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  1. #1

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    I have a trailer located on Edwards AFB where a feral colony has taken up residence under the trailer. There is no agiculture within many miles. I am thinking about capturing these bees and moving them to my property a couple hundred miles away.

    Any chance these bees are more resistant to mites and/or other diseases since they are feral and have survived?

    Also, I am concerned I might impact the natural ecosystem...afterall, how many bees colonies are there in the desert in the first place?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
    Posts
    378

    Post

    Under a trailer eh? I'm assuming you didn't recently move the trailer with the bees hanging on...

    According to the most recent American Bee Journal, africanized bees have moved into the Edwards area, so be cautious. You'll know real fast if they are, when you start moving them into a hive. I'd have a full bee suit on.

    I am amazed that bees can survive in the desert. I know there are beekeepers down in Touson, Arizona... so it must be possible.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    chatsworth, calif usa
    Posts
    405

    Post

    A couple of hundred miles away could be Long Beach or Bishop or Bakersfield, all places which host beekeeping anyway,if the new location is your concern. Bees will migrate to where they can on their own, i suppose, and they are an introduced specie to the North American continent anyway. I think it's too late to worry about the natural enviornment as far as bees are concerned, they're here to stay for now.
    As far as them being possibly AHB, If you move them to a non-AHB colonized area, it may speed up their invasion progress abit or perhaps,at worst, fill a pocket where they can survive even if they may not have been able to migrate there on their own- geographical barriers comes to mind.
    All in all, if it were me, i would hive them up on foundationless frames or in a top bar hive and put them in the shade if they were to stay in the Mojave Desert, and enjoy them to the fullest extent. I know someone who has bees in Lancaster. The weather is probably about the same, but they are probably closer to the urban forage than Edwards is, or at least the forage opportunitis are denser. They might have better access to water there too.
    There is a school a thought that surviors have certain traits that offer some resistance but i think you probably already know about as much about that as i do. Hive them up and see how they do. What elce would happen to them anyway? What would you be looking at on down the road if you just left them there? It might be easier to deal with them now rather than later,especially ir they decide to move inside or into the walls! Just some thoughts.
    Now for the disclaimer: I am no biologist,scientist or ecologist. I'm not even a beekeeper, i'm a bee-haver, and a new one at that. These are just Sunday morning musings of a guy interested in feral colonies. Take them as entertainment only and with a grain of salt. Good wishes and keep us posted. jim
    My Mom's other kids are smarter than me, but i'm not nearly as nice.

  4. #4

    Post

    I doubt they are afracanized, they are as mellow as the two hives I already have on my Bryson property. As for the desert environment, they have a good all year round water supply nearby(a runoff retention pond which always has water in it). Based upon the number of bees coming and going, I would guess it is about the size or strength of a normal two super hive, they have been in this location for about 1 year. The trailer is a rental construction office trailer and will have to be moved in about 6 months and I am just starting to work on a plan to deal with them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Plano, North Texas
    Posts
    318

    Post

    Bees do quite nicely in the deep desert. The honey flow is in the winter/early spring when the desert shrubs are in bloom. It isn't a great flow and beekeepers won't get much, but it's enough for bees to make enough honey to get by. Some beekeepers overwinter their migratory colonies down there to give the bees a chance to forage and build up until they are ready for the almonds. There are not too many days in the year when they can't forage, so there are year-round (albeit small) opportunities for them. Any housing nearby is a bonus because people naturally plant flowery things.
    "Before I speak, I have something I'd like to say. . . . I will try to keep this short as long as I can." Yogi Berra

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