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Thread: "Survivor bees"

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
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    1,583

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    I dont treat my bees and have not treated in well over 10 years.I think you would have to call them "survivor bees"

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Ar. USA
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    307

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper1d View Post
    I dont treat my bees and have not treated in well over 10 years.I think you would have to call them "survivor bees"
    I would certainly think so!! Congrats.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Terre Haute, Indiana
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    240

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    One major problem facing feral bees is the same one facing so many other species, loss of habitat. Specificaly nesting sites and forage areas.
    For most city dwellers, current AND former, a nest of bees is something to be killed. I've heard that in Florida all ferals found are to be killed to prevent possible AFB colonies. Even around Indiana where I live, and with the DNR activly trying to encourage ferals be left alone, most feral colonies get a dose of bug bomb.
    You have to see the miles upon miles of tree rows that are being bulldozed for ethanol production. The dozens of empty buildings being torn down in every city. The intensive spray programs to control West Nile and other diseases, to see just how hard it is getting on the feral bee.
    It isn't the parasites and diseases that are having the biggest impact, it is us.
    Personally I have never bought a bee. Never even thought about it. As a Wildlife Managment Operator I have given away hundreds of swarms and cut out feral colonies to beeks in the area before I started keeping myself. While I do feed new colonies for a period to get them started, and that is about as close to a "treatment" that they ever get. So in my own limited experience bees can, and do, get along quite well without us poking around in their lives, and hives, all the time.

  5. #24
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    Apr 2011
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    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
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    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    "One major problem facing feral bees is the same one facing so many other species, loss of habitat." You gt that right!!! Here in south Arkansas are a lot timber lands.In the last few years the timber companies have cut almost every tree that has a hollow in it.They have almost cut all the hardwood.Bees have to hunt real hard to find a hollow tree around here.The clear cuts do provide some good bee pasture for several years till the pines shade out the vines,berries and under growth.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Garfield, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Quote Originally Posted by ArkansasBK View Post
    There are still oldtimers who cut beetrees for the honey right here in the U.S.
    Took my baby brother out once with a cross-cut to cut a tree at a neighbor's house. Got a #10 washtub full of comb outta that thing - made up two hives out of it... good times.. good times... been a long time since I seen a bee tree around here. Hope to change that....

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
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    1,148

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    There are too many variables into what makes a "survivor" colony. Might be the distance between the cluster and the bottom of the cavity that they are nesting in might be too great for the mites to climb back up to the cluster when they get knocked off. Might be the local bee forage in the area might have plant species that the bees work that might have natural essential oils in the nectar. Could be the placement of the colony in the form of the sun and shade factor. Could be the propolis they were using was a factor. The truth is that when you move most survivor colonies out of the area they were surviving in, they soon perish. TK

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Ar. USA
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    I live next to the Nat. Forest and know where 3 bee trees are right now. I do a lot more than deer hunt in them thar woods! Forest service says they will give permission to cut them. I choose to let them be, and have told no one where they are, not even the forest people. But if they bring in a timber crew I'll be there before the cutting starts.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    695

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Ferals are thriving in our local area. I'm in the middle of my 10th removal this year, caught 12 swarms so far, only 3 of which I think originated directly from other beekeepers. Passed on 6 other swarm calls. Seeing lots of little tiny bees.

    Don

  10. #29
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Maynard, MA
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    7

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Hi All,

    D. Semple, not doubting you or anything, but how do you tell if a swarm is from someone local, or a feral swarm?

    I had my hive swarm a month ago, and the swarm hung in a nearby tree for a day or so, and then went away. About 5 days later, another swarm (seemed smaller than the first) showed up in another tree, happily, much lower down, where we could (rather comically) take it down and put in my buddy's hive (his bees didn't make it over last winter). Could these have been my swarm coming back, full of remorse?...

    I had a nuc box with some foundations and lemon grass oil out in the yard for a few days after the 1st swarm left, hoping to catch my swarm. Could this have attracted the next swarm, days after it was removed?

    As far as ferals go, I reckon they've either survived at least one winter, or are very fecund, which is a good trait, either way.

    Mac

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    goshen, ma
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac_in_Mass View Post
    Hi All,


    I had my hive swarm a month ago, and the swarm hung in a nearby tree for a day or so, and then went away. About 5 days later, another swarm (seemed smaller than the first) showed up in another tree, happily, much lower down, where we could (rather comically) take it down and put in my buddy's hive (his bees didn't make it over last winter). Could these have been my swarm coming back, full of remorse?...


