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Harvesting a Wild Hive - Story & Questions

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  • Jeff Lunglhofer
    All, I ve worked with my grandfather s bees on and off for a few years in my younger days and having lived in Southern California (San Diego) for a few years,
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 6 11:18 AM
      All,

      I've worked with my grandfather's bees on and off for a few years in
      my younger days and having lived in Southern California (San Diego)
      for a few years, I've decided to start a few of my own hives. I was
      recently asked by a co-worker to help him remove a hive of bees from
      his exterior yard wall and I was persuaded (against my better
      judgement) to help and then even more foolishly, I decided to make an
      attempt to harvest the hive and establish it in a nice set-up I
      recently obtained. Hours and hours of work later. . .and here's the
      situation and a some questions. . .

      I've got the hive in the wall totally removed, I first funnelled the
      bees out of the wall directing them into my new hive via a mad scheme
      involving dryer hose, and a one-way bee board. I left this "exit
      only" set-up in place for a week and a half to get most of the workers
      out of the wall. This actually worked, I got thousands of bees into
      my hive and out of the wall. . .they even started filling up the
      frames with nectar.

      After cutting open the wall I discovered 3 five foot by 18 inch sheets
      of beautiful honey and brood comb. Needless to say, my hive is now
      LOADED with frames of cut comb (honey and brood) from the wall
      (probably 40-50 pounds). I got out 10 frames full of comb, and tossed
      quite a bit as well (and took some chunk honey for myself). I
      actually needed to add a second box and some old drawn out frames,
      because the bees didn't have enough room in the one hive body. I also
      took about 15-20 pounds of honey comb and "mashed it" into a screen
      top feeder for the bees to snack on.

      One day later, there are no more bees interested in the wall. I had
      to spray it and seal it to discourage returnees, and to kill the
      several hundred bees that went into other areas of the wall to escape
      "the great white bear with power tools".

      I am not all all certain whether I convinced the queen to leave and
      she may have been killed :(. I did "scoop" one large cluster of bees
      on the wall into a bucket and dump them into my new hive, that cluster
      looked very "queenish" to me. The problem though, was that rather
      than drop into the bucket, most of them flew away and scattered. I
      probably should have wet them down first. . .I also "dumped" all the
      bees off the comb pieces (into my hive) every time I removed a
      section. . .

      One day later, the hive appears normal. . .bees coming/going!

      So here's some questions:

      1) How do I know if I got the queen? I couldn't see any eggs/larva in
      the comb I removed, although there were maybe 200 capped brood cells
      (not a lot thought).

      2) If I DIDN'T get the queen, can I replace her? I know re-queening
      is possible, but it's December. . .the bees are quite active still
      here though. Can one even get a new queen at this time of year? Are
      they available in San Diego?

      3) I'm sure these are AHB's as they are wild and in a "colonized"
      area, but it's strange. . .they are really low key, although they do
      exhibit a lot of AHB behavior I've read about. But they just aren't
      all that aggressive. . .of course I am VERY aggressive with the smoker
      when I mess with them at all. . .so that may be why. 4 hours of work,
      cutting up their home. . .no stings and no "following" when I walked
      away. (I was fully suited of course), but early in the process the
      homeowner stood about 10 feet away to watch. I asked him to go inside
      before breaking out the diamond saw though. :) Could they be EHBs???

      The behavior is the most peplexing. . .I heard AHB are supposed to be
      EXTREMELY aggressive, especially when defending large hives. This one
      had 3 sheets of comb, 18" wide and 5 feet long. and tens of thousands
      of bees. . .and they pretty much ignored me as I cut up and relocated
      their house!

      4) I'm planning to relocate the bees out to Jamul, California at some
      point soon. . .does anyone have hives in the area? There is a nearby
      lake, but I don't see a lot of flowering plants. . .I'm concerned the
      area might not support my hive. Currently they live literally smack
      in the middle of town, and keeping them there isn't an option (legally
      or with the homeowner).

      Any information would be most appreciated. Thanks!
    • George Fergusson
      At 07:18 PM 12/6/05 -0000, you wrote: Wowza. Welcome back to beekeeping :) ... Well, short of spotting her, I dunno what to say. If they seem happy and don t
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 6 1:25 PM
        At 07:18 PM 12/6/05 -0000, you wrote:

        Wowza. Welcome back to beekeeping :)

        >So here's some questions:
        >
        >1) How do I know if I got the queen? I couldn't see any eggs/larva in
        >the comb I removed, although there were maybe 200 capped brood cells
        >(not a lot thought).

        Well, short of spotting her, I dunno what to say. If they seem "happy" and
        don't act queenless, you might be alright. After they've had a few days to
        settle down you might be able to spot her. She'll be on the frame with the
        most bees. This time of year there's not going to be much brood.
        Eventually, if she's in there, you'll see eggs. If you didn't get the queen
        I'd expect a fair number of bees to leave. That little brood isn't enough
        to keep the bees there if they want to leave. Keep an eye out for queen
        cells... if there is no queen, the bees might try to raise one if they can
        find an egg. It would be an emergency queen and probably not the best, but
        it would get you through the winter.

        >2) If I DIDN'T get the queen, can I replace her? I know re-queening
        >is possible, but it's December. . .the bees are quite active still
        >here though. Can one even get a new queen at this time of year? Are
        >they available in San Diego?

