Re: Am I doing a stupid thing?
Our ferals are definitely ferals. They have a multitude of genetic influences. I have a hive of them currently on it's 4th year with no treatments and very little feeding at all. Great bees, except they are a tad hot (but not too terribly bad - they have never stung me, just a ton of head-butters). Make a lot of honey too. They overwinter very well at 8000', which is one of my main concerns. If you were running a big commercial operation with hundreds of hives of them, I can see how they might be annoying to work with, because they do have some wild habits.
I have no plans to requeen them and mostly use them for their survivor drones for breeding with my other hives. Raising and breeding bees in a mountain valley environment is unique, as my bees hardly leave the canyon they are placed in, so breeding influences can be controlled pretty well.
Bill, hopefully your bees work out as well as mine have.
NM desert/mountain beekeeper - trying to raise locally adapted Southern Rocky Mountain bees