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  1. #1
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    May 2014
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    Default Human Made Feral Hives

    I did a search on this, so i hope this isn't a repost.

    This thought all stemmed from one picture taken in another country of a feral hive made from a hollow log with 3 holes drilled in it as an entrance way. I'll attempt to locate the picture.

    Obviously, we know already that we cannot keep hives that do not have removable frames here in the states, due to disease concerns, AFB and others.

    We also know that our feral bee populations are in decline, so my point in this post is this;
    Is it legal, to create a similar hive, that is not human kept(therefore not managed) and leave it in the wild as a possible refuge for swarms and colonies.
    And do this as frequently as possible and drop them in locations to help feral populations.
    I don't want to break the law, but want to help the bees. Would this mitigate regulations?

    Anyone with any suggestions is welcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    1,238

    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    I would think it would be complete legal to find or make a hollowed out log with holes as desired and put some LGO in it.

    This way there is a good chance you would also catch feral ones.

    If you put packaged bees in there they might get mites or disease and die.

  3. #3
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    Jan 2010
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    Ithaca, NY USA
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Is it legal, to create a similar hive, that is not human kept(therefore not managed) and leave it in the wild as a possible refuge for swarms and colonies.
    Professor Tom Seeley has a feral hive project going right now, with something like forty hives set in the woods and not managed. However, they are in normal ten frame hives. In NYS it is illegal to have hives with unmovable combs. Secondly, while he doesn't manage them, he is able to inspect them to determine if they died from AFB or whatever. There is simply no particular downside to using an ordinary single story hive with frames as a bait hive, and the upside is that the combs are legal and moveable. I have inspected hundreds of abandoned hives, & it's really a nightmare where they have built cross combs, whereas if the combs are in frames you can get one or two out and have a look at the brood. (Looking is not managing)

  4. #4
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    Mar 2011
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    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    I believe hives similar to this have been done before as "Seed" hives.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Saverton, MO
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    52

    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by nlk3233 View Post
    Obviously, we know already that we cannot keep hives that do not have removable frames here in the states, due to disease concerns, AFB and others.
    Is this true? I wasn't aware. I have neighbors that have upright logs capped with boards on top and bottom with a natural entrance. Interesting...

  6. #6
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    Sep 2012
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    Casey, Il, USA
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    I would not call that "keeping" bees but I'm not a lawyer. For all anybody knows it was a ferrell hive he brought home in order to move them to a standard hive when the time was right so that he can then keep bees otherwise everyone who is in need of a cutout would be breaking the law

  7. #7
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    May 2013
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    Saverton, MO
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    52

    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    I would not call that "keeping" bees but I'm not a lawyer. For all anybody knows it was a ferrell hive he brought home in order to move them to a standard hive when the time was right so that he can then keep bees otherwise everyone who is in need of a cutout would be breaking the law
    That's what I assumed they had done.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    nlk, what you want to do is called swarming. That's where most of the feral colonies in trees and buildings everywhere come from. They are cast off from managed colonies. It is not illegal to let your colonies produce and cast swarms.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  9. #9
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Ha ha can everyone say Golden mean hive Lol

  10. #10
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    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    Professor Tom Seeley has a feral hive project going right now, with something like forty hives set in the woods and not managed.
    Where can I find out more about this? Read may studies and books by Tom Seeley. He also has a Utube video that some one posted.

  11. #11
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    Dec 2010
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    helenwood,tn.usa
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    so how many generations would it take to turn domestic bees into feral bees and what good would it do? according to the experts any good traits that a line of feral bees would be develope would be lost within a few generations because of the reproductive randomness of bees. sounds like a recipe for self extinction.
    beekeeping about 15 years. Warning i could be an idiot. I'm from South Jersey.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    How would this help the bees except in the case of doctor Seeley doing research.
    Last edited by Acebird; 08-27-2014 at 07:36 AM.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Where can I find out more about this?
    Tom told me that it's a three year study and the results are to be published. So far, I think they are two years into it.

    so how many generations would it take to turn domestic bees into feral bees and what good would it do?
    Normally, feral means escaped from captivity and reverted to wild behavior. Since honey bees are not in captivity and are not domesticated, the term is inappropriate. Bees are essentially wild animals who are tricked into using our hives so we can take advantage of them.