        Good question. You might find a southern beekeeper with queens still, but
        it's pretty late. I've been told that you can requeen any time of year... I
        don't think that would hold for me here in Maine, but in southern
        California.. maybe. If you can find a queen. You might be able to buy a
        frame of eggs/brood from another beekeeper.

        >3) I'm sure these are AHB's as they are wild and in a "colonized"
        >area, but it's strange. . .they are really low key, although they do
        >exhibit a lot of AHB behavior I've read about. But they just aren't
        >all that aggressive. . .of course I am VERY aggressive with the smoker
        >when I mess with them at all. . .so that may be why.

        What behavior are you seeing that you think is AHB-ish?

        >The behavior is the most peplexing. . .I heard AHB are supposed to be
        >EXTREMELY aggressive, especially when defending large hives. This one
        >had 3 sheets of comb, 18" wide and 5 feet long. and tens of thousands
        >of bees. . .and they pretty much ignored me as I cut up and relocated
        >their house!

        Doesn't sound like AHB, but if they've been in that wall for a long time,
        they've no doubt requeened themselves a few times and may have diluted some
        of their aggressive tendancies. Dunno. I don't have any experience with
        AHB, thank goodness :)

        >4) I'm planning to relocate the bees out to Jamul, California at some
        >point soon. . .does anyone have hives in the area? There is a nearby
        >lake, but I don't see a lot of flowering plants. . .I'm concerned the
        >area might not support my hive.

        Just about any place on earth will support 1 hive. The bees will go 2+
        miles for forage. You'll certainly find out soon enough :)

        George-

        ---------------------------------------
        George & Nancy Fergusson
        Sweet Time Apiary
        326 Jefferson Road
        Whitefield Maine 04353
        207-549-5991
        http://www.sweettimeapiary.com/
      • Lew Best
        Check with BEEKEEPER4U2@wmconnect.com; he had some queens a week or so ago I think. He s in Georgia. Name is Don. If you d care to come to beesource chat
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 6 2:49 PM
          Check with BEEKEEPER4U2@...; he had some queens a week or so
          ago I think. He's in Georgia. Name is Don. If you'd care to come to
          beesource chat (8pm or so central time every night) he's usually there
          under the handle of fat_beeman. Nuther place to get real good info!
          Link is http://www.bee-l.com/beesourcechat.htm. BTW contrary to popular
          belief there are still lotsa non Africanized feral hives in walls, etc.
          around!

          Lew near Waco, TX

          -----Original Message-----
          From: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On
          Behalf Of George Fergusson
          Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2005 3:25 PM
          To: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [beekeeping] Harvesting a Wild Hive - Story & Questions

          At 07:18 PM 12/6/05 -0000, you wrote:

          Wowza. Welcome back to beekeeping :)

          >So here's some questions:
          >
          >1) How do I know if I got the queen? I couldn't see any eggs/larva in
          >the comb I removed, although there were maybe 200 capped brood cells
          >(not a lot thought).

          Well, short of spotting her, I dunno what to say. If they seem "happy"
          and
          don't act queenless, you might be alright. After they've had a few days
          to
          settle down you might be able to spot her. She'll be on the frame with
          the
          most bees. This time of year there's not going to be much brood.
          Eventually, if she's in there, you'll see eggs. If you didn't get the
          queen
          I'd expect a fair number of bees to leave. That little brood isn't
          enough
          to keep the bees there if they want to leave. Keep an eye out for queen
          cells... if there is no queen, the bees might try to raise one if they
          can
          find an egg. It would be an emergency queen and probably not the best,
          but
          it would get you through the winter.

          >2) If I DIDN'T get the queen, can I replace her? I know re-queening
          >is possible, but it's December. . .the bees are quite active still
          >here though. Can one even get a new queen at this time of year? Are
          >they available in San Diego?

          Good question. You might find a southern beekeeper with queens still,
          but
          it's pretty late. I've been told that you can requeen any time of
          year... I
          don't think that would hold for me here in Maine, but in southern
          California.. maybe. If you can find a queen. You might be able to buy a
          frame of eggs/brood from another beekeeper.

          >3) I'm sure these are AHB's as they are wild and in a "colonized"
          >area, but it's strange. . .they are really low key, although they do
          >exhibit a lot of AHB behavior I've read about. But they just aren't
          >all that aggressive. . .of course I am VERY aggressive with the smoker
          >when I mess with them at all. . .so that may be why.

          What behavior are you seeing that you think is AHB-ish?

          >The behavior is the most peplexing. . .I heard AHB are supposed to be
          >EXTREMELY aggressive, especially when defending large hives. This one
          >had 3 sheets of comb, 18" wide and 5 feet long. and tens of thousands
          >of bees. . .and they pretty much ignored me as I cut up and relocated
          >their house!

          Doesn't sound like AHB, but if they've been in that wall for a long
          time,
          they've no doubt requeened themselves a few times and may have diluted
          some
          of their aggressive tendancies. Dunno. I don't have any experience with
          AHB, thank goodness :)

          >4) I'm planning to relocate the bees out to Jamul, California at some
          >point soon. . .does anyone have hives in the area? There is a nearby
          >lake, but I don't see a lot of flowering plants. . .I'm concerned the
          >area might not support my hive.

