That's the one! Now that is a thing of beauty, a queen's kingdom for sure!!! What a maze of comb! 15 years, eh? For a newbee like me that would be an exciting find but also a very intimidating one!!!! You done good on that one!!! I'm still plotting and planning... I've been studying bee-vacs. So far I've located 8 feral hives and have two more possibles.
Down below is a map of the feral colonies that I've located in my local rural area. Circles denote bee-yards and "stars" denote feral colonies. Naturally the "Home" bee-yard is my place and no active colonies there yet. The "Moore" bee-yard is a small 2-year-old 4-5 colony yard. The "Davis" yard is probably a 30-40 colony yard and has been there for probably a couple of decades. The "NEB" yard is my mentor's and currently has around 28 colonies but has had close to 50 in the past...it has been there a couple of decades, also. Lastly, the "Welch" yard is where I may possibly have an out-yard later on over at the swamp.
These feral colonies are colonies that I've stumbled upon in talking with folks locally. Most of these I have permission to "get the bees"...with a couple of the places the folks *really* wanting the bees gone. Several of them would have to be trap-outs, though. What I'm figuring on for the possible trap outs is to set up swarm traps nearby and try to catch the swarms they should throw off this spring...then do a trap out and eventually combine the trapped out workers with the swarms. That's my plan for now, anyhow!
I've got two stumps, three bee trees, and the rest in structures of different types. We'll seen what happens!
Knowing it's probably just that I've talked to more folks in this area it still seems interesting that the largest population of these feral colonies appear to be oriented between the two large bee-yards. I'm curious about what type of impact I may have from these feral hives...one thing I'm thinking of is a DCA close by. There's probably many more colonies around me, too,...there's lots of folks I haven't talked to!
(this link is to a little bit higher resolution image than the one shown below...)http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n153/intheswamp00/Honey%20Bees/Honey%20Bee%20Local%20Maps/FeralLocation-notags04Large.jpg