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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    santa cruz, california
    Posts
    31

    Post

    Yesterday by the kindness of the master stinging insect remover here in Santa Cruz, I got a new swarm. They had nested in 1 metal barrel of an abandoned collection behind a county park's site's tool shed.

    These bees are just huge and very, very yellow/gold! I've brought them home and placed them next to a hive that originated as a swarm that moved into my empty boxes two winters ago. That colony is gray/dark tan bodied and noticably smaller, though not regressed at this point (I'm in the process of that with Michael and Dee Lusby's expert guidance). I could really see the difference though it was very significant. These golden ones look like another insect almost - its weird and they are big!

    Also they were very agitated when they got to my yard (we hived them the late afternoon before, left them at that site overnight, then closed them up 6 AM and brought them to my place). The whole day yesterday they were wild all over my yard. They were definitely hungry, but I'd never experienced that kind of mayhem. But then again I haven't had the experienc of more than 15 swarms or so.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,881

    Post

    Sounds like recently escaped Cordovan Italians.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    santa cruz, california
    Posts
    31

    Post

    Sounds impressive and someone is missing them I'm sure. Okay, anything I should know about them, like what is supposed to be their good and bad characteristics? Are they a bit hot at all? Will this be enough time you think for them to build up house for winter?

    Blessings, P.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,881

    Post

    Cordovans (although in theory it's just a color) seem to all be from the same strain of Italians. Most seem prone to rob, rear lots of brood and tend to be gentle, but if they aren't they can be pretty hot. All of these, of course, are Italian characteristics but a bit exagerated.

    I would expect a swarm to build up enough for winter here, and I'm not in California. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    santa cruz, california
    Posts
    31

    Post

    Do I pick up on any wry humor about the Italian characteristic?

    It's interesting, because I noticed but didn't trust my observations that they were definitely a bit hot - again in fairness their new home was wrecked (seems like they were just getting established in the barrel -maybe a couple of days with two frames worth of comb drawn and only the barest hint of nectar collection) and I took them away and they're probably hungry. All day yesterday as well as the first day they were hanging round the two other hives I hive in the yard definitely with robbing mentality. Didn't worry about my strong hive too much, but closed up the other one to just a very tiny opening. Today I hope they get out and get foraging around the "hood, instead of skulking for a free meal from their neighbors. The lots of brood thing could be good with the timing.

    As for California, finally for the first year in a long many, the days have been relatively sunny (we get a fog bank in the morning being deep in the cusp of the Monterey Bay) and the temp divine in the mid 70's. All the wild berries are blooming for the bees. and my lavenders are luscious, my roses getting pruned for a 2nd bloom. Tourist traffic is yucky and doubly worse from the highway reconstruction, but beauty on the cliffs - the Pacific and in the redwoods abound.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,881

    Post

    >Do I pick up on any wry humor about the Italian characteristic?

    Not really Italian bees are brood rearing fools. Italains tend to be gentle, but occasionally are very hot.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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