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FERAL HONEY BEE RECOVERY – Sustaining A Local Resource

"The wrong sort of bees make the wrong sort of honey." --Winnie the Pooh

Submitted by Bill Ott of Arvada Gardeners

Caption: Local feral honey bees attracted to a bait hive.

Most beekeepers start out by purchasing packaged bees that are typically massed-produced under highly unnatural conditions. The queen is fed sugar syrup to accelerate her egg-laying; when her “sugar babies” mature, they are fed more sugar syrup, sold by the pound, packed in boxes and shipped with a new queen that was likewise specially raised and artificially inseminated. Although they produce honey, they are completely dependent on the beekeeper and their genetics not necessarily a good match to the local climate and conditions. Typically, feral bees are generally more resilient because they have adapted to the local environment.

If you would be interested in preserving this local resource, please contact Bill Ott about hosting a bait hive on your property later this spring. Several considerations include:

  • Bait hives would be set from early May to mid-June 12-15 feet up a tree (see photo)

  • HOAs and covenants may restrict this type of activity on your property

  • Large, highly visible trees near water and open fields, meadows or gardens are desirable.

CONTACT: Bill Ott; 303-241-9155 or

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