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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canton, Texas USA
    Posts
    533

    Default What are the chances of this?

    Starting yesterday, I noticed a new bunch of bees visiting my feeders that I have on my "bait hives". I have seen them before, but in nowhere near these numbers...It would seem that they are the old German(?) black bees, and there is a large number coming from somewhere. With the exception of an occasional grayish band or two up near the thorax, their abdomens are all black, and they are about 2/3--3/4 the size of my hive bees.
    Is it possible that a feral strain could have survived this long without getting most of their genes all tangled up with other breeds?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    ltlwillie writes:
    Is it possible that a feral strain could have survived this long without getting most of their genes all tangled up with other breeds?


    tecumseh adds:
    likely no. any number of strains of european bees (including one strain of italians) are dark to absolutely black.

    you could also be describing old bees (their abdomen is slick from the loss of hair... ie the abdomens are not fuzzy like a new bee). an old bee will also appear to be somewhat smaller.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,208

    Default

    Most of the feral survivors I find are darker. It's not only possible that feral bees are different genetically, it's been measured in a study...

    I'm not sure why you're feeding at a bait hive. Bees looking for food and bees looking for a home aren't looking for the same things.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canton, Texas USA
    Posts
    533

    Default

    I now regret the choice of words that I chose... "Baited hives" are simply ready to occupy hives that have been treated with Bjorn's attractant, and the feeders are about 12' from them. ...My thinking was that the scouts would see a liveable place that smelled right, plus a nearby supply of food as desireable. I was in hopes that the combination of the two would give me a better chance for a catch.......Sorry to have been misleading and clumsy with my description of the setup.

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