View Poll Results: Are Feral Bees ok for Newbie or NOT

Voters
25. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, don't worry about it

    24 96.00%
  • No, run, don't do it.

    1 4.00%
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please Help!

    Hi All,
    i just got offered a Nuc of Feral Bees from local beekeeper. He ensures me that I will be fine taken care of them as a "newbie" and that in many ways, there are advantages to go with Feral Bees. He also offered to help with all question that I might have or will have in the future, real nice guys it seems.

    I'm somewhat scared that Feral Bees are to aggressive. I want "gentle" bees, don't want to fight them . Are my fears warranted or not? Should I take his advice as a "newbie" or tell him that I probably can't handle Feral Bees.

    BTW I do have a 5 year old, so that is why I'm extra sensitive on the question of aggressive bees.

    Please Help!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,481

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    I was lucky enough to lure a small swarm of feral bees in SF about a month ago. They are less aggressive than my packaged Italians. I also got a swarm from Oakland that are very protective but not aggessive. I was stung by the Oakland girls but it was my fault, not theirs. I would go for it. Feral hives are tough survival wise and from my limited experience, as gentle as any packaged colony.

    I have a 3 year old Granddaughter so I understand your concern but she is never allowed in the bee yard, ever!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    tanks for the reply. very helpful.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-29-2011 at 03:38 PM. Reason: excessive quoting

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Norfolk, MA. USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    I'm not sure where you are located, but I as long as you're not in an Africanized area take a shot.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,131

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    If you are comfortable managing them and they are good around the family, why not. Since bees do not come with date stamps, feral hives could have just come from another beekeeper's colonies. They may be all of a month or two "wild" if that. Most "bee wranglers" want to get a return on their investment as soon as they can turn them into cash. Feral colonies or "survivor stock" are good for beekeeping, but how can you be sure without little bee brands or date stamps?
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bryceville, Florida
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    I would accept contigent on going through the nuc in his yard before accepting it. If I were concerned about how hot they were I would go through them without smoke to see how many irritated and how many came out trying to sting. What I find acceptable and what you will tolerate may be completely different.

    I grew up with bees and can tell you if you let your child access to the hives or help you work them they will probably get the occasional sting. That being said if you don't count the time I knocked the screem off a hive being moved I was stung far more stepping on a forager in the yard than a guard at the hive.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    Thanks for the reply. Of course I have never seen a hive before, unless it was on the a TV. However the beekeeper seems very nice and i'm now more comfortable going forward with this.
    Last edited by Barry; 05-29-2011 at 03:37 PM. Reason: excessive quoting

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    Quote Originally Posted by MassKeeper View Post
    I'm not sure where you are located, but I as long as you're not in an Africanized area take a shot.
    I live in the San Francisco area. Hope I'm alright.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Maitland, Missouri USA
    Posts
    5

    Thumbs Up Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    Radu,
    I have 6 feral and 4 Italian and the ferals are great!! My 3 yo son helps collecting swarms. He picks them up on his finger and carries them to the hive. He enjoys help his dad and "Pop Pop" with the beekeepng. He has been stung a few times but after about 5 minutes he is ready to go back. He is not afraid of snakes either. Our local beekeepers organization is raising feral queens as we think they are better adapted to the local conditions. The one feral hive that I had that was somewhat aggressive had had their house destroyed in mid Sept. by an excatavtor. If you hit or bumped that hive they would all come out to see what was happening. They made it until Feb. and then died. Not sure what happened. If you are still not sure, get one of each!!
    Kent
    P.S. How are things on the Peninsula? I left San Carlos in '92

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,073

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    Build a barrier whereever you place your hives. Like a wooden fence or tall plants that force the bees to go up 6 feet before they can fly over your yard where your 5 year old is going to be. Your guard bees defend against what they can see. If they don't see you in the yard before they get up and start moving you are almost aways ingnored. 6 feet is the norm.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Menlo Park, CA, USA
    Posts
    76

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Ridge Bees View Post
    P.S. How are things on the Peninsula? I left San Carlos in '92
    Thanks for the reply. We love the bay area and San Carlos is a better than ever. Just had dinner at Town recently.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    Give the "ferals" a shot. Be aware though of the seller's reputation and breeding practices... some bees billed as "survivor stock" are actually just escaped managed bees such as swarms that repopulate deadouts. There's no real reason for the ferals to be any scarier (or miraculous) than ay others; won't know until you give them a season in court.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,785

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    >I'm somewhat scared that Feral Bees are to aggressive. I want "gentle" bees, don't want to fight them . Are my fears warranted or not?

    You are in California, so it's harder to say. But feral simply means they USED to be domestic and escaped. The advantages are that they have proven they can live on their own. Some ferals are quite gentle and if your supplier is selecting for that yours may be too. Some are not. And if he is NOT selecting for that they may not be gentle. You can end up with domestic stock that is not gentle as well...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,877

    Default Re: "Newbie Question" Should I get FERALS BEES from local beekeeper or not. Please He

    There's no mean bees in Menlo Park, that's a nice area for bees by the way, it's probably swarms from the area from other hobbiest's hives and not truly feral bees. And, you've got a beekeeper that sounds like he's willing to take you on board. You better jump on board while the offer is there and enjoy the ride. The best thing a newbee can do is get parked under a more experienced beekeeper mentor. You'll learn much more and much faster than you can any other way. Take the bees and good luck with the new hobby!
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads