Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought 20 nucs last spring and fed them sugar water, used IPM bottom boards, dusted for mites several times, (until the count dropped significantly, made sure they always had water and placed them in orchards and buckwheat areas, fed them pollen substitute. They each had about 40lbs of honey going into this winter. So far about 40% have either left without a trace or died out and fell on the bottom screen.

A friend of mine asked me to remove some feral colonies from his property that had taken up residence in some old equipment of his. They were in basically drier area with no help of any kind, on the ground with rotten bottom boards, holes all over the boxes, lid half off, no water in sight. And they were fine. When I found them they were as strong or stronger than any of mine.
Maybe feral is better? Mine are high maintenance and sick, the wild ones are no trouble and healthy. If my colonies had looked this good I would be swimming in honey right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
359 Posts
I never pass up an opportunity to trap feral swarms or do feral cut outs. They are survivors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
76 Posts
That is the beauty of not treating your hives with chemicals. Nature selects for the stong genetics. Ferel colonies dont have apistan or check mite. They dont have Fumigilin or anything other than what nature gave them. We constantly "help our hives" by adding chemicals. All this does is allow inferior bees to live and "thrive" with treatments.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
I wonder how many people trap these feral bees and then proceed to kill them off with these chemicals and feeding them sugar water?

My ideas going into beekeeping was to help them get started by feeding them, but once honey started flowing, they are now on their own. If they make it (so far, so good) then it was meant to be. I have bees as a hobby though so my goals are much different than most probably. I only take enough honey for myself which is usually one frame a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,721 Posts
Michael bush, or anyone else. I was given two hives that had been abanded in a woods for over five years. I've had them going on two yrs. now,with no treatments or feeding them, and they made about 50 lbs. of surplus honey each last year. My question,(i'm raising queens from them) what do you think about, when drones from my twenty hives mate with these queens.Will this make their brood less a survivor? I don't know that much about genetic's, but would like to get queens like there mothers without inbreeding. Jack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Maybe feral is better? Mine are high maintenance and sick, the wild ones are no trouble and healthy. If my colonies had looked this good I would be swimming in honey right now.
Did you treat the ferals the same way you treated the others? Maybe they would be dead now too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
I would do like M. Bush suggest and breed of these bees, it can't help but to add to the genetic pool of your bees, but....

Two observations. One is, 40 lbs seems light going into winter. Not sure of your area but I send mine into winter with about 140 lbs of honey. Second, the feral hives you are seeing are the ones "that survived" you are not seeing the feral hives that didn't survive. Remember, 60% of yours are living. Just some things to keep in mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,530 Posts
silly me
I tried raising queens from the dead ones but it didn't work:doh:
just kidding, reproduce the ones that are the healthiest of the survivors
I haven't made it to raising queens yet but I make splits from the ones that are strong in the spring

Dave
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top