A few weeks back, mid October to be exact, a friend of ours was doing some work on a house and discovered a small hive of honey bees in an exterior wall. He called us and asked if we were interested in coming to get them saying that the owners of the house were going to have them exterminated if we did not. Well, always up for learning something new, Chip and I went over the next day and did a cut-out to remove these super gentle bees. By the color of the comb and the look of the hive, they had been there a couple of years. Everything went well but the location of the hive (12' up a ladder) and other circumstances did not allow us to get the queen. We hived them up in a medium box and brought them home, but after waiting a week or so to see if they would try to raise a new queen from the young brood, we decided to combine them with one of the other hives using the newspaper method.
What amazed me more than anything about the feral bees (aside from how docile they were), was the extraordinary diversity in the hive! I know these pictures are not very good, but they do give you an example of the different colors and even shapes of the bees in this colony. I don't think I have ever seen black honey bees before these, though I had heard they were out there. The whole experience was so incredibly fun, I honestly cannot wait to have an opportunity to try this again.