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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Lake Leelanau, Michigan
    Posts
    113

    Default Intentional swarms

    Does anyone in rural areas with a lot of hives ever intentionally let one of their strong resistant colonies swarm in hopes that they will set up as feral bees?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maple Valley, WA
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Intentional swarms

    I do not, for several reasons, not the least of which is the probability of them ending up as someone else's problem when they decide to setup in the walls of someones home. If I really wanted to setup feral bees (not sure why I would) I don't think creating a swarm is the best way to go about it.

    Besides, it's also contrary to the county laws where I live, which require proper management to avoid swarms.

    That said, my next door neighbor does allow her colonies to swarm annually, as part of her natural beekeeping management philosophy (which is really no management). I made the mistake of advising her that a swarm had landed in my apple trees and offered her the opportunity to retrieve them. She did and cut significant limbs out of my tree to get them and left the debris on the ground for me to clean up. This was my first year here and I've since learned from other neighbors that the annual swarming really irritates and concerns them. Not winning friends with this approach but more to my point, it does the entire community of beekeepers a disservice to have management practices that purposefully impinge on others. It creates perceptions and even hostilities that the beekeepers who follow must then work to overcome.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kennewick, Wa
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Intentional swarms

    crytobrian that lady needs to be held accountable, very well said. no one should promote swarms for ours to deal with.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    544

    Default Re: Intentional swarms

    Intentional swarming would be a waste of bee-resources since they have a very high mortaility rate (IIRC it's at least 75%), and swarms take the existing "strong-colony" queen with them.

    If you want to add your own "strong-colony" genetics to your area (and it isnt really a local-to-you area, more like within a 2+ mile radius) then be content with the drones your strong hives raise and contribute to the genetic pool of locally mated queens from splits you make.

    Enj.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: Intentional swarms

    i live in a heavily wood area and don't have to worry about my swarms becoming a problem for my neighbors.

    i catch and trap what i can, but i don't fret over the ones that get away and i do see them as valuable in helping support the feral population around me, and i am thankful for the drone contribution they provide when i'm getting queens mated.

    another one of those considerations that is 'local' to the beekeeper.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,358

    Default Re: Intentional swarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Maplevalleykennel View Post
    Does anyone in rural areas with a lot of hives ever intentionally let one of their strong resistant colonies swarm in hopes that they will set up as feral bees?

    Would this question be couched with even one iota of an inkling that "feral" bees are somehow superior to those kept in a log that has been cut and painted? If so WHY? What would be the purpose of this?

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