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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Bangor, PA
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    Default What kind of bees?? These kind of bees

    I'm very, very new to this and everyone talks about Italian and Russian Queens and so forth. My question is, when I find a wild hive like the monster I found last year in N.J., what kind of bees are they?? Are all bees from Europe or were there bees that were always in the US?? Maybee a dumb question, but I have to know.

    Thanks


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xRtH2LO7vY

    That's the same kind of hive I found except 5 times the size at least! But right out in the open like that...
    Last edited by pauvil; 01-31-2008 at 09:13 AM. Reason: added link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    915

    Wild Question!

    Actually, the wild hive that you captured is no wilder than any other managed hives in the area.
    Where ever honey bee hives are present, there will be hollow trees or old shed walls that will become homes from swarms cast.
    The genus is always apis, and the species: melifera, the race is whatever the beekeeper last purchaced or bred.
    To identify the race, grab a senior beekeeper in your area and give a look.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Bangor, PA
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    Default

    I guess my question is: are there "American Bees"? The hive I found was big and it was about 3 feet off the ground and maybee 6ft. tall and 4ft. wide with a ton of comb right in the open. The bees were very gentle as I was able to sit right in there and eat a little comb without getting stung once. I'm asking because Instead of buying bees for my new hive I'd like to try to capture a swarm. Any thoughts???

  4. #4
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    Jan 2008
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    Bangor, PA
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    Default

    couldn't edit: I know that there are no known bee keepers in the area and as I said, this hive was out in the open, not in a tree or house or anything, built on the outsid of a small tree.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Pineville Missouri
    Posts
    222

    Big Grin

    WELL DARN !!!!! There is the start for you . Local , hardy and free , nothing better

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
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    2,790

    Default

    All honey bees (Apis mellifera) were introduced to North America by human activities.

    As far as "known" beekeepers in N. J., I suspect even if no beekeepers are registered in the area, someone is or has been keeping bees within flying range of this unmanaged colony you found. And the fact that the honeycomb is apparently exposed (you said "on the outside of a small tree") suggests that these bees may not have been there very long. I'm not sure how cold that area gets in winter, but I would question whether an exposed colony like that could overwinter successfully if temperatures drop below freezing for more than a few days at a time.

    If they're still there in the spring, I say take 'em!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Bangor, PA
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    Default

    we see temps below zero, that's for sure. About the bee keepers in the area, how far will a swarm go to find a place to build a hive?? When I say in the area I mean at least 5 square miles that I know of.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2005
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    Volga, SD
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    Default

    I don't know just how far the typical swarm will travel, but bees often forage at distances of two to three miles from their hives. Five square miles is actually less than the area within the "average" foraging range of one hive (the area of a circle with a radius of 2.5 miles is more than 19 square miles).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    6,081

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pauvil View Post
    we see temps below zero, that's for sure. About the bee keepers in the area, how far will a swarm go to find a place to build a hive?? When I say in the area I mean at least 5 square miles that I know of.

    Statistics show most swarms will settle if suitable nesting sites are available, within 300 to 900 meters. But they will travel a couple miles if needed.

    One of the things about statements like "Nobody around here keeps bees', is that its almost always wrong. I would ask beekeepers who the closest beekeeper they knew of when discussing disease and other items while visiting, and most were surprised by yards or keeper they had no idea about. And most knew about a beekeeper not on the records or registered.

    I'll take Bangor Pennsylvania as example. In NorthHampton county, there are 35 registered beekeepers. Maintaining 58 apiaries, and a hive count exceeding 340 hives. And thats just the registered beekeepers. The unregistered ones (both apiaries and additional beekeepers) tend to be a little more "unknown". Suggestions of between 10 and 50% additional hives may exist "unregistered". Do you know where these yards and hives are?

    My own thoughts is that it would be hard to find 5 square miles in most places (Pa.-NJ) without having hives somewhere.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    174

    Default

    Another thought - these bees could be from a kept hive that is more than a couple of miles away. If this have cast a swarm that went 1.5 miles to find a nesting site. Then later that nesting site cast a swarm 1.5 miles, then you'd have the bees transversing 3 miles after swarming and nesting twice.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Bangor, PA
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    Default

    I understand and I thank you for the replies, I do see, in my PA house, maybee a 1/2 to 3/4 of mile down the road about six hives in a field. I haven't seen the people who own the property but neighbors told me that they do produce and sell some honey. I will try to get in touch with them soon. I'm hoping to set some swarm traps out in the spring and get lucky.

    Thanks

  12. #12
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    Jan 2008
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    Bangor, PA
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    Default

    Just to sum up....I get a lot of bees in my yard in the spring, does this mean that I have a good chance of trapping a swarm using the right stuff. I'm just going by what we've talked about as far as distance.

  13. #13
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    Default These are the bees

    This is the same kind of hive I found, except at least 4 times the size of the one in the video. Out in the open like this one though.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xRtH2LO7vY

  14. #14
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Default

    Four times as big would be the biggest I have ever seen.

    I have collected four of these outdoor colonies (they are not hives) and this picture was the last one. I had placed it into a hive and placed a full super of honey above right in contact with the comb. But they failed to move up and eventually died over winter. They did not want to move off their comb for some reason.



    Some years there seems to be a good amount of swarming, and other years not so much. Setting out swarm traps, and the chances of catching a swarm, is in direct relationship of the amount of swarming in the area. But certainly if bees are close enough to be visiting your yard for nectar, they are close enough for you to have a reasonable chance of catching one, if swarming events take place.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2008
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    Bangor, PA
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    Default

    I know it sounds big, it was huge!!! anyway, so is this a swarm that just kind of settles where it lands?? is this common?? why would they build right out in the open like that?? anyone??

  16. #16
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Default

    It is unusual for bees to build open air comb. I have read that maybe 1 to 5% of swarms do this. It is usually reasons associated with too much time being taken, or no nesting sites found. The bees begin to make comb as they stay in a tree for several days while scouts are looking for a place. They then just stay there as they become accustomed to the location, and after awhile just call it home. Most do not grow large enough to make it through the northern winters.

    John Hoffman from Mount Holly Springs Pa., was monitoring a huge outdoor colony several years ago. It was built in some branches along a train track. It was large enough to make it most of the way through winter and was looking good to make it all the way. But the railroad company had sent a huge brush clearing machine along the sides of the track. It did not hit the cluster, but it shook the branches enough that the cluster broke, and most of the bees died in the freezing temps. What remained died within a couple days as the cold temps dropped.

  17. #17
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    Jan 2008
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    Bangor, PA
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    Default

    Very interesting indeed!! I'm thinking maybee the one I found one that made it a year, as I said, it was big. Oh, and thanks for the 5 lures on eb yesterday, can't wait to try them.

    Done with my questions, for now........

    sorry, but I have to know........

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