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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks. New keeper here. I have an established hive of Italian bees. 2 weeks ago I captured a small swarm in my yard of another bee that is much smaller and much darker in color. I put them in a 10 frame box. They seem to be doing well with a laying queen and 2 frames of comb. The bees seem to all get along well and I don't see the different bees disturbing each other. The boxes are next to each other at the moment. Will I potentially have a problem in the future with two types of bees in such close quarters? Both are very docile. I can inspect without disturbing them very much at all.

Thanks,

Mike
 

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I would suggest you have the entrance reduced down pretty small on the swarm you just caught to prevent future robbing from your other hive. You may not be having problems now but you may down the road if you have the entrance wide open. Other than that what you have are just two different strains of honeybees they will co-exist and be happy. Some of the veteran beekeepers may have more information for you.

-Dan
 

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"...Will I potentially have a problem in the future with two types of bees in such close quarters? ..."
the breed of bee has no effect on their "getting along" they dont identify race.
good luck,mike
 

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I have the exact situation in my yard where wild bees have actually kindof moved in and took over one of my itialian boxes, made them a new queen and have turned into one of my best producing boxes. They have alittle more attitude but get along with everyone just fine. They are noticeably darker in color and so is the queen I spotted last time i was in there.
 

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Yeah later on you might come back to say that those bees turned out to be the best bees in your bee yard! They might be feral bees that you described. I captured a swarm of feral bees may 8th and i had already purchased 2 package bees in april! When i installed the swarm into my TBH the next day there was 6 fully drawn comb! Them feral bees are hard workers and everyone i have talked to would take feral bees any day!
 

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any natural swarm will outproduce any package bee installation, reguardless of breed. they are programed genetically to build comb and gather stores as fast as possible to insure survival.
 

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any natural swarm will outproduce any package bee installation, reguardless of breed. they are programed genetically to build comb and gather stores as fast as possible to insure survival.
I don't follow how the natural swarm would be any better genetically. I was under the impression that all natural swarms were very recently in the possession of a beekeeper. I thought disease and parasites got all natural hives eventually and they re-form from hives being managed by people. I'm pretty new at this and may have it all wrong.
 

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Natrual swarms can either be under recent management of a beek, or feral. Swarms are more likey to come from feral hives due to no management ... usually. Feral bees also have a greater genetic diversity than do package bees, which SOMETIMES leads to a greater tenacity (some feral bees can be worthless though).
 

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I have a similar situation going on in my back yard and my wild bees are way out producing my two "store bought" Italians. Another advantage to wild hives is that they are survivors who are acclimated to your local environment, where package bees are from somewhere else and have to learn the ways of your neighborhood (where to get water, what plants produce good nectar and pollen, etc.). And if you are like me, you got your bees from a mass produced bee factory whose main job is selling bees and queens, not making sound, productive hives. Heck, to the bee factory, a queen line the builds up fast, and dies out over winter is the best because you will be back buying more bees in the spring. I guess I am being a little cenacle here but you get the idea. Local survivors are the best, if you can get along with them.
 

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Cynical? If it's true that the "bee factories" are not interested in sound productive hives, how do they stay in business from year to year? Takes a lot of productive hives to run a package and queen operation! Are local feral queens better? Probably, but that also depends on numerous factors not controllable by the beek. If your idea is to catch feral queens and assume that you have the best breeding stock you will be sadly disappointed. Observation over a long period of time and weeding out the losers is paramount. Darn! That's what most of the "bee factories" do.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The first set of bees are local raised as well. A split from a friend. The split is from a multi-year hive just a few miles from my home. The captured swarm is slowing down some compared to when they first got into the box. But they seem happy, still growing and don't sting me. (all good stuff). My first hive is doing well with a super that is just starting to get capped and I added a super below that a week and a half ago which I will look at tonight. All seems well in my yard. Temps are getting higher and I am seeing more bearding. Yesterday it was a cluster hanging from the bottom of the hive. I was worried it was a swarm attempt by my clipped queen so I smoked and they all went inside.

Don't really know if it's what to do but I was going to attempt to get the cluster and put them back into the box so I started to smoke and they all went inside. That was it for that.
 
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