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Finding Feral Bee Colonies - Beelining

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Wild and feral honeybees and other bee species
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Norm
Moderator Bee


Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 2974
Location: UK in winter, Sweden in summer

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject: Finding Feral Bee Colonies - Beelining Reply with quote

There are several ways to Beeline, here is a link to some of them

http://www.savethehives.com/fbp/Beelining.html
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pdcambs
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Norm

An interesting subject bee lining and one that is very rarely practice these days, I think?

The work done on radio frequency tracking bee forage flights, over the last few years does indicate one possible error in the explanation on that website though. It's only a minor point but worth mentioning perhaps.

When the explanation says, to now move off at 90deg and establish another beeline to triangulate the colonies location, I think that is in accordance with the belief that bees navigate using landmarks, which was widely held back when bee lining was common. However, the radar tracking research discovered that in fact bees return from foraging flights (that are more than tens of meters from the colony) by reversing the dance instructions they followed to find the forage source. They came to this conclusion by both moving bees that were captured at a foraging station and then tracking their 'return' flight when released some distance away, and by physically moving landmarks (I understand they set up movable trees and fence lines in otherwise featureless flowering crop fields). In both cases the bees flew back along the opposite compass bearing to the one they had followed on their outward journey and then adopted a spiraling out flight pattern to locate the missing hive (sometimes entering a different hive if they found that before their own)

I think this is an interesting point because it begs the question were the old bee liners incorrect in their understanding of how bees navigate, or conversely are the modern results fine for an open field situation but fail to detect that bees navigate differently in the forest environments where bee lining was often practiced.


Peter
Cambridge UK
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Gary
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to practice this old art there is a box you can build to help you track the direction of the returning bee. Google bee lining box the directions were posted somewhere. There were even directions on how to tie a small feather to the abdomen of the bee to weigh it down during flight to make it easier to track (try that without getting stung).
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Norm
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 2974
Location: UK in winter, Sweden in summer

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find this subject fascinating and have had a go myself in the past. This is the timing formula I mentioned in the other thread:-

The distance to the nest can be calculated using a formula developed by Adrian Wenner and his team at the University of California.

Distance = (Time x 150) - 500

Where "Distance" is the distance in metres from the bait station to the nest and "Time" is the shortest time in minutes

For example, if the shortest time is 5 minutes and 13 seconds ( approximately 5.25 minutes) then the distance to the nest is likely to be:

(5.25 X 150) - 500

which is equivalent to

787.5 - 500

or

287 metres

The method is not that precise, however, so the distance would be rounded out to about 300 metres.
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imcurtis
Guard Bee


Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 61
Location: USA, Texas, Spring / Tomball TX

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This brings up a question that I have had for some time.

How do you know is a "wild" hive or one not found in a managed apiary is a true feral hive or just an excaped swarm from managed stock?
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pdcambs
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

imcurtis wrote:
This brings up a question that I have had for some time.

How do you know is a "wild" hive or one not found in a managed apiary is a true feral hive or just an excaped swarm from managed stock?


That's a very good question.

One could argue that that all bees are wild, there is no such thing as a tame bee, just bees under our stewardship, so that as soon as an apiary swarm takes up residence in a non managed location (be it hive or hollow tree etc) it becomes feral. But of course that is not useful if we are trying to identify bees that have been feral for many uninterrupted generations, to trap swarms from and evaluate.

One easy explanation is that only feral colonies beyond the influence of beekeepers are truly feral. There are a few locations that get reported (or hinted at) in the USA which might fit that criteria, but they are increasingly uncommon.

On the other hand, it may be possible for a feral line to breed with apiary drones and still remain healthy, if a combination of colony nest dynamics and behavioral characteristics enable it to do so. In which case the only way to detect such may be to look at national genetic population over the course of an endemic such as Varroa. Beekeepers will keep importing and breeding "exotic" stocks into the UK, so one might suspect the indigenous AMM to disappear totally during such a disaster. While it certainly is the case that in most parts of the UK it is hard to find AMM stocks I don't know that is completely impossible, certainly their genes remain in the hybridized wild stocks and it is from there that some selective breeders try to return to what they would argue should be the basis for naturally feral stocks in the UK.

It will be interesting to see what others think about this, I suspect there will be two strong camps of opinion, somewhat influenced by their own desires or agendas maybe; those that want feral survivors and those that think there is no longer any such thing (in the UK at least)
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mrwizard
Foraging Bee


Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 124
Location: sidney ohio usa

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

been missing for a while, but this is a neat topic.

mating with apiary drones is not a bad thing, nor is it a good thing. just a thing.

calling them apiary drones sort of implies a less robust genome. i disagree. if we assume that apiary concentrations of hives tend to result in apiary queens mating mostly with apiary drones, then the principle of genetics will weed out the less effective genomes. in other words, hives derived from those matings will be more likely to have combinations of genes that will not survive. those combos will self edit themselves out of the mix.

beekeeper interference also plays a part. beeks who select for varroa resistance, will increase the concentration of the resistance genome. other traits as well.

some of those artificial selections can also have positive effects on the feral population via the apiary drones and swarms. the flip side also exists. negative effects.

the ideal scenario would be for apiaries to be surrounded by feral populations, allowing for significant mixing of genetic material. a superbee genome is out there somewhere, but isolated populations are not likely to develop it.
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chaindrivecharlie
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Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 1213
Location: USA, Wisconsin, Sheboygan Co. Sheboygan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here feral would just mean reverted back to living wild with no intervention from man.

