I posted this on another forum a while back, but here are the pics to go along with it.
How long would a swarm of bees have to be on their own to be considered feral??
I bought some empty wooden ware from a farm auction that was selling out 6 or 7 seven years ago. After digging into the brood boxes (which were stored outside in on open shed) we discoverd a swarm had set up house in one, a deep and shallow. I brought it home and sat it out. Have never been through it, fed them, or added any drugs to them. Year before last I thought they were going to die out (I really think they swarmed heavily) came back strong last year, and caught a 4 to 5 pound swarm off of them this year. They are very gentle and the queen is a terrific layer.
Now would these bees be feral (not the swarm but the original hive)? They have not had any human intervention in 6 or 7 years, same as being in the wild.
I will need to rehive these since the wood is about to rot down around them, just hate to disturb them since they seem so resiliant. Pulled the top off of them the other day and what a mess inside, the propolis is extra extra extra thick on every thing. Did not even bother going into the brood box. I just hope that they built comb in the frames, if there are any.
The fella that was keeping these bees did not use bottom boards, he would nail a piece of plywood on the bottom of the brod box and cut an entrance in the bottom edge of the brood box. You can tell they have never been inspected because of the heavy propolis. Notice on of the top bars is broken in the middle and has fallen down some, that is where ants had eaten a hole in the solid plywood top cover and eaten into the top bar. And yes burr comb honey is the best.
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the brown streaks down the front of the hive is propolis
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