          Just about any place on earth will support 1 hive. The bees will go 2+
          miles for forage. You'll certainly find out soon enough :)

          George-

          ---------------------------------------
          George & Nancy Fergusson
          Sweet Time Apiary
          326 Jefferson Road
          Whitefield Maine 04353
          207-549-5991
          http://www.sweettimeapiary.com/





          Yahoo! Groups Links






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          12/5/2005
        • D.O.
          I think that over time, many AHBs will become more docile as they breed into existing EHB colonies. The genetics will become watered down over the years. At
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 6 3:40 PM
            I think that over time, many AHBs will become more
            docile as they breed into existing EHB colonies. The
            genetics will become watered down over the years. At
            least, that's how I hope it turns out!

            Congratulations, sounds like a great learning
            experience. Can you see any eggs or new larvae in the
            new comb? Any possiblitity of finding the queen?

            You might need to feed them through mid-February or
            so. Good luck!

            David in Gilroy, CA

            --- Jeff Lunglhofer <Jeff@...> wrote:

            > All,
            >
            > I've worked with my grandfather's bees on and off
            > for a few years in
            > my younger days and having lived in Southern
            > California (San Diego)
            > for a few years, I've decided to start a few of my
            > own hives. I was
            > recently asked by a co-worker to help him remove a
            > hive of bees from
            > his exterior yard wall and I was persuaded (against
            > my better
            > judgement) to help and then even more foolishly, I
            > decided to make an
            > attempt to harvest the hive and establish it in a
            > nice set-up I
            > recently obtained. Hours and hours of work later. .
            > .and here's the
            > situation and a some questions. . .
            >
            > I've got the hive in the wall totally removed, I
            > first funnelled the
            > bees out of the wall directing them into my new hive
            > via a mad scheme
            > involving dryer hose, and a one-way bee board. I
            > left this "exit
            > only" set-up in place for a week and a half to get
            > most of the workers
            > out of the wall. This actually worked, I got
            > thousands of bees into
            > my hive and out of the wall. . .they even started
            > filling up the
            > frames with nectar.
            >
            > After cutting open the wall I discovered 3 five foot
            > by 18 inch sheets
            > of beautiful honey and brood comb. Needless to say,
            > my hive is now
            > LOADED with frames of cut comb (honey and brood)
            > from the wall
            > (probably 40-50 pounds). I got out 10 frames full
            > of comb, and tossed
            > quite a bit as well (and took some chunk honey for
            > myself). I
            > actually needed to add a second box and some old
            > drawn out frames,
            > because the bees didn't have enough room in the one
            > hive body. I also
            > took about 15-20 pounds of honey comb and "mashed
            > it" into a screen
            > top feeder for the bees to snack on.
            >
            > One day later, there are no more bees interested in
            > the wall. I had
            > to spray it and seal it to discourage returnees, and
            > to kill the
            > several hundred bees that went into other areas of
            > the wall to escape
            > "the great white bear with power tools".
            >
            > I am not all all certain whether I convinced the
            > queen to leave and
            > she may have been killed :(. I did "scoop" one
            > large cluster of bees
            > on the wall into a bucket and dump them into my new
            > hive, that cluster
            > looked very "queenish" to me. The problem though,
            > was that rather
            > than drop into the bucket, most of them flew away
            > and scattered. I
            > probably should have wet them down first. . .I also
            > "dumped" all the
            > bees off the comb pieces (into my hive) every time I
            > removed a
            > section. . .
            >
            > One day later, the hive appears normal. . .bees
            > coming/going!
            >
            > So here's some questions:
            >
            > 1) How do I know if I got the queen? I couldn't see
            > any eggs/larva in
            > the comb I removed, although there were maybe 200
            > capped brood cells
            > (not a lot thought).
            >
            > 2) If I DIDN'T get the queen, can I replace her? I
            > know re-queening
            > is possible, but it's December. . .the bees are
            > quite active still
            > here though. Can one even get a new queen at this
            > time of year? Are
            > they available in San Diego?
            >
            > 3) I'm sure these are AHB's as they are wild and in
            > a "colonized"
            > area, but it's strange. . .they are really low key,
            > although they do
            > exhibit a lot of AHB behavior I've read about. But
            > they just aren't
            > all that aggressive. . .of course I am VERY
            > aggressive with the smoker
            > when I mess with them at all. . .so that may be why.
            > 4 hours of work,
            > cutting up their home. . .no stings and no
            > "following" when I walked
            > away. (I was fully suited of course), but early in
            > the process the
            > homeowner stood about 10 feet away to watch. I
            > asked him to go inside
            > before breaking out the diamond saw though. :)
            > Could they be EHBs???
            >
            > The behavior is the most peplexing. . .I heard AHB
            > are supposed to be
            > EXTREMELY aggressive, especially when defending
            > large hives. This one
            > had 3 sheets of comb, 18" wide and 5 feet long. and
            > tens of thousands
            > of bees. . .and they pretty much ignored me as I cut
            > up and relocated
            > their house!
            >
            > 4) I'm planning to relocate the bees out to Jamul,
            > California at some
            > point soon. . .does anyone have hives in the area?
            > There is a nearby
            > lake, but I don't see a lot of flowering plants. .
            > .I'm concerned the
            > area might not support my hive. Currently they live
            > literally smack
            > in the middle of town, and keeping them there isn't
            > an option (legally
            > or with the homeowner).
            >
            > Any information would be most appreciated. Thanks!
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
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            --------------------------------------------------------------------~->
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            >
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            >
            >
            >
            >
            >




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          • Jeff Lunglhofer
            Thanks everyone for all the great information! I m actually stuck in Tokyo for a few days, so the bees will be on their own for a bit, but I m sure they ll be
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 7 4:41 AM
              Thanks everyone for all the great information! I'm actually stuck in
              Tokyo for a few days, so the bees will be on their own for a bit, but
              I'm sure they'll be fine.

