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Author Topic: What kind of bees did you run this year? Were you happy with them? Why?  (Read 3880 times)
Queen Bee
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« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2007, 05:56:52 PM »

2006: Buckfast
2007: Italians - I started 6 new hives this year with 6 three pound packages which resulted in a quick build up and very prolific hives. Four of the six gave me honey this year ( 115 x 1 lb. bottles of Wildflower Honey ). We'll see how they will overwinter  Smiley
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2007, 08:50:15 PM »

>how would you prevent open air mating?

The only reason to is if you're doing II (Instrumental Insemination).  Then you'd II the queen and then clip her or just confine her until she is laying.

> I know if you buy a queen and she is clipped then she is not going to be open aired.

If she's mated and was laying she won't mate again.

>If you get or obtain a queen that is not clipped then houw would you know what she is mating with?

Well, she's done mating, so that's irrelevant, but what she HAS mated with is important, but probably she was open mated or you paid way too much for her.  Smiley

> guess I dont even know how many times she is needed to be mated with to keep laying eggs.

She will mate during only one period of her life over the space of only one to three days.  She will not mate again after that.  She will lay until she is superseded or she dies.


Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
New Bee
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Location: Cleveland, TX

« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2007, 08:51:03 PM »

I tried several new varieties this year:

2 pkgs of B. Weaver BeeSMaRt

2 Nucs of Russian

2 Nucs of Carniolan

1 pkg Carniolan

I ended up with 1 strong BeeSMaRt hive, 2 reasonably strong Carniolan, 0 Russian (they absconded), and 9 non AHB ferals, some are of Italian (A. m. ligustica) origin and some are of Egyptian (A. m. lamarkii) origin.

The BeeSMaRt seem to put up a lot of honey but also are kind of like Italians (brood raising fools).  Their temperament is a little more aggressive than Italians but by no means hot (I work them in a veil, t-shirt and no gloves).  They have handled the SHB very well and I have not seen any mites on them (although I am sure they are there).  I ended up combining one struggling BeeSMaRt package with a struggling Carniolan package, the Carniolan queen took over and it became a pretty strong Carniolan colony.

The Carniolan do not put up quite as much honey, but they are really a joy to work, the most docile of any I have come across.  I really like their coloration too.  One nuc absconded shortly after I put them in a 10-frame hive body.  They handled the SHB quite well but I did notice a few mites.  The mite load was quite low so they seem to be holding their own so far, time will tell.

Don't think I will try the Russians again, they were quite "flighty" when I worked them and both colonies built up well during the main flow but they eventually absconded for no readily apparent reason.  They were there one day raising brood and bringing in lots of nectar and pollen and then were gone the next.

The ferals are a real mixed bag.  Some are quite calm and others are more like the BeeSMaRt in temperament, all of them are not bad to work (veil, t-shirt and no gloves).  Most seem to raise lots of brood but also seem to put up quite a bit of stores as well.  They all handle the SHB very well and I have not seen any mites (again I am sure there are some).  If they make it through till spring, I will have a better evaluation of them next year.


"The UNKNOWN, huh?  That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."
House Bee
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Location: philippines

« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2007, 05:46:33 AM »

i have italians and carniolans from kona, hawaii and i'm very happy with them.  i got a batch of italians from australia and all i have to say is NEVER AGAIN.  they're mean, lousy layers, easily superceeded, poor pollen gatherers and i didn't get any surplus honey from them.
Gail Di Matteo
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Location: Dublin Virginia

« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2007, 07:40:57 PM »

I started with three Russian nucs this spring. They were gentle, easy to work with. Most times I only went into the hives with a smoker. I fed them for about two weeks in the spring, thats it. They built up very quickly and they worked very hard; I pulled a medium honey super off the first week of October! Not that I have any comparison, but all in all, I am very pleased.


No good deed goes unpunished.
Queen Bee
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« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2007, 09:23:49 PM »


You were the first to really talk about the Russians. Did anyone else have Russians and how did they do?
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
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Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.

« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2007, 09:44:11 PM »

Check out my earlier reply #10.  It broke down my assessment of the different type of bees I had in my apiary this year, Russians were included.

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
House Bee
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Location: Ilfeld, NM

« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2007, 11:44:20 AM »

I started with two nucs of russian/carniolan mutts.  They did well considering it was a lousy year here.  The flows were small and brief.  Other beeks in the area with established hives didn't get a surplus either... The nucs were from Don Fatbeeman. 
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