You still want all the bees gene pooling from all source's possible.
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john mclean
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: Ferals and drone congregations areas? Reply with quote

Hi Guy's

First post here,
Very interesting to read,just wanted to add that for no-nonsense bee-lineing the simplest way is to watch the bees forage in any given area be it a feild of clover /oilseed rape or whatever you have noticed the bees working,drinking spots count too..
the important one is to take into account the wind direction and speed!
Reason= bees will use a slip stream from a dyke/hedge/ wood whatever helps them get back to there nest.
Done this for a while now and it works.
radar tracking or the likes should give some of a picture but not all the data required to find nests...

When the wind is blowing hard and the bees are able to get out for nectar or pollen they fly low so it makes it easier to follow them,looking around you ,you will see all obsticles that form a wind break and this helps you figure there routes without being too focused on the bees flight paths.
The bees may fly south for a few hundred yards then turn west ,(say into the wind) behind a hedge for another distance then shoot up and over the hedge to continue south west useing the eddy created by other wind breaks before getting back to there nests.

In the summer months finding the drone congregation areas is a good pursuit,they are usually used by *all* drones feral and managed ,and finding them is worth the effort the sound from them makes it unmistakable and once found you get your eye and ear in for them also they are used year in year out time after time.

About the bee line once you have bees passing you it's a good indicater.
tried to explain? hope it may help?

John..
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1032
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks John - and welcome!
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Gareth
Wise Bee


Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 3060
Location: UK, England, Cotswolds

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome John

Fascinating post. Really must give it a try.
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Norm
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Joined: 15 Jun 2007
Posts: 2974
Location: UK in winter, Sweden in summer

PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello and welcome my good friend John. Smile

Great to see you here, I noticed you joined a little while back and was hoping you would post.

For those of you that don't know John, he is an expert outdoorsman working in forestry and a really good observer of not only bees but all flora and fauna. He and I have been discussing ferals for quite some time and I will admit he knows much more than I.

Your input will be most welcome John.
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john mclean
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:59 pm    Post subject: Greetings Norm Reply with quote

Hi Norm and thanks for the intro,

I've tried to give some tips but as you know computers aren't my thing,bees are/ whether it be in a skep/hollow tree /roof space /or hive it's the bees that are important.

I will try and post when I can,and hope folks put up with my failings?
good to hear from you.

Bee - lines are great / the benifit from watching them is????

you see the preditors hunting them in the summer months.

swifts swallows martins and the daddy of them all the Dragonflies, amazeing things the emporear dragon flies like a biker on the prowl.

catch you later Norm

John... Smile
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pdavid.quesada
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An amazing and beautiful link!
Thanks Norm
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john mclean
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 7:23 pm    Post subject: Bee lines Reply with quote

Hi Guy's

Just came back in from the bees, before I went I went on a walk with my daughter down the stream and along the sycamores(there in flower here) I have an OH in my shed and watch them every day morning noon and night,Tonight they were working the sycamores ,followed them back to the shed. The ferals that are not too far away as well were also working the sycamores= they were flying in the opposite direction from my bees .
I think once you start to watch the bees working whatever there on you start to get your eye in so to speak,I would recomend it to any beekeeper who likes bees to veiw their world and conditions they live with.
Meaning tonight it is blowing quite hard and they struggle a lot till they reach the source useing the eddy of the tree to access the flowers and once there they quickly fill up and off home again(usually slower than when the first arrived ) makeing it a bit easier to follow them.

Go on give it a try everyone and see what you see on route, you might catch a glimpse of something you would only ever read about or watch on TV.. Smile

best regards and happy hunting.

John. Smile

Ps. I was watching a bee groom a bee while another bee groomed that bee and next to them were two bees grooming another bee. In the OH that is. Shocked
Right I'm off to find the topic about bees vibrateing other bees.
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type2head
Foraging Bee


Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 218
Location: poole,dorset

PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

funny to find this topic as only last week i used it to find another ferel colony in the industrial estate i work on. a lovely bush was covered in about 5 diferent types of bees including honeybees. one small problem was the i had to just follow the bees from outside the bush at it now appears there are another 2 seperate colonies all have nearly the same colouration so capture did not mean they all were from the same hive.

nothing better than standing on a main road with a box of bees and a piece of paper while people ask you what you are doing ???????

my response was

"i am releasing my homing bees and seeing how long it takes for them to return to their hive"

some people actually believed this Laughing
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can just imagine people wondering what you were doing, I had to LOL when I read the end of your post. Bullseye! great sense of humour, well done.
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Odisej
Nurse Bee


Joined: 10 Mar 2011
Posts: 40
Location: Slovenia, EU

PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dr. Peter Seeley:

https://youtu.be/EAt0pkag9YY

Cheers
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