    Many species such as Apis dorsata and Apis florea cannot be kept in hives, they simply will not stay. Honey bees in Africa will occupy log hives but will abscond (migrate) when the flow ends.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Studies in Victoria (Oldroyd et al. 1997a) found that the feral honey bee population was self-sustaining and did not rely on immigration from the commercial population. The genetic distance of the commercial bees (Better Bees WA and others) with the feral Western Australian population was thus also investigated to determine whether the populations are genetically distinct. This allowed testing of the hypothesis that the feral population is maintained by escapees from commercial colonies in Western Australia.

    We investigated the genetic distance of the closed population breeding program to that of beekeepers outside of the program, and the feral Western Australian honey bee population. The feral population is genetically distinct from the closed population, but not from the genetic stock maintained by beekeepers outside of the program.

    The representation of both subspecies in the mitotypes of the feral population indicates gene flow from the commercial A. m. ligustica colonies via swarming. This was not necessarily a recent event and does not imply that the feral population is currently being supplemented by swarms from commercial colonies.
    Comment:
    Here we see three populations: 1) closed breeding system; 2) open breeding system; 3) feral populations. The closed breeding system has succeeded in creating a distinct population whereas the feral population has not. According to the authors, the feral population may not be regularly infused with swarms, but has simply not diverged due to the lack of selective pressure.

    In the US and Europe it is hypothesized that the feral population could diverge due to the selective pressure of varroa mites. So far, there is little hard evidence to support that, aside from a few isolated survivor populations (plus, the Africanized bees). What is needed is evidence that the survival is due to genetic differences that can be replicated in other locales, thus ruling out environmental factors.

    PLB

    SOURCE:
    Chapman, N. C., Lim, J., & Oldroyd, B. P. (2008). Population genetics of commercial and feral honey bees in Western Australia. Journal of economic entomology, 101(2), 272-277.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    Where can I find out more about this?
    Have you seen this one?
    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs...l-00892236.pdf
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Everybody cites the Arnot Forest study but they fail to note this part

    The logical next step in the study of the honey bees of the Arnot Forest is to test rigorously the hypothesis that the basis for this stable host-parasite relationship is the evolution of avirulence in the mites.
    To my knowledge, this work has never been done. Therefore, there is no proof that avirulence is a factor. In fact, in Tom's subsequent work he is focusing on colony isolation as a driver of long term colony survival.

  17. #17
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    May 2014
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Thanks for everyone's responses! I will definitely look into Tom Seeley's work. Sounds very interesting.


    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    How would this help the bees except in the case of doctor Seeley doing research.
    Well, as far as i see it, with more feral bee hives, the better chance that 1 or 2 or more hives will successfully overwinter, and thus increasing our population of bees. I'm just seeing it as a win win. We could catch more feral swarms, that would be a big plus.


    Is this true? I wasn't aware. I have neighbors that have upright logs capped with boards on top and bottom with a natural entrance. Interesting...
    I may have used the incorrect terminology, but I am fairly sure you could not keep hives that could not be "inspected" as Peter has pointed out.
    Thank you for that correction.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Legally or really responsibly.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  19. #19
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    I am fairly sure you could not keep hives that could not be "inspected" as Peter has pointed out.
    I am not saying you couldn't do it, just that it is illegal in most states. For the most part, these laws are never enforced. I saw hives in Marin County, CA. that were in traditional skeps. I offered to show how to "inspect" them but when they realized I was going to cut a piece of brood comb out, they declined.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Human Made Feral Hives

    Quote Originally Posted by nlk3233 View Post
    Well, as far as i see it, with more feral bee hives, the better chance that 1 or 2 or more hives will successfully overwinter, and thus increasing our population of bees. I'm just seeing it as a win win. We could catch more feral swarms, that would be a big plus.
    You feel just by providing more housing for the bees there would be more of them. I can't buy that concept.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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