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Author Topic: pros and cons or mellifera and cerana  (Read 1626 times)
tig
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Location: philippines


« on: September 11, 2004, 01:39:04 AM »

hi all...i'm a beekeeper from the philippines with 60 mellifera hives and about 3 cerana hives as of the present.  i originally had 10 cerana hives  but 7 absconded!  i have gone around talking to other beekeepers, weighing the pros and cons of cerana and mellifera and the bottom line is, i have decided to do both, in spite of my sad experience with cerana's absconding.

the melliferas produce more honey and pollen and do not abscond easily.  however, they do have the specter of brood diseases and mites, not to mention the financial aspect since the hives cost much more than ceranas.  there's also the add on of having to buy queens on a fairly regular basis.

the ceranas produce much less honey and pollen than mellifera and easily abscond.  however, aside from absconding and wax moth problems, they are not hit by mites or brood diseases!  plus being native to my country, if you split the colony or they swarm, theres no worry because they can make their own queens with enough genetic material in the existing population of drones in a given area.

one observation i have had of cerana....if the colony absconds and you don't see any sign of wax moths in the box or combs, then dont bother to capture the swarm.  in all probability they will just keep absconding!  better to keep the colonies that have never tried to abscond and split them when they become large enough.  this has been the observation of many beekeepers here who have had a lot of experience with ceranas, and i have tried this method and so far its been working for me. those colonies i got from splitting from a tame colony have NOT absconded yet.
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SeanChan
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Location: Segamat, Johor, West Malaysia.


« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2004, 08:56:03 AM »

Hi Tig,

I am a hobbyist bee keeper from Malaysia and I have 4 colonies, all caught in bait hives. I had tried unsucessfully to split and multiply my colonies as they abscond on the slightest interference from me. Any advice how to split them?

Sean.
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Sean.
tig
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Location: philippines


« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2004, 09:05:06 AM »

hi sean...how many frames did they have when you tried to split them?  when i got my colonies, i had to feed them because i noticed that when i fed them often, they didn't abscond.  those which absconded did so because of wax moth problems.  the box i use is a modified langstroth box capable of holding ten frames.  i was adviced by a beekeeper who has had 50 years experience with ceranas to wait until they reach 8 or 9 full frames before attempting to split, but to check to make sure they dont make queen cells for swarming!  also to check that they have adequate food in the frames, because a lack of food will surely make them abscond. BTW...do you use a smoker when you manage the bees?
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SeanChan
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Location: Segamat, Johor, West Malaysia.


« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2004, 11:48:00 PM »

Hi Tig,

Thanks for your advice. I did feed them till the hive is full then tried to split them previously. However my hives are made of coconut trunk ie fixed and I had to cut the combs to tie onto a movable frame. My modified langstrogh also takes 10 to 11 frames. They just don't seem to like my better hives and prefer the coconut hives. Maybe I made an error by harvesting some honey as I split them. Should I be using smoke? I did not in the previous attempt to split.

Please see this site in Beemaster to look at my setup:

http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=967

SeanChan Cheesy
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Sean.
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