    Mac
    This was most likely a secondary swarm, hives can throw multiple swarms sometimes often the after swarms are virgin queens (but not always)

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    4,124

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    I believe I have experienced the bee that D Semple speaks of. It is smaller, all black, and very hygienic personally. It can winter in smaller units, and expand very fast once warm weather arrives.
    Unfortunately, it too was lost to CCD.

    Crazy Roland

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    695

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Mac, two ways.

    As soon as I get the swarm caught I go looking for the colony it originated from. Most of the time I find it within a hundred yards. Second If I can't locate where the colony originated from I guess by size, our local ferals are about 1/3 smaller than raised bees. 5 of the swarms I've caught were from bee trees that I was watching.

    Pictures: http://s269.photobucket.com/albums/j...e/Bees%202011/

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cashmere, WA, USA
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Yes of course it is difficult to control your genetics. By conserving survivors we are absolutely not affecting evolution of the bees as some seem to suggest here. We are simply doing our best to propagate those bees that do the best given all factors of management and environment. For us smaller guys its a crapshoot every time a survivor virgin queen takes her nuptial flight. The best stock can go rotten by the luck of the drone.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,526

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    I know of 4 feral colonies of honeybees within 5 miles of my house. They seem to be doing just fine. One has since relocated somewhere else on their own. Another one of them is in the roof soffit at the top of a 4 story old brick dept store building right in the middle of busy Main Street in my town. Only the building owner and a few building workers and me know about it. It's a thriving colony that's been there for at least four years, perhaps longer. I was asked to come look them over....and I convinced the building owner to just leave them bee, especially since it would have cost a fortune to eliminate them, they are very high up.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
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    1,242

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Quote Originally Posted by snapper1d View Post
    I dont treat my bees and have not treated in well over 10 years.I think you would have to call them "survivor bees"
    Are you not introducing any new genetics? If so how are you selecting for survivors? If not what are you doing to prevent inbreeding after 10 years?
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    13,203

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    You seem to be saying that you think that if people just let their bees do what bees do than all would be hunky dory, if people would leave their bees alone. Or did I misundedrstand you?

    What do you treat your bees w/? What did the guy who you bought your bees from treat them with? Did you ask? Did he say?
    I think you are misunderstanding what I am trying to say. I am saying it is a result of what the human race has done to the world that bee colonies are crumbling. It is an argument like global warming. There are those that know it exists and those that think it exists and those that don't want to admit it exists. Eventually the earth will equalize the damage done. The question is will the human race be ready for it?

    This thread got very active since your posts so I don't need to copy what others have said since your comment to me.

    I buy bees from someone that treats. You know that and I know that but I don't treat. I don't know enough or I am not confident enough to raise my own stock so I will continue to buy if my non treating kills off my bees.

    Mites magically appeared and started killing off colonies. Is that right? If treating bees is the answer then why aren't they gone? Because chemically treating insects will never eradicate a pests because they can change and become resistant to the treatments. Bees probably could too but that won't solve anything either. Will it?

    Chemically treating crops does not win in the long run, GMO will not win in the long run either because it is dependant on a chemical treatment. What is wrong with a few imperfect vegetables if the only choice is to add poisons to our food and our environment?

    All I can do is what I do. I have very little power or money to stop those that have it.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #37
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    13,203

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Quote Originally Posted by valleyman View Post
    Are you not introducing any new genetics? If so how are you selecting for survivors? If not what are you doing to prevent inbreeding after 10 years?
    How do you force inbreeding? Is it like raising rabbits?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
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    1,242

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    How do you force inbreeding? Is it like raising rabbits?
    After 10 years there would be no need for any type of forcing it. Unless a neighbor is introducing new genetics, or an influx of feral bees to the area it would be occuring naturally.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  20. #39
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
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    2,473

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    our local ferals are about 1/3 smaller than raised bees.

    I would be interested to see any substantiation of this claim. I am highly sceptical.

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    13,203

    Default Re: "Survivor bees"

    Quote Originally Posted by valleyman View Post
    After 10 years there would be no need for any type of forcing it. Unless a neighbor is introducing new genetics, or an influx of feral bees to the area it would be occuring naturally.
    If what you say is true then inbreeding might be the answer. If I could sustain my apiary for 10 years I wouldn't be in a hurry to change what I was doing or not doing.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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