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Author Topic: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?  (Read 1447 times)

Offline wouldliketobee

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How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« on: February 26, 2011, 02:49:05 PM »
I may have the opportunity to do my first cutout , it's in an abandoned farm house the owner wants to tear the house down and wondered if bees could be removed. He says the bees have been there 10 to 12 years he not sure if they survived this year yet, but said he will check when weather warms up,  I was just wondering if one winter on their own is considered survivor stock, are there any signs that the same bees have been there for several years as opposed to every year a new swarm taking over a hive that died out the year before? I can't wait to see this hive and take some pictures. I'm sure some of the seasoned beekeepers with a lot of cutouts under their belt have some signs in mind that makes them think that same hive has been there for several years?

Offline D Coates

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2011, 02:52:19 PM »
No real way to know for sure.
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Online kathyp

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2011, 04:13:48 PM »
it might be that there have been multiple swarms that have moved in over the years.  unless it's a new swarm from this year or last, it's more likely that they would be good survivor stock.  they would be worth the effort in my opinion.
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Offline Countryboy

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2011, 09:11:15 PM »
The only way to know if a colony is survivor stock is to monitor it for X number of years until you are satisfied that colony is 'survivor' stock.

Offline hardwood

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2011, 09:41:42 PM »
Dry, brittle comb towards the outside edges and unoccupied usually is a sign that new bees have moved in on older comb. I find that they may move in where there was once a colony that died or absconded and not even touch the old comb for some reason but build their own right next to the old stuff.

As CB said, the only way to know for sure is to watch every step of the way.

I'd go for it on the off chance anyway (of course I'd charge for it too).

Scott
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Offline JP

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2011, 12:06:10 AM »
No guarantees except for monitoring them but, if you are seeing lots of mutts (different colored bees) some jet black, and they are very small throughout, I would bet they have been feral for some time. Old really dark comb could be a sign as well, but could be a new swarm that settled in on a dead out as well.

If they are strong and exhibit good hygienic behavior those are worth the trouble to remove and relocate. Don't forget about placing swarm traps out either, on ones you suspect have been there a while that are perhaps too problematic for you to remove.


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Offline BjornBee

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2011, 12:17:03 AM »
Who cares? What does it matter anyways?

Once you take them, they will live or die. And no doubt the dynamics of the location will be certainly be  different once you do take them. If they perform well, you can't market anything based on not knowing anything except what they do once you get them. And if they fail, you won't know if it was from you or just bad bees.

Bees in walls are influenced from the surrounding beekeeper managed genetics like anyone Else's colonies. Nothing to get excited about. Get the bees, monitor them, and go from there. Nothing will change in what will happen in the coming years based on labeling them one thing or another. If you call them survivor or you don't, it matters not a bit to the bees.
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Offline JP

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2011, 12:20:28 AM »
And just to mention again, one can always simply put out swarm traps. A lot easier than doing removals from structures.


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Offline wouldliketobee

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2011, 02:51:04 AM »
Thanks for all the input.  I mainly want to get a little experience, I don't really care if they are survivor stock or not, it would be nice if they were , I would take them either way I was just wondering if their were any signs to look for to determine if the same hive had been there all these years.

Offline Tommyt

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2011, 08:03:20 AM »
If the Queen has dee Dot painted on her back
They Don't be Feral :shock:
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2011, 12:36:55 PM »
3 successive winters, same bees, same hive, you can start to call them survivor stock.  But, IMO, they don[t really qualify until they've survived 5 successive winters.  Why? Because winter severity varies greatly (as we've seen this year, especially) and it is not uncommon, in my area at least, to have 3 successive mild winters, but winter 4 or 5 will most likely be a killer, much like this year, lots of snow, lots of cold, wild flucuations in short periods of time.

Bees need to be tested to properly be labeled survivor stock and 5 years provides a more proven period of survivability.
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Offline Scadsobees

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2011, 02:09:14 PM »
I usually examine the bees carefully to see if they're of survivor stock.

If they have ripped tattered clothes, long scruffy beards, a wild look in their eyes, usually gripping a stone dagger...now them's some survivors!!! :-D
Rick

Offline The Bix

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2011, 06:51:50 PM »
Chicks with long scruffy beards....YIKES!!!

Offline CVBees

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Re: How can I determine if a cutout is survivor stock ?
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2011, 08:24:45 PM »
My only cut out from last year, is jumping.  Tons of bees this spring and they built up nice over the summer last year with little assistance.  I would go for it because you never know when your next chance for free bees will show. Unless your JP and they fall like rain in a jungle.  8)
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