristic of hybrids, so most likely they have some Italian or other blood as well. Is this an area where people keep bees of other types? I'm interested in cases where diferent types of bee breed fairly true in the same area; they do seem to happen, and it would be good for the bee breeder to know how to reproduce this!
Yes, you can see a few bees from the hive that have other strains(a little more yellow in the bands)...I'm guessing one out of 100.
Clay, feel free to send this info out to any list or group. Yes I did measure 10 cells at a time, and randomly measured all the comb from the hive. I found the same measurements everywhere. Also, most of the comb I pulled went into swarm frames, but of the comb that I didn't use, with about 20 capped brood cells I found no signs of v. mites. I have no way of telling how long the bees were in the tree. I found them in late July, 01. The hive had slowly been moving down into a fork in the tree, because the side of the tree that they started in was dead and falling away. The hive still had about 8 to 10 in. of space between the comb and the bottom of the cavity.
Robert, to answer your question...yes the most common type of bee in my area kept by beekeepers is Italian, but the most common type found in the "wild" is the A.M.M. "black bee".
[This message has been edited by BILLY BOB (edited March 18, 2002).]