              George, you asked me what behavior I was seeing that was AHB-ish. .
              .here's what I've seen:

              1) The bees fly directly in/out of the entrace instead of walking out

              2) They work VERY late and early. . .first light to last light (I
              remember EHBs being much lazier :)

              3) They are definitely more aggressive than the EHBs I've worked with.
              . .but they get angry in explosive bursts, and quickly calm. It's a
              strange behavior. . .I'm used to EHBs being pretty docile, but
              gradually getting angrier and angrier as I work on them. These bees
              literally blast out of the hive when I open it, but then I hit them
              with some smoke and they immediately calm down. It's wierd.

              You mention if the "act queenless". . .how does a queenless hive act?

              -Jeff

              --- In beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, George Fergusson <gsferg@s...> wrote:
              >
              > At 07:18 PM 12/6/05 -0000, you wrote:
              >
              > Wowza. Welcome back to beekeeping :)
              >
              > >So here's some questions:
              > >
              > >1) How do I know if I got the queen? I couldn't see any eggs/larva in
              > >the comb I removed, although there were maybe 200 capped brood cells
              > >(not a lot thought).
              >
              > Well, short of spotting her, I dunno what to say. If they seem
              "happy" and
              > don't act queenless, you might be alright. After they've had a few
              days to
              > settle down you might be able to spot her. She'll be on the frame
              with the
              > most bees. This time of year there's not going to be much brood.
              > Eventually, if she's in there, you'll see eggs. If you didn't get
              the queen
              > I'd expect a fair number of bees to leave. That little brood isn't
              enough
              > to keep the bees there if they want to leave. Keep an eye out for queen
              > cells... if there is no queen, the bees might try to raise one if
              they can
              > find an egg. It would be an emergency queen and probably not the
              best, but
              > it would get you through the winter.
              >
              > >2) If I DIDN'T get the queen, can I replace her? I know re-queening
              > >is possible, but it's December. . .the bees are quite active still
              > >here though. Can one even get a new queen at this time of year? Are
              > >they available in San Diego?
              >
              > Good question. You might find a southern beekeeper with queens
              still, but
              > it's pretty late. I've been told that you can requeen any time of
              year... I
              > don't think that would hold for me here in Maine, but in southern
              > California.. maybe. If you can find a queen. You might be able to buy a
              > frame of eggs/brood from another beekeeper.
              >
              > >3) I'm sure these are AHB's as they are wild and in a "colonized"
              > >area, but it's strange. . .they are really low key, although they do
              > >exhibit a lot of AHB behavior I've read about. But they just aren't
              > >all that aggressive. . .of course I am VERY aggressive with the smoker
              > >when I mess with them at all. . .so that may be why.
              >
              > What behavior are you seeing that you think is AHB-ish?
              >
              > >The behavior is the most peplexing. . .I heard AHB are supposed to be
              > >EXTREMELY aggressive, especially when defending large hives. This one
              > >had 3 sheets of comb, 18" wide and 5 feet long. and tens of thousands
              > >of bees. . .and they pretty much ignored me as I cut up and relocated
              > >their house!
              >
              > Doesn't sound like AHB, but if they've been in that wall for a long
              time,
              > they've no doubt requeened themselves a few times and may have
              diluted some
              > of their aggressive tendancies. Dunno. I don't have any experience with
              > AHB, thank goodness :)
              >
              > >4) I'm planning to relocate the bees out to Jamul, California at some
              > >point soon. . .does anyone have hives in the area? There is a nearby
              > >lake, but I don't see a lot of flowering plants. . .I'm concerned the
              > >area might not support my hive.
              >
              > Just about any place on earth will support 1 hive. The bees will go 2+
              > miles for forage. You'll certainly find out soon enough :)
              >
              > George-
              >
              > ---------------------------------------
              > George & Nancy Fergusson
              > Sweet Time Apiary
              > 326 Jefferson Road
              > Whitefield Maine 04353
              > 207-549-5991
              > http://www.sweettimeapiary.com/
              >
            • Lew Best
              I had a feral hive that suddenly got mean & thought maybee it had been invaded by an Africanized swarm. Turned out it was just queenless; long story but by
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 7 7:37 AM
                I had a feral hive that "suddenly got mean" & thought maybee it had been
                invaded by an Africanized swarm. Turned out it was just queenless; long
                story but by the time I got another queen (coupla weeks or so planning
                on calming it down by requeening it & destroying the old queen) when I
                went into it the population was quite small & only a small amount of
                brood which was hatching at the time (IOW no young brood/eggs). That
                may be why yours are a little aggressive or sometimes they "just are"
                due to weather, lack of flow, etc. Seriously doubt yours are
                Africanized; I dealt with a couple of Africanized (probably) colonies
                this past summer & they were REALLY mean! Chased me several hundred
                feet, etc.

