"Wild Bees" and Hybrids From the Apiary
4 Miles Northeast of
Buffalo Mountain State Natural Preserve in Floyd County, near
Willis, VA, on the 40 Acre "Buffalo View Farm" of John & Leslie Webb
Many Features and Behaviors of these Honey
are consistent with Apis Mellifera Mellifera (Apis m. m.).
including reported aggressive characteristics of the Hybrids, which are from Apis mellifera ligustica (Italian Honey Bee) and Apis m. m. (European Dark Bee or German Black Bee and their variants).
No positive identification, such as DNA testing has been accomplished as of 9/14/09.
The darkest bee seen, recognized by a black abdomen with little or no banding, long thoracal hair, black wings, and rapid foraging, so far has proved to be extremely camera shy and too fast to focus on! They are seen foraging almost exclusively during the morning hours, and seem to notice my prescence, keeping a cautious distance. I will continue to try to get a clear photograph of one (or collect one). Also, I will add photographs of the hybrids from each of our hives, including the drones.
Our hybrid honey bees came into existence when we allowed one of our Italian Honey Bee colonies to raise their own queen and open mate with drones in the area. We then allowed colonies "divided" from this original hive to also open mate their queens. There is the possibility that this hybrid could be just a mixture of random genetics available in the area. However, the possibility also exists that there have been isolated surviving colonies of "Old World" bees, introduced on and around Buffalo Mountain when the first Floyd County settlers came to the area, many of which were my ancestors. Our family history includes evidence of beekeeping and "catching swarms" here as early as the mid-1800's. Prior to bringing packaged bees to our farm in 2007, we never saw a single honey bee on our land while gardening and producing 30+ acres of hay, mixed with white clover, every year, until we introduced them. Queens fly an extended distance to mate that would be within range of all areas of Buffalo Mountain Natural Preserve from our farm. That mating distance could also possibly be within range of several other known beekeepers, none of which keep bees with characteristics of Apis Mellifera Mellifera, more commonly known as the European Dark Bee or German Black Bee.
Comments Are Welcome Here!
Local Honey by the Quart, Pint and Half Pint Harvested From These Hives is Available at:
Mayberry Trading Post
Mile Marker 181, Blue Ridge Parkway
2 Miles South of Meadows of Dan & US58
Or call 540-789-8400 to
up locally near Willis, VA
We will also ship via USPS for actual postage plus $2.50 for packaging materials
Send your request to Honey@VirginiaMountains.com and we will calculate the charges to send by check or money order
1436 Conner Grove Road SW
Willis, VA 24380