30 year old hive with survivor bees. Breeding stock?
Hey all. Need some thoughts on a situation.
Im into my second year of bee keeping and its been great up here in Edmonton Alberta Canada. Looks like my 5 hives have just made it though the winter this year (knock on wood as there is another month before any blooms happen.
I started with 3 packages last spring, made a nuc during he summer and captured a hive making the 5th. Now that 5th one is interesting. A couple a 1/2 mile away bought our old neighbours yard and was about to reside the garage when he noticed a lot of bees coming out the side. He called us and sure enough they are honey bees. Carnolians no doubt. So I made a bee vac and dad and I proceeded to rip apart the side of the building and we ripped and we ripped till we uncovered a 7' high hive of comb between the studs. Some wax was so old it just crumbled in my hands when I held it. Pretty cool. We captured most of the bees and got the queen in there at some point cause eggs were laid that week. We talked to the old lady who owned the property before and she said she has not had bees there for over 30 years. 30 years!! Wow! They survived there for that long with no outside help. So now I'm wondering if these bees maybe are a little special? Are they? Wishful thinking maybe.
My question is, should I attempt to make some queens out of this genetic pool in hopes to gain some sort of advantage over mites or just gain overall survival strength? My concern is that maybe these bees swarm easily and thats why they are able to overcome the mites. When I treated them last fall with formic acid there were mites on the bottom board although not as much as with the other hives. There is another hive in the same building in the other corner that I am hoping to capture this spring and another in a hollow tree probably of the same genetics.
What are your thoughts?