                Lew near Waco, TX USA

                -----Original Message-----
                From: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On
                Behalf Of Jeff Lunglhofer
                Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 6:41 AM
                To: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [beekeeping] Re: Harvesting a Wild Hive - Story & Questions

                Thanks everyone for all the great information! I'm actually stuck in
                Tokyo for a few days, so the bees will be on their own for a bit, but
                I'm sure they'll be fine.

                George, you asked me what behavior I was seeing that was AHB-ish. .
                .here's what I've seen:

                1) The bees fly directly in/out of the entrace instead of walking out

                2) They work VERY late and early. . .first light to last light (I
                remember EHBs being much lazier :)

                3) They are definitely more aggressive than the EHBs I've worked with.
                . .but they get angry in explosive bursts, and quickly calm. It's a
                strange behavior. . .I'm used to EHBs being pretty docile, but
                gradually getting angrier and angrier as I work on them. These bees
                literally blast out of the hive when I open it, but then I hit them
                with some smoke and they immediately calm down. It's wierd.

                You mention if the "act queenless". . .how does a queenless hive act?

                -Jeff

                --- In beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, George Fergusson <gsferg@s...> wrote:
                >
                > At 07:18 PM 12/6/05 -0000, you wrote:
                >
                > Wowza. Welcome back to beekeeping :)
                >
                > >So here's some questions:
                > >
                > >1) How do I know if I got the queen? I couldn't see any eggs/larva
                in
                > >the comb I removed, although there were maybe 200 capped brood cells
                > >(not a lot thought).
                >
                > Well, short of spotting her, I dunno what to say. If they seem
                "happy" and
                > don't act queenless, you might be alright. After they've had a few
                days to
                > settle down you might be able to spot her. She'll be on the frame
                with the
                > most bees. This time of year there's not going to be much brood.
                > Eventually, if she's in there, you'll see eggs. If you didn't get
                the queen
                > I'd expect a fair number of bees to leave. That little brood isn't
                enough
                > to keep the bees there if they want to leave. Keep an eye out for
                queen
                > cells... if there is no queen, the bees might try to raise one if
                they can
                > find an egg. It would be an emergency queen and probably not the
                best, but
                > it would get you through the winter.
                >
                > >2) If I DIDN'T get the queen, can I replace her? I know re-queening
                > >is possible, but it's December. . .the bees are quite active still
                > >here though. Can one even get a new queen at this time of year? Are
                > >they available in San Diego?
                >
                > Good question. You might find a southern beekeeper with queens
                still, but
                > it's pretty late. I've been told that you can requeen any time of
                year... I
                > don't think that would hold for me here in Maine, but in southern
                > California.. maybe. If you can find a queen. You might be able to buy
                a
                > frame of eggs/brood from another beekeeper.
                >
                > >3) I'm sure these are AHB's as they are wild and in a "colonized"
                > >area, but it's strange. . .they are really low key, although they do
                > >exhibit a lot of AHB behavior I've read about. But they just aren't
                > >all that aggressive. . .of course I am VERY aggressive with the
                smoker
                > >when I mess with them at all. . .so that may be why.
                >
                > What behavior are you seeing that you think is AHB-ish?
                >
                > >The behavior is the most peplexing. . .I heard AHB are supposed to be
                > >EXTREMELY aggressive, especially when defending large hives. This
                one
                > >had 3 sheets of comb, 18" wide and 5 feet long. and tens of thousands
                > >of bees. . .and they pretty much ignored me as I cut up and relocated
                > >their house!
                >
                > Doesn't sound like AHB, but if they've been in that wall for a long
                time,
                > they've no doubt requeened themselves a few times and may have
                diluted some
                > of their aggressive tendancies. Dunno. I don't have any experience
                with
                > AHB, thank goodness :)
                >
                > >4) I'm planning to relocate the bees out to Jamul, California at some
                > >point soon. . .does anyone have hives in the area? There is a nearby
                > >lake, but I don't see a lot of flowering plants. . .I'm concerned the
                > >area might not support my hive.
                >
                > Just about any place on earth will support 1 hive. The bees will go 2+
                > miles for forage. You'll certainly find out soon enough :)
                >
                > George-
                >
                > ---------------------------------------
                > George & Nancy Fergusson
                > Sweet Time Apiary
                > 326 Jefferson Road
                > Whitefield Maine 04353
                > 207-549-5991
                > http://www.sweettimeapiary.com/
                >









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                No virus found in this outgoing message.
                Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                Version: 7.1.371 / Virus Database: 267.13.12/193 - Release Date:
                12/6/2005
              • Jeff Lunglhofer
                Lew, I think you are probably right. . .I was under the impression that *all* wild bees in San Diego county were africanized, but I guess not in this case. My
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 7 1:51 PM
                  Lew,

                  I think you are probably right. . .I was under the impression that
                  *all* wild bees in San Diego county were africanized, but I guess not
                  in this case. My bees don't chase me at all. . .in fact a few steps
                  away and through a gate and they I don't have a single bee around me,
                  except maybe the odd one here and there. . .

