Hmmmm....how do the feral bees living in trees survive without somebody pouring oxalic acid on them? :? :? :?
Feral hives send 2 swarms a year. If they do not die, the earth will be soon full of bees, and it should have been full allready million years ago.
So 2 swarms means 200% more a year....
What happens in ten years when beehives propagate 3 fold every year
In 10 years 1 million colonies will be 20 billion
1 3 9 27 81 243 729 2 187 6 561 19 683
And after 21 years the colony amount will be 1 162 261 467 000 000
= 1 million billion
I have taken part in various feral bee studies. A few things we found were the further you get from the impact of humans, the fewer the bee colonies. Bees are hard to find in deep woods. They also are inflicted by the many problems that any other colonies have, and they die over winter. Bees thrive in areas where hedgerows, unused fields, roadsides weeds, and other land once cleared by humans, allow weeds to grow. But these are usually where beekeepers are also.
Of course many people WANT to believe magical things about feral bees. Some beekeepers have been promoting this for twenty years now. But yet, can anyone really show a survivor line of bees? We can show some improvement between mass produced weak genetic commercially produced bees and some other breeding operations, which is a good thing. But that is a different set of apples and oranges. What we do not have, unless you buy into some very inflated marketing and fluff, is a bunch of "true" survivor bees. You would think that we would all have them after all these years.
I laugh everytime I hear of some beekeeper thinking he is getting "survivor" bees from some barn or tree, in areas where beekeepers are plenty.
Think about it......the story line as always is "How do the feral bees living in trees survive without someone pouring oxalic acid on them?" And yet beekeepers have been collecting these "special" bees for 20 years. And nobody says "How do such and such bees survive without someone pouring oxalic acid on them?" We always resort back to the bees that nobody seemingly has, and need to make comments about "survivor" bees that we always assume are thriving and been living in that tree for many years. Yet I challenge anyone to tell me where they can get survivor bees that need no help and can thrive as well as some suggest they magically do in the wild?
While I do not use oxalic acid, I think that many things go into helping your bees survive. That may be by equipment options, management options, and other factors intertwined with better genetics.
But the idea that feral bees, or any other bee, are at a point where they can survive on their own, is a message that many new beekeepers are finding to be incorrect. Of course, there are more than a few selling books, a certain ideology, or a certain hive setup, to come to your rescue when all that "I collected ferals and my bees will automatically thrive" fails. I've done it all, vinegar machines, FGMO, smallcell, feral bees, etc. And I have heard so many claims that if you use this comb, this hive, this treatment, this bee, that all your problems will go away.
Of course, as many say, each beekeeper will do what they want, chase a dream, and go from one thing to another. And I will laugh as some beekeeper with less than a years worth of experience touts their success giving credit to some way of keeping bees.
Then I'll type out some long winded reply, while knowing that it makes no difference to me what some beekeeper across the country does or does not do. I'll ask myself why do I care if someone uses one hive or another? I'm not selling books. I'm not selling one ideology over another.
And so it goes........