Wild bee survival stories

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by BjornBee, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Yesterday, I made it out to one of the nuc yards. I had to carry bags of sugar and equipment through 200 yards of 18 inches of snow. I thought I was going to have a herat attack. :shock:

    As I got near the nuc stands, I noticed a large nuc (really 2 five frame deeps, and 2 medium boxes stacked) not there. I looked again. It had been on the ground next to the stand, perhaps 20 feet away. It was a swarm I caught, and just left it sit where I had hived them. But there is was, under the snow. Not one part showing.

    I pushed the snow off the boxes. They all had come apart when they fell, at least an inch or two. The top was off. I thought I was going to pick the boxes up and stack them till I could get the truck into the yard. I picked the bottom box up. Then, I went to pick up the second box (which would of been the second deep box, second from the bottom), when then I heard it. The bees started humming.

    I could not believe it. The snow storm was at least a week ago, and they must of fell during the first storm four days prior, since they had a foot of snow on top. Yet, they survived.... :yahoo:

    Anyone have a wild bee survival story?
     
  2. onehorse

    onehorse New Member

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    Bjorn,

    We want queens off of that hive! We need something that can tolerate abuse.
     

  3. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    that snow made some nice insulation didn't it?

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Had a swarm call two years ago, while removing them the land owner ask me if i would want two hives that were abanded in his woods.He said they were there when he bought the place and two elderly men came and worked them 5yrs. ago and haven't been back.He thought only one had bees,of course i said yes i would and we went to look at them. The hives were sitting on bare ground and in bad shape, the bottemboards rotten,paint peeling off and were leaning to one side with buckbrush holding them up but both hives were alive? I went over that night and got them and gave him my phone number if anyone came looking for them.I tried to pay him for them,but he wouldn't take nothing, and said he would like to have 4 or 5 hives on his farm if i wanted to put them there that i would be welcome to. I put them in new hives and put them in a place by there selves and they made 120 lbs of excess honey last year and are my strongest hives (no treatments of any kind). Guess where i'm going to get eggs this summer to raise queens, and the farmer is going to get his 5 hives for pollination, (his farm is 5 miles from me) :thumbsup: Jack

    ps. The frames had the name(branded) of an old time beekeeper who passed away 7 yrs. ago and his wife died before he did.( they had no childern.)
     
  5. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Yes.

    It also should answer a few peoples questions about hives suffocating when the hivesw are buried in snow. :Dancing:

    I personally have never seen a hive die due to snow and a lack of air. But it seems a topic discussed every year.... :eek:
     
  6. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Just define "wild" for me.

    G3
     
  7. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Wild = Crazy, Fantastic, extreme.

    Nothing to do with the type bees you have. :lol:
     
  8. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I think it's more a case of the fluffy, porous snow getting warm and turning to impermeable ice or heavy wet snow over the only hive air vent.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Is this wild, in the appropriate definition.

    About 25 years ago, when I had nothing but a veil, no gloves nor beesuit, I was asked to remove a hive from an old farm house. During the removal, the bees kept stinging with a vengeance. No amount of smoke would calm them. After getting them out and into a hive, I left it in the yard to gather the stragglers and went home to nurse nearly 200 stings. Upon arriving the next day, they were working from the hive as they should be. A bit of smoke and I inspected it and found the queen. They were quite gentle. It was then that I noticed they were still going in the house. UH-OH! Another colony. They were the ones stinging, as they hadn't been smoked while I was removing their neighbors.

    More smoke, more stings, more tearing out wall, and the second colony was boxed, with another 150 to 200 stings.

    Third day, repeat.

    Fourth day, another repeat.

    Fifth day, fifth colony, finally finished.

    Total, over 400 stings, 5 hives, one house missing a chimney and complete wall from corner to corner.
     
  10. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

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    I'd say that's pretty wild!
    Did all those colonies have queens or were there just that many bees?!

    We don't have any wild bee stories yet. :(
    But I'm sure Mama Beek is very grateful for that!
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Five queens, 5 colonies. Separated by wall studs.
     
  12. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I was waiting for the word feral to come out :lol: :lol:

    G3