                  I'll keep an eye on the hive for a few weeks and if I don't see any
                  laying activity, I'll see if I can track down a queen so late in the
                  year. . .or maybe I'll just order one just for the heck of it. If
                  there IS a queen, I guess it's just a waste of a few bucks. . .

                  -Jeff

                  --- In beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, "Lew Best" <bee_keeper@e...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I had a feral hive that "suddenly got mean" & thought maybee it had been
                  > invaded by an Africanized swarm. Turned out it was just queenless; long
                  > story but by the time I got another queen (coupla weeks or so planning
                  > on calming it down by requeening it & destroying the old queen) when I
                  > went into it the population was quite small & only a small amount of
                  > brood which was hatching at the time (IOW no young brood/eggs). That
                  > may be why yours are a little aggressive or sometimes they "just are"
                  > due to weather, lack of flow, etc. Seriously doubt yours are
                  > Africanized; I dealt with a couple of Africanized (probably) colonies
                  > this past summer & they were REALLY mean! Chased me several hundred
                  > feet, etc.
                  >
                  > Lew near Waco, TX USA
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On
                  > Behalf Of Jeff Lunglhofer
                  > Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 6:41 AM
                  > To: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: [beekeeping] Re: Harvesting a Wild Hive - Story & Questions
                  >
                  > Thanks everyone for all the great information! I'm actually stuck in
                  > Tokyo for a few days, so the bees will be on their own for a bit, but
                  > I'm sure they'll be fine.
                  >
                  > George, you asked me what behavior I was seeing that was AHB-ish. .
                  > .here's what I've seen:
                  >
                  > 1) The bees fly directly in/out of the entrace instead of walking out
                  >
                  > 2) They work VERY late and early. . .first light to last light (I
                  > remember EHBs being much lazier :)
                  >
                  > 3) They are definitely more aggressive than the EHBs I've worked with.
                  > . .but they get angry in explosive bursts, and quickly calm. It's a
                  > strange behavior. . .I'm used to EHBs being pretty docile, but
                  > gradually getting angrier and angrier as I work on them. These bees
                  > literally blast out of the hive when I open it, but then I hit them
                  > with some smoke and they immediately calm down. It's wierd.
                  >
                  > You mention if the "act queenless". . .how does a queenless hive act?
                  >
                  > -Jeff
                  >
                  > --- In beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, George Fergusson <gsferg@s...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > At 07:18 PM 12/6/05 -0000, you wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Wowza. Welcome back to beekeeping :)
                  > >
                  > > >So here's some questions:
                  > > >
                  > > >1) How do I know if I got the queen? I couldn't see any eggs/larva
                  > in
                  > > >the comb I removed, although there were maybe 200 capped brood cells
                  > > >(not a lot thought).
                  > >
                  > > Well, short of spotting her, I dunno what to say. If they seem
                  > "happy" and
                  > > don't act queenless, you might be alright. After they've had a few
                  > days to
                  > > settle down you might be able to spot her. She'll be on the frame
                  > with the
                  > > most bees. This time of year there's not going to be much brood.
                  > > Eventually, if she's in there, you'll see eggs. If you didn't get
                  > the queen
                  > > I'd expect a fair number of bees to leave. That little brood isn't
                  > enough
                  > > to keep the bees there if they want to leave. Keep an eye out for
                  > queen
                  > > cells... if there is no queen, the bees might try to raise one if
                  > they can
                  > > find an egg. It would be an emergency queen and probably not the
                  > best, but
                  > > it would get you through the winter.
                  > >
                  > > >2) If I DIDN'T get the queen, can I replace her? I know re-queening
                  > > >is possible, but it's December. . .the bees are quite active still
                  > > >here though. Can one even get a new queen at this time of year? Are
                  > > >they available in San Diego?
                  > >
                  > > Good question. You might find a southern beekeeper with queens
                  > still, but
                  > > it's pretty late. I've been told that you can requeen any time of
                  > year... I
                  > > don't think that would hold for me here in Maine, but in southern
                  > > California.. maybe. If you can find a queen. You might be able to buy
                  > a
                  > > frame of eggs/brood from another beekeeper.
                  > >
                  > > >3) I'm sure these are AHB's as they are wild and in a "colonized"
                  > > >area, but it's strange. . .they are really low key, although they do
                  > > >exhibit a lot of AHB behavior I've read about. But they just aren't
                  > > >all that aggressive. . .of course I am VERY aggressive with the
                  > smoker
                  > > >when I mess with them at all. . .so that may be why.
                  > >
                  > > What behavior are you seeing that you think is AHB-ish?
                  > >
                  > > >The behavior is the most peplexing. . .I heard AHB are supposed to be
                  > > >EXTREMELY aggressive, especially when defending large hives. This
                  > one
                  > > >had 3 sheets of comb, 18" wide and 5 feet long. and tens of thousands
                  > > >of bees. . .and they pretty much ignored me as I cut up and relocated
                  > > >their house!
                  > >
                  > > Doesn't sound like AHB, but if they've been in that wall for a long
                  > time,
                  > > they've no doubt requeened themselves a few times and may have
                  > diluted some
                  > > of their aggressive tendancies. Dunno. I don't have any experience
                  > with
                  > > AHB, thank goodness :)
                  > >
                  > > >4) I'm planning to relocate the bees out to Jamul, California at some
                  > > >point soon. . .does anyone have hives in the area? There is a nearby
                  > > >lake, but I don't see a lot of flowering plants. . .I'm concerned the
                  > > >area might not support my hive.
                  > >
                  > > Just about any place on earth will support 1 hive. The bees will go 2+
                  > > miles for forage. You'll certainly find out soon enough :)
                  > >
                  > > George-
                  > >
                  > > ---------------------------------------
                  > > George & Nancy Fergusson
                  > > Sweet Time Apiary
                  > > 326 Jefferson Road
                  > > Whitefield Maine 04353
                  > > 207-549-5991
                  > > http://www.sweettimeapiary.com/
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --
                  > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                  > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                  > Version: 7.1.371 / Virus Database: 267.13.12/193 - Release Date:
                  > 12/6/2005
                  >
                • George Fergusson
                  ... A sign of a small efficient bee.. ... Ah! Foraging zeal, I like that in a bee! ... It sounds like they may have acquired some AHB genes somewhere along the
                  Message 8 of 9 , Dec 7 3:13 PM
                    At 12:41 PM 12/7/05 -0000, you wrote:
                    >Thanks everyone for all the great information! I'm actually stuck in
                    >Tokyo for a few days, so the bees will be on their own for a bit, but
                    >I'm sure they'll be fine.
                    >
                    >George, you asked me what behavior I was seeing that was AHB-ish. .
                    >.here's what I've seen:
                    >
                    >1) The bees fly directly in/out of the entrace instead of walking out

