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I've been into beekeeping one year. I had been up to six hives but currently have 2 that have survives the winter so far.
I have purchased a NUC and a 3 lb package last May and the rest were swarms people called me on. Surprisingly the two hives that have survived thus far were feral swarms I had caught.

Jim
 

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It looks like you are proving the rule of "survival of the fittest".
Welcome to the forum. :hi:
I'm sure you're fit enough to survive with the rest of us. Keep collecting swarms. They're the real fun side of beekeeping. :D
 

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Welcome to the forum, Jim. Boiler Up!!!!
In my first year, the package I bought died over the winter and the other hive, a feral swarm, was the only hive that made it. That winter was a lot worse than the one we are having now.
Anyway, you've found a great resource!
 

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Glad you found us Jim:

We are a pretty friendly group here, lots of new and old keeps alike. Lots of great information to be gleened so don't hesitate to ask questions, or offer answers to someone else's.
Welcome aboard! :hi:
 

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Welcome to the forum Jim! :hi: Those feral bee's are hard to beat; somewhat free and adapted to their environment. I currently have 11 hives, 5 of which are feral and they are the most productive.
 

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Please can we have a definition of a "feral" swarm ?? How do you know it came from a surviving feral colony ??

Varroa has wiped out a lot of feral colonies. Do you think your "feral" swarm could have come from the hive of a beek you don't know about ??
 

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Yep! Just like cats. If the neighbors cat down the road has a litter of kittens and they grow up and run off and onto my land...thems feral cats!

Welcome Jim!
 

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first welcome aboard and we seem to be acquiring a good number of folks from Indiana and a couple of folks from around Purdue.

Although some folks seem to place lots of non specific value in swarms and feral hives I would suggest to you that there is a lot of variation in these loose descriptions. Feral to me simple means they are housed in something that doesn't look like a white box and bees will swarm for any number of reason (some of these reason represent good aspects and some of these not so good aspects). A honeybee is at its essence a wild thing that we have convinced to reside in a box for just a while... when the situation presents itself it can go right back to living in a tree.
 

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Eddy Honey said:
Yep! Just like cats. If the neighbors cat down the road has a litter of kittens and they grow up and run off and onto my land...thems feral cats!

Welcome Jim!
No, thems Ditch Tigers....wanton killing machines, partially responsible for the decline of our small game populations. I won't get started on this topic :-x :box: :-x
 

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Welcome to the forum Jim :hi:

Just keep catching them swarms no matter what others say!! Nothing any more fun than catching a big ol' swarm!!
 

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Thanks for the explanations regarding "feral" swarms. To avoid confusion I think I will not use the "f" word. With the density of beeks in this area, I believe that the majority of swarms will have come from hives. These swarms could have local, Greek, Balkan, Irish or non-local UK queens.

To try to avoid colonies going belly up in Winter, any swarms I intend to keep are re-queened from my stocks that have survived the Winter.

Different beeks ---- different approaches.
 

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G3farms said:
Welcome to the forum Jim :hi:

Just keep catching them swarms no matter what others say!! Nothing any more fun than catching a big ol' swarm!!
I was actually referring to the feral housecat.... :wave:
 

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Barbarian, I recommend watching a swarm for a few weeks before requeening. Even if you have good stock, you may be going from great to good by requeening. I like to give them a chance first, then requeening when I see negative assets.
 

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Indiana Dave said:
G3farms said:
Welcome to the forum Jim :hi:

Just keep catching them swarms no matter what others say!! Nothing any more fun than catching a big ol' swarm!!
I was actually referring to the feral housecat.... :wave:

I knew what you were saying, believe it or not some folks think that catching swarms is a waste of time and could be devastating to your home yard by bringing in disease and pest. I still say catch them and sort it all out later (especially if you have a quarantine yard).
 

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Welcome to the right Forum Jim. :hi:
There is no bee forum with more swarm catching members :thumbsup:
 

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BoilerJim said:
Surprisingly the two hives that have survived thus far were feral swarms I had caught.

Jim
Welcome aboard. Give it a couple years and I will ask you the same question and see if you are still suprised the feral bees do better. My moneys on you will no longer be suprised when this happens :thumbsup:
 
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