i do all that: catch swarm, do removals from structures, order packages, nucs depending on years, no chemical treatment (use essential oils, try to feed the least i need to and leave plenty), split, get queens here, raise them sometimes. When it comes to getting the genetics from outside (purchasing from someone) i hear many 'survivor' talk/advertising, or feral. i'd like to know what it means though.
If i have a queen that survived its first winter and i get queens from her i would not call that "survivor stock" but i have the feeling some do just that. A little like the person who gets his first session of cancer treatment is not a cancer survivor yet. i wouldn't even try to get queens from that 1 yr old queen. i currently have a queen that made it 2 winters (maybe three but i did not keep records before; i dont even know where she comes from). Now i think about producing queens and spreading her genetics. But when i pay $18-25 for a queen, i hope she did not come from one that just survived one winter (had no time to prove her genetics).
How about survivor II (for 2 winters), survivor III, etc... I know it sounds too much like a bad movie. :roll:
And feral... when i get a call to pick up a swarm, i wont call it feral. How do i know it comes from a tree where the colony has been established unmanaged for 4-5 or more years? It may come and most probably does come from the hive next door, a packaged from last year, Italian from the South. No offense, but that wouldn't be very adapted to PA or MA. But again i feel there is overuse of the term 'feral' for any swarm around.