                    A sign of a small efficient bee..

                    >2) They work VERY late and early. . .first light to last light (I
                    >remember EHBs being much lazier :)

                    Ah! Foraging zeal, I like that in a bee!

                    >3) They are definitely more aggressive than the EHBs I've worked with.
                    >. .but they get angry in explosive bursts, and quickly calm. It's a
                    >strange behavior. . .I'm used to EHBs being pretty docile, but
                    >gradually getting angrier and angrier as I work on them. These bees
                    >literally blast out of the hive when I open it, but then I hit them
                    >with some smoke and they immediately calm down. It's wierd.

                    It sounds like they may have acquired some AHB genes somewhere along the
                    way making them hotter than ususal. That explosive burst description is not
                    really an EHB characteristic.

                    >You mention if the "act queenless". . .how does a queenless hive act?
                    >

                    Well, they don't act quite like a contented, at-peace queenright hive. I've
                    seen them act listless and dejected, and I've seen them act annoyed.
                    Usually they make a dull roaring noise kind of agitated noise, not the
                    sound of a happy hive peacefully going about their business.

                    I can't get any more specific than that I guess.

                    George-

                    ---------------------------------------
                    George & Nancy Fergusson
                    Sweet Time Apiary
                    326 Jefferson Road
                    Whitefield Maine 04353
                    207-549-5991
                    http://www.sweettimeapiary.com/
                  • Lew Best
                    Get hold of the guy I gave you the email addy for (Don) or come to chat tonight; he was there last nite & said he DOES have some queens right now. Real nice
                    Message 9 of 9 , Dec 7 3:43 PM
                      Get hold of the guy I gave you the email addy for (Don) or come to chat
                      tonight; he was there last nite & said he DOES have some queens right
                      now. Real nice guy; he'll give you good advice as to what to do.

                      Lew


                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beekeeping@yahoogroups.com] On
                      Behalf Of Jeff Lunglhofer
                      Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 3:52 PM
                      To: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [beekeeping] Re: Harvesting a Wild Hive - Story & Questions

                      Lew,

                      I think you are probably right. . .I was under the impression that
                      *all* wild bees in San Diego county were africanized, but I guess not
                      in this case. My bees don't chase me at all. . .in fact a few steps
                      away and through a gate and they I don't have a single bee around me,
                      except maybe the odd one here and there. . .

                      I'll keep an eye on the hive for a few weeks and if I don't see any
                      laying activity, I'll see if I can track down a queen so late in the
                      year. . .or maybe I'll just order one just for the heck of it. If
                      there IS a queen, I guess it's just a waste of a few bucks. . .

