Ground Dwellers

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by ok_country, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. ok_country

    ok_country Active Member

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    Oklahoma Panhandle
    Two years ago my husband and I were walking around outside and notice that we were right in the midst of several bees that were flying around. They did not seem at all aggressive, nor did they try to sting us. When we looked down we notice that they were coming and going from holes that were dug into the ground. They were covered in a yellow dust from the sunflower fields. We was wondering if anyone has ever heard of bees that burrow into the ground like this. Plus if we was to set up a box by their site if they might take to that instead of the ground. We have sunflowers that are still planted nearby plus alfalfa fields. We would like to start a bee hive, but don't want aggressive type of bees around, and these bees seem perfect, as to their non-aggressiveness. I can't tell much more about the bees, then what I have already descibed, but they are in the same spot every year since we first noticed them. Thanks for any advice on this.
     
  2. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    These are probably bumble bees, which are native to North America. They will NOT move into hives as they LIKE to nest in the ground. They also do not lay up stores of honey to last them the winter. They ARE bees, but not HONEY bees! They only gather enough necter to feed themselves and their young.

    Conversly, they COULD be yellow jackets if they are shiny instead of fuzzy. Yellow jackets feed their young meat instead of pollen, so what you have are probably bumble bees.
     

  3. ok_country

    ok_country Active Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Oklahoma Panhandle
    Thanks for the info,,just these seem to not be bumble bees as they are not as wide and not fuzzy,,would hate to have yellow jackets but at least these one are not aggressive ones. Is there such a thing as non-aggressive honey bees???? To many reports on the killer bees and honey bees that have been cross-bred and I would like to keep away from these type.
     
  4. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Are you in an Africanized bee area? If you are not I would not worry.

    Most domestic bees are very mild, and the hive takes it's temperament from its parents. What bee-keepers in an Africanized area often do is to re-queen every year. That way, they get a mated queen from a safe area to give her gentle traits to her offspring.

    A hive will normally replace an old and failing queen with one of her daughters, who will mate with the local drones. If you have Africanized drones in the area you don't want that. So, in an Africanized area a beekeeper may not want to risk a queen getting to old to do her job and simply avoid this by replacing her yearly.