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Thread: Wild Bees

  1. #1

    Question

    I live in central Oklahoma, does anyone know what wild (i guess the word is feral) bees live around here?

    Would i have chances of catching a swarm/hive that are good bees(good honey producers, docile, etc.)?

  2. #2
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    You can always catch a swarm or be lucky enough to locate a feral colony.

    Bees have been breed throughout time for certain qualities. They include both good honey producers and being docile. Catching a "true" feral colony and not a recent swarm, means they probably have less traits of being good honey producers, (africanized being the exception), and are probably more aggressive than those breed for being docile.

    Most who are interested in feral bees, other than the experience of making the catch, are probably looking for a trait of survivability in regards to the v-mite problem.


    As for the actual strain of breed, I do not know.

  3. #3

    Post

    ok, thanks, i plan to have other bees i just think it would (hopefully will) be fun to catch feral bees :-D

  4. #4
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    When I lived in OK most of the feral bees I saw were basically Italian looking. A bit of a darker leather color than the typical Italian, but I'm sure they are mostly decended from them. Maybe now that the mites have hit, you may find more of the old black bees.

    The feral bees I've seen everywhere are of unpredictable demenor. I would approach them with caution. Some are quite docile and some are quite vicious.

  5. #5
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    Is there a chance that my virgin queens will mate with the feral population around here and pick up survival traits?

    If you know what I mean.

  6. #6
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    Open mating is like a box a chocolates.

  7. #7
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    Early last spring I placed a 5 Frame NUC box with 4 frames of foundation and 1 frame of old dark comb. I also had a vial of phermone placed near the opening, on the side of a vacant house where I new there were Bees in the area. Within a month I caught a HUGE swarm that were very gentle. The box was jammed packed full. I have got supers on them now. You can't describe the feeling of catching your first swarm. If you catch a swarm that is viscious you could always requeen.

  8. #8
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    Sounds too easy Russ.

    I want to catch a swarm of feral bees out by my place, and before I go digging into their home, I'd like to try this first. I don't think I'll have to even know the exact spot they're at. I'll just get closer to them and set up a box and see what happens.

    I Can't win if I don't play.

  9. #9
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    If you can get the box within 100 yards or so of the feral hive and if you have old comb in it and, even better, have it in a well used and propolized box and if you add some lemongrass or lemongrass oil or HBH or swarm catch pheromones, then I'd put your odds at about 1 in 16. Much better than the lottery, but not high enough to count on.

  10. #10
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    Jun 2002
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    I want to catch a swarm of feral bees out by my place, and before I go digging into their home, I'd like to try this first. I don't think I'll have to even know the exact spot they're at. I'll just get closer to them and set up a box and see what happens.

    You can always try the cone method. I works, but it takes a few weeks. Eventually, the bees will swarm, and if you can get the queen, you are set.
    I always wanted a wild queen too. I thought it would be better adapted, and probably is, but you never know what you will get. The bees can be mean, run on the combs, lousy producers, ect. I just breed my queens, and hope one of the drones mate with her. Sooner or later, the adaptibility will take place anyway, and I'll already know what I have.

    Pros and cons to every argunment.


  11. #11
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    Well we thought that there was a pretty good chance of catching a swarm as the friend of mine got a swarm just across the road the year before. What we think [and have no way of knowing] is that the bees in the area are probably in a tree and have pretty well used up their space in the tree and will swarm every year so I am going to put up another swarm trap next year and hope to catch another bunch. Good luck Daisy on catching a swarm next spring.

  12. #12
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    Thanks Russ,

    I just want to try it for the experience of it all.

    Heck, so many of them come here now, that I might be able to lure a swarm of them here next spring if I put the sugar water out.

    Good luck to you too......

  13. #13
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    Sugar water won't lure a swarm. It will keep some of the field bees checking out your place and if you have a good smelling and proper home for some bees handy and empty they might consider it. I'd worry more about the swarm trap.

    If you have an old box that is well lived in by the bees this is best. If you don't, then swap a new one for one from one of your hives. Some old dark drawn comb with nothing in it is nice to leave in them. Spray it with Certan so the moths don't eat it. An old lid and bottom board that smell nice won't hurt either. I think Lemongrass essential oil works as well as the swarm lure but you should get one or the other. The biggest problem I have with swarm traps is Finches moving in. And Mud Daubers and Paper Wasps. So you have to check them all the time and clean them out.

  14. #14
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    Micheal, I know sugar water won't attract a swarm, but many of the bees will become familar with my place since they've created a path back and forth to my place.

    I have just what they're looking for......

    Mu ha ha....


  15. #15
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    Oct 2001
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    Daisy,
    Actually when bees swarm, they are looking for a good home not looking for foraging grounds. I doubt that foraging is even remotely on their minds. They just want to find a suitable place that will keep them dry and happy for the foreseeable future. An already established hive but vacant hive is even more attractive.

  16. #16

    Post

    Yesterday i had nothing to do, so i went out back to look at our garden. I noticed something darting around with alot of agility. When i finally caught sight of it, i realized it follows the description of the black bees daisy was talking about.

    I would like to find where the hive is just to see where it is, i dont think i want to catch it this fall.

    Daisy, what ratio of sugar to water do you use in yourt sugar water (if any)?

    Also, if one goes in the bucket of sugar water, when she flies out, how will i know she is going to the hive and not another flower?

  17. #17
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    When a bee fills up on syrup there isn't any more room for nectar. They will go up in a bit of a spiral and then beeline to the hive. If you mark them with a little flour or powdered sugar or catch them and paint a dot on them, you can time how long it takes for them to get back and determine how far away the hive is. If you glue a small downy feather on them you can slow them down enough to get a better beeline or maybe even follow that one bee back.
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/wenner/bsjun1992.htm

  18. #18
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    Chuckle......

    Micheal knows all the tricks. LOL

    Jo jo I've been using a third sugar to water ratio which is the consistancy recommended for my hummingbirds I fed this summer.

    I did this to cut down on my sugar bill.

    Like Micheal said, I can't do this too much longer in this area.

    But if you want to find a feral in the area, just put out the sugar water and they'll find you. Then maybe you'll find them. Mu haha

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