                      -Jeff

                      --- In beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, "Lew Best" <bee_keeper@e...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I had a feral hive that "suddenly got mean" & thought maybee it had
                      been
                      > invaded by an Africanized swarm. Turned out it was just queenless;
                      long
                      > story but by the time I got another queen (coupla weeks or so planning
                      > on calming it down by requeening it & destroying the old queen) when I
                      > went into it the population was quite small & only a small amount of
                      > brood which was hatching at the time (IOW no young brood/eggs). That
                      > may be why yours are a little aggressive or sometimes they "just are"
                      > due to weather, lack of flow, etc. Seriously doubt yours are
                      > Africanized; I dealt with a couple of Africanized (probably) colonies
                      > this past summer & they were REALLY mean! Chased me several hundred
                      > feet, etc.
                      >
                      > Lew near Waco, TX USA
                      >
                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beekeeping@yahoogroups.com]
                      On
                      > Behalf Of Jeff Lunglhofer
                      > Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 6:41 AM
                      > To: beekeeping@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: [beekeeping] Re: Harvesting a Wild Hive - Story & Questions
                      >
                      > Thanks everyone for all the great information! I'm actually stuck in
                      > Tokyo for a few days, so the bees will be on their own for a bit, but
                      > I'm sure they'll be fine.
                      >
                      > George, you asked me what behavior I was seeing that was AHB-ish. .
                      > .here's what I've seen:
                      >
                      > 1) The bees fly directly in/out of the entrace instead of walking out
                      >
                      > 2) They work VERY late and early. . .first light to last light (I
                      > remember EHBs being much lazier :)
                      >
                      > 3) They are definitely more aggressive than the EHBs I've worked with.
                      > . .but they get angry in explosive bursts, and quickly calm. It's a
                      > strange behavior. . .I'm used to EHBs being pretty docile, but
                      > gradually getting angrier and angrier as I work on them. These bees
                      > literally blast out of the hive when I open it, but then I hit them
                      > with some smoke and they immediately calm down. It's wierd.
                      >
                      > You mention if the "act queenless". . .how does a queenless hive act?
                      >
                      > -Jeff
                      >
                      > --- In beekeeping@yahoogroups.com, George Fergusson <gsferg@s...>
                      wrote:
                      > >
                      > > At 07:18 PM 12/6/05 -0000, you wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Wowza. Welcome back to beekeeping :)
                      > >
                      > > >So here's some questions:
                      > > >
                      > > >1) How do I know if I got the queen? I couldn't see any eggs/larva
                      > in
                      > > >the comb I removed, although there were maybe 200 capped brood
                      cells
                      > > >(not a lot thought).
                      > >
                      > > Well, short of spotting her, I dunno what to say. If they seem
                      > "happy" and
                      > > don't act queenless, you might be alright. After they've had a few
                      > days to
                      > > settle down you might be able to spot her. She'll be on the frame
                      > with the
                      > > most bees. This time of year there's not going to be much brood.
                      > > Eventually, if she's in there, you'll see eggs. If you didn't get
                      > the queen
                      > > I'd expect a fair number of bees to leave. That little brood isn't
                      > enough
                      > > to keep the bees there if they want to leave. Keep an eye out for
                      > queen
                      > > cells... if there is no queen, the bees might try to raise one if
                      > they can
                      > > find an egg. It would be an emergency queen and probably not the
                      > best, but
                      > > it would get you through the winter.
                      > >
                      > > >2) If I DIDN'T get the queen, can I replace her? I know
                      re-queening
                      > > >is possible, but it's December. . .the bees are quite active still
                      > > >here though. Can one even get a new queen at this time of year?
                      Are
                      > > >they available in San Diego?
                      > >
                      > > Good question. You might find a southern beekeeper with queens
                      > still, but
                      > > it's pretty late. I've been told that you can requeen any time of
                      > year... I
                      > > don't think that would hold for me here in Maine, but in southern
                      > > California.. maybe. If you can find a queen. You might be able to
                      buy
                      > a
                      > > frame of eggs/brood from another beekeeper.
                      > >
                      > > >3) I'm sure these are AHB's as they are wild and in a "colonized"
                      > > >area, but it's strange. . .they are really low key, although they
                      do
                      > > >exhibit a lot of AHB behavior I've read about. But they just
                      aren't
                      > > >all that aggressive. . .of course I am VERY aggressive with the
                      > smoker
                      > > >when I mess with them at all. . .so that may be why.
                      > >
                      > > What behavior are you seeing that you think is AHB-ish?
                      > >
                      > > >The behavior is the most peplexing. . .I heard AHB are supposed to
                      be
                      > > >EXTREMELY aggressive, especially when defending large hives. This
                      > one
                      > > >had 3 sheets of comb, 18" wide and 5 feet long. and tens of
                      thousands
                      > > >of bees. . .and they pretty much ignored me as I cut up and
                      relocated
                      > > >their house!
                      > >
                      > > Doesn't sound like AHB, but if they've been in that wall for a long
                      > time,
                      > > they've no doubt requeened themselves a few times and may have
                      > diluted some
                      > > of their aggressive tendancies. Dunno. I don't have any experience
                      > with
                      > > AHB, thank goodness :)
                      > >
                      > > >4) I'm planning to relocate the bees out to Jamul, California at
                      some
                      > > >point soon. . .does anyone have hives in the area? There is a
                      nearby
                      > > >lake, but I don't see a lot of flowering plants. . .I'm concerned
                      the
                      > > >area might not support my hive.
                      > >
                      > > Just about any place on earth will support 1 hive. The bees will go
                      2+
                      > > miles for forage. You'll certainly find out soon enough :)
                      > >
                      > > George-
                      > >
                      > > ---------------------------------------
                      > > George & Nancy Fergusson
                      > > Sweet Time Apiary
                      > > 326 Jefferson Road
                      > > Whitefield Maine 04353
                      > > 207-549-5991
                      > > http://www.sweettimeapiary.com/
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --
                      > No virus found in this outgoing message.
                      > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                      > Version: 7.1.371 / Virus Database: 267.13.12/193 - Release Date:
                      > 12/6/2005
                      >








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