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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have found a area that has a high amount of feral colonies 8 hives in a mile of one another.. 3 hives that have been there over 5 years and 5 that I have no idea about. I have no idea there temperament I know you can weed eat and mow near them or how much honey they produce. But I do know the are treatment free for a long time. Is it worth the time to put 20 mating nucs there to get some of the genetics in my bees.
 

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Thats pretty much what im doing. In south Louisiana we have a BIG population of feral bees. I dont have any hives in my matting yards. They mate with the ferals. They are great bees in my area, Gentile, makes alot of honey, and best of all I never have to treat them.
 

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Keep in mind if you put the mating hives near there the queens probably won't mate with those drones. Queens try to fly far away before mating to avoid mating with related drones.
 

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Keep in mind if you put the mating hives near there the queens probably won't mate with those drones. Queens try to fly far away before mating to avoid mating with related drones.
This is true the queens might not mate with those 8 but if he knows about 8 feral hives there's probably 20 that he doesn't know about. A little further.
 

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I have also noticed the wild colonies do not have drones as early as a man kept hive it may be 2 to 4 weeks later
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm going to place them in a central location and setting up swarm traps. I never been one to catch swarms but I do want these queens and the land owners will not let me get them out of the old structures they are in.
 

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I'm going to place them in a central location and setting up swarm traps. I never been one to catch swarms but I do want these queens and the land owners will not let me get them out of the old structures they are in.
I'd just trap using whatever normal equipment you use, baiting with some lemon grass oil. That way you get the bees straight into the final equipment, saving you some trouble. It seems you have good access to this location so the extra weight of normal equipment doesn't seem to be an issue. Here's how I do it:

http://blog.corujas.net/attracting-swarms-to-get-free-bees
 

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I had more swarms go into hives with old dark brood combs.
Never have had one go into one with foundation.

I would get some 5 frame deep nuc boxes put a couple of empty dark brood combs in them and reduce the entrance about 3/4
 

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Thats pretty much what im doing. In south Louisiana we have a BIG population of feral bees. I dont have any hives in my matting yards. They mate with the ferals. They are great bees in my area, Gentile, makes alot of honey, and best of all I never have to treat them.
i am in a similar situation, although i don't move my mating nucs away from my yard.
 
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