Encountering and labeling wild european honeybees

How do we tag european honey bees that are wild, unkept bees? I often see them way up in the Sierra Nevada far, far away from where they would be kept (far beyond 10 miles). How do we tag them as wild?

Observations are set to “wild” be default. The only option is to specify that an observation is “Captive/Cultivated”.

Depending on the location, the issue is, and I don’t know how it would be resolved, many/most/almost all/? Apis mellifera observations are cultivated but not noted as such. I am not sure if there are ways to be sure when they are feral other than educated guesses by location. I think any research done is well aware and the issue for them is moot.


I think it largely comes down to how the average observer is going to be able to tell… perhaps Apis mellifera should by default be marked cultivated? I think if there is a certain ratio of cultivated to wild observations of a species in an area, then it starts to automatically assign cultivated to them.

Interesting post!

The issue is “moot”.

Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.


Thanks, corrected.
But the issue may also be mute :)

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No, honeybees shouldn’t be marked as cultivated automatically. Just as with any invasive species, we need data for the [feral] Apis mellifera to be able to see where they are competing with native bees. Just as feral cats are marked wild


yeah, it really depends on where you are, too. In cold climates such as here in Vermont in the USA, there are very few if any feral honeybees and they probably usually don’t survive the winter if they do go off and swarm on their own. Meanwhile in coastal California where it is warmer, feral honeybees are very common. Really you’d have to find the hive to know for sure.

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