Our friends Chris and Annie were recently given the remains of a feral honey bee nest that had been cut down from a bush in their neighbour's yard. Annie installed it in her studio and was intending to paint it, but hadn't realised that something still lived in it. To her dismay the walls and furniture where covered in dozens of grubs within hours of it coming inside. Chris had to very swiftly encase it in a bin bag and deposit it outside, whereupon the grubs chewed through the bottom of the bag and 'legged' it. I was sorry to have missed the little blighters so I could identify them, but I suspect they were some sort of kleptoparasite, living off the bees' waste material, or the poor abandoned bee larvae themselves.
Here in central France there are many apiarists and groups of Honey Bees inevitably go feral from time to time. It is quite common to see Honey Bees congregating around hollow trees or delapidated chimneys. They've escaped the management of the apiarist and are living in the wild. If you have them nesting somewhere problematic, contact a local apiarist and he or she will most likely be very happy to come and return them to the fold. Luckily feral Honey Bees don't cause the sorts of environmental problems that feral cats or goats do.
The reality seems to be that, globally, Honey Bee numbers are increasing, mainly thanks to the Chinese taking up industrial scale honey production. Only 6% of food crops require the input of Honey Bees to provide a pollination service. Cereal crops, for instance, are wind pollinated. The latest research shows that the causes of Sudden Colony Collapse Disorder are a combination of a hive already infected with both Nosema (a fungus) and iridovirus, triggered by some additional adverse weather stress.
Our real worry should be the thousands of wild bee, fly and moth species which perform the bulk of insect pollination and which appear to be genuinely suffering major declines in numbers worldwide. Neither should we forget the welfare of domestic bees, when apiarists are not always given helpful advice or support