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Author Topic: Mapping Feral Hives - Wunnerful or Really Bad Idea?  (Read 1078 times)
atemp2
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« on: December 06, 2008, 08:34:30 PM »

I spied the site so-called SaveTheHives - Feral Bee Project (can't post URL; don't have cred here yet).

After a bit of thought, I sent this off to them:

Quote
I think this mapping project is an Extraordinarily Bad Idea, ripe with potential for really bad Unintended Consequences.

Do you know the first thing the so-called beekeepers did in Hawai'i recently when one or two feral colonies were found to have a few varroa mites? They demanded the destruction of ALL feral colonies.

It's not hard to imagine the mapped colonies of your Project being targeted by some ill-advised, short-sighted extermination program.  Just as the American Bison aka buffalo takes the fall for brucillosis among domestic cattle, so will feral colonies come to suffer destruction whenever managed colonies have a problem.

I'll add that maybe the kept hives also had mites, tho I saw no evidence that they looked too closely in their feverish efforts to exterminate feral colonies. I think it's just as likely that the ferals in question were swarmed from managed hives.

IMO feral/wild honeybees are the last hope for commercial beekeeping, being as they are reservoirs of naturally combed, bred, reproduced, and hived colonies. The wild selection process must be allowed to coexist and adapt by natural laws (not man's conceit) to the ever-changing environment and toxic landscape of human influence.

Comments?
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2008, 09:50:51 PM »

Sheeesh, where do I start?

My own opinion is that there are little areas left that can support true feral stock, untouched or influenced by managed hives. In most states, like Pennsylvania, the number and location of beekeepers is such that if you drew a ten mile circle on a map where ever apiary is located within the state, few areas could be called virgin, or vast enough to maintain true feral populations.  And three years, and yes if you want to see the state permits I have them, of searching for truly remote areas of feral colonies, little could be seen in the support of such urban legends.

Feral colonies thrive and are located in areas that farming allow a variety of nectar sources and where they have been recently cast off from managed hives. The deeper you go into forrests, away from civilization, the fewer and fewer feral colonies you will find. True wilderness does not normally have good resources for colonies to thrive. Once spring tree nectar sources are gone, it's not good the rest of the year.

I love it when someone tells me about some "feral" colony, and then they mention they got it from farmer Brown's barn in the middle of agriculture central. Feral colonies for the most part are just "aged" colonies from swarms.

I also do not think that such items as what they are doing is as doom and gloom as you suggest. By the nature of the first couple posts, I see you speak down about others and like to make comments like "so-called beekeepers", "man's conceit", "toxic landscape of human existence", etc. (I thought you solved all problems to beekeeping by means of a Warre hive  Wink ) I think what they are doing may have merit, and actually is not a bad thing. Where it goes, what benefits may come out of it, and whether it's worth it, will be found out down the road.

What they may find, is that many feral colonies (like the Warre hive that itself is supposed to imitate) are ripe with problems themselves. It does not take long discussing with others about how many of these colonies built by bees on natural comb, with comb built from the top down, and with no opening of the hive, that they are loved by SHB, have many issues, and should not be seen as something magical because they came from a tree or other place.

Or maybe their experiences will be different than mine. But trying will not hurt. And I see no reason to sit in the back of the room and jab at other people's sincere efforts.

I do not see the feral colonies as saving commercial beekeeping. I see commercial beekeeping saving themselves by changing the way they treat, manage, and harm bees. Some imaginary pool of genetics, is not going to overcome the problems within the commercial industry. So I think your way off on that point.

For someone that denigrates everything and everybody, it may seem that nature and some mystical or imaginary feral pool of genetics is the answer. But I think the answers may be in what man can do, what we need to change, and what we will learn, that will save the bees. Whether that is conceited or not, I guess you can decide. But I know that path is brighter when such negativity and ill-will towards what seems every other beekeeper who is not aligned with you, may do more harm than good. So what if some beekeepers are doing a feral bee project? I hope they find something to prove me wrong.
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EasternShore
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2008, 08:38:46 AM »

I've had several dealing with these folks and from what I've found is they want " TO STUDY" these bee's...They KNOW they are mostly cast off swarms..these are not stupid people..they study bees and want to see if there might be something the commercial guys MIGHT be missing.

They do not intent on burning a cross on these hives...kind of defeats the purpose. I support anything that might help us improve our Bees.

steps off soap box...wheww
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rdy-b
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2008, 08:45:54 PM »

I spied the site so-called SaveTheHives - Feral Bee Project (can't post URL; don't have cred here yet).

After a bit of thought, I sent this off to them:

Quote
I think this mapping project is an Extraordinarily Bad Idea, ripe with potential for really bad Unintended Consequences.

Do you know the first thing the so-called beekeepers did in Hawai'i recently when one or two feral colonies were found to have a few varroa mites? They demanded the destruction of ALL feral colonies.

It's not hard to imagine the mapped colonies of your Project being targeted by some ill-advised, short-sighted extermination program.  Just as the American Bison aka buffalo takes the fall for brucillosis among domestic cattle, so will feral colonies come to suffer destruction whenever managed colonies have a problem.


I'll add that maybe the kept hives also had mites, tho I saw no evidence that they looked too closely in their feverish efforts to exterminate feral colonies. I think it's just as likely that the ferals in question were swarmed from managed hives.

IMO feral/wild honeybees are the last hope for commercial beekeeping, being as they are reservoirs of naturally combed, bred, reproduced, and hived colonies. The wild selection process must be allowed to coexist and adapt by natural laws (not man's conceit) to the ever-changing environment and toxic landscape of human influence.

Comments


WHat was the reply  cheesy-Heres the link-  http://www.savethehives.com/   looks good to me -good intentions go a long way in my Book  cool RDY-B
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2008, 02:42:21 AM »

I ahould let Understudy respond to this one but here goes:  In Florida, currently, it is unlawful to have bees without marked queens, any hive without a marked queen is considered feral.  Any swarm is considered a feral hive must be destroyed and no time is not taken to ascertain if said swarm has a marked queen.  Talk about overreaction. 

Now I'll let Understudy speak his peace as he's been at war (so to speak) with the state of Florida of this issue.  It is one of his hot buttoms along with honey and the TSA.
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atemp2
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2009, 08:36:43 PM »

Of course I received no reply or even an ack from "SaveTheHives" -- not that I expected any.

I am not anti-human, being one myself and loving it. You want to read the rants of true man-haters, trot over to uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/warrebeekeeping  tongue

The wild bee extermination efforts underway on Hawai'i (they recently issued a warning against eating wild-harvested honey because they've been spraying with biocides) would certainly have been greatly facilitated by citizen-provided google-maps.

It's no stretch to imagine such extermination happening on a nationwide basis, facilitated by SaveTheHives mapping. Then again, Cyber-Haydukes might very well appear and monkeywrench the whole scheme, so really, I'm not worried. The descendants of the surviving colonies will just build more secretively anyway.
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steveouk
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2009, 08:14:49 PM »

i think its a good idea, gives us all an in-site to whats going on. my only issue with the africanised map is that is really out of date. my county had 1 reported case of africanised bee's 3 years ago. No other has every been reported. I have not come across any swarms that show any signs off this and i've spoke to other bee keepers in my county that say the same. I personally think the gene pool on both sides is being changed when the africanised and the beekeeping world overlap
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iddee
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2009, 08:36:09 PM »

I've had the privilege for at least 5 minutes. Here's the link.   grin

http://www.savethehives.com/

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