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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mr Bush will not be able to supply queens this year and I will be interested in mixing some more out of state feral stock into my colonies. So I am interested in knowing who else is rearing queens from feral stock?

It might be interesting to do a queen swap even amongst memebers of the forum. Gardeners do it with seed so why not do it with queens to diversify our genetics?
 

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We currently use some feral genetics. I have found that some ferals thrive because they are not exposed to various pests predators and diseases so we like to run them for at least a year in a commercial setting to see how they actually respond to mite pressure and the various rigors and requirements of making a living from bees.
 

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Just remember that those "Feral" bees might not be quite the survivor stock you might think it is as the colony and subsequent swarm stands a good chance of being a swarm that was thrown from a beek in your area.
 

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I agree with JPK, simply finding bees in a tree does not make them feral or survivor stock. I think someone mentioned in another recent thread about knowing how long the feral hive had survived in that location, etc.etc.etc
 

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"...simply finding bees in a tree does not make them feral or survivor stock." PKA

Agreed, that is why it is very important to test them for a while before extensive propagation. They might not even be beekeeper proof, let alone have any VSH or other desirable traits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Any colony not under the care of a beekeeper is Feral according to the definition of the word. I don't care about "survivor stock" as much as I do about diversifying my genetic lines by infusing Mutts into it.

All of my bees are from cutouts from buildings with the exception of one bee gum I picked up in a wind storm a few weeks ago... This gum I looked at a couple of years ago and because the property owner did not want to loose the tree and I don't do trap outs because then I loose the queen, I left her my card and told her to give me a call when the tree fell down:D My hives are predominately small to medium black bees....That seems to be what is in this area for feral. Members who have bought nucs from me can verify their ability to build up quickly and out produce package bees.

I would like to acquire 10-12 queens about early June. I will raise queens off of my stock and exchange them for queens raised off of your mutt stock. If you want to do 2-3 at a time that is fine with me.....

I am officially starting the Beesource Queen Exchange Program.... Anybody interested?
 

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I find it very interesting, but standards or guidelines will have to be established so that everyone is working on the same page in terms of what everyone is expecting.

I too will only be getting bees from cut outs and swarms in this area, with the goal of raising queens in the future.

Big Bear
 

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Does a 5 year old beetree in the middle of a State forest qualify as feral? Only problem is, the Forest Superintendent thinks it is a felony to damage the tree.....


Roland
 

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Bluegrass,

I'm with you. All my bees have come from removals, trees, swarms.... Some have been in the cavity for several years before I removed them. I raise queens but I'm not sure if I would have that many in that time. Feral stock and local bees do very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Does a 5 year old beetree in the middle of a State forest qualify as feral? Only problem is, the Forest Superintendent thinks it is a felony to damage the tree.....


Roland
Roland,

that hive will probably swarm every year. Put a empty hive body with lure out. you might catch a swarm from them.
I do not know about a state forest but a few years ago I wanted to place some swarm traps in the Daniel Boone National Forest and the superintendent said it was against the law to remove anything from the forest without a permit and no permit existed for bee swarms.... I could get a firewood permit though to cut old dead trees.... just needed to find the colonies. I ended up putting it on the back burner and haven't gotten back to it.

Merriam-Webster: Feral; not domesticated or cultivated : wild : having escaped from domestication and become wild.
 

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The State Forest Superintendent was kind, but could not answer the question if he would uphold the 1850's law that whomever found the tree, and carved his initials in it, was the owner of said tree. In fact her was rather shocked that the law existed. In my county, it had been repealed, but not in the county the tree is in.
I do not think that the tree swarmed this year, because of cource it would be illegal to place traps in a State Forest. Wink Wink Wink.

I did have a swarm land at my house many years ago, that I believe MAY have been mostly the German bee. They where black, small, gentle, and VERY cleanliness oriented. 14 days after landing, a queen hatched. They could overwinter with small clusters. Unfortunately, they where lost to an inherited CCD problem of the past. Grrrrr.....

Will try to line the mother hive again this year.

Roland
 

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I would be interested in talking more about this. I like to bring in other stock. but would like to see how one does it first.using methods and none chem's the more diverse we can be makes for better survival stock.
Don
 

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I would like to exchange as well. I haven't treated for anything in 5 years. I have limited experience with raising queens, but I want to learn. If I have proper guidines and am successful, I would like to trade.
 

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I raise my own queens from ferals. I got queens from barn walls, trees, and the best one I got came out of a wood box that was found in a field. no one knows how long they were there. I have had that colony for 2 years, no treatments of any kind. still doing great. Raised a bunch of queens off her last summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would like to exchange as well. I haven't treated for anything in 5 years. I have limited experience with raising queens, but I want to learn. If I have proper guidines and am successful, I would like to trade.
Read up on Michael Bush's site... lots of good information there. The easiest way to raise queens is to let the bees do it.... I will often set up a few nucs and let them raise their own queens or just remove the queen from a hive and place her in a nuc and let the hive raise some new queens...then I steal the queen cells and return the queen to the hive. (not always successful).

I like to avoid grafted queens.... I think they are the bottom of desirable...worse than an emergency queen.

I requested a sticky thread from Berry in the Queen Rearing section as a place to post and request queen exchanges.... No word back on that yet...maybe they don't think there will be enough interest. I just think it would be easier than posting exchanges in the classified section and having to sort through all those post.

The best hive I have I recovered from an abandoned shack in Bardstown KY 4 years ago.... I have yet to be stung by any bee in this colony, I don't even suit up to work them. It is still the original queen that I removed from the wall... I have never had mite drops off of them... They produce pretty well...filled 5 mediums the first year I had them (8 frame). I moved them to Vermont last year and it is one of two hives we have there that survived two summers of bear attacks. Hopefully they make it through the winter, but if not I have access to a daughter queen to get the line back.

I haven't treated any of the hives here in KY; some of the equipment in Vermont has been treated in the past, but most of that we got used which is why we left it in VT. I phased out all of my foundation three years ago and went to natural cell size. Last spring I wanted to get some supers drawn out quickly and put foundation in them; the hive I put it on cut it all up and threw it out of the hive, so I got that message:D
 

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I like to avoid grafted queens.... I think they are the bottom of desirable...worse than an emergency queen.
Don't know why, this is my main method raising good quality queens, this way I know queens are well feed and will be at their full potential.


I phased out all of my foundation three years ago and went to natural cell size. Last spring I wanted to get some supers drawn out quickly and put foundation in them; the hive I put it on cut it all up and threw it out of the hive, so I got that message:D
this is the main reason I wouldn't get in a program like this, see like many on here say small cell works in helping with mites, I raise bee's and dont need small cell or natural cell to live, I only use regular Kelly crimped wire foundation, I want to raise bee's that dont depend on small cell or natural or any other changes to a hive (from what most use), I am going on my 7th year and never treated. I have test yards set up for swarms and removals to see if they are really survivors, if they make it into the spring of the 3rd year I will move them to a brood yard. wish you luck on your program :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Don't know why, this is my main method raising good quality queens, this way I know queens are well feed and will be at their full potential.
Because if you allow the bees to choose what brood will make the best queens, they will.....

A grafter takes what ever he/she estimates to be larva of the appropriate age and then forces the bees to use that larva. Grafting was developed to improve quantity, not quality. It is about profit margins and that is all. In my experience with grafted queens the grafted queen is most often replaced almost immediately with a daughter queen.

Those are my reasons for avoiding grafted queens as much as is possible.
 
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