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Author Topic: Questions about Bee breed  (Read 2121 times)
Umbriel971
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Location: Sault Ste Marie ON, CA


« on: October 03, 2004, 01:46:03 AM »

Greetings from Canada.  I am getting back into beeking after a very l;ong hiatus.  I have been reading up on the Russian type and they seem to have many of the qualities I am looking for:  Hygene, disease resistance and wintering.

I have been talking with a long time beekeeper here who also supplies bee's and he says that the russian's are real go getters, and judging buy his hives they are good producers.  However I have been making a good study of bees on the net and in the library and most have said that the russian breed is quiet and well mannered.  The beekeeper however says that his are somewhat
mild, but more agressive than his italians.  A clear contradiction from the field and from the books.  Since I am in an urban setting, I dont need nor want mean bees...  Can anyone offer some advice please?

Thanks

Matt
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TJ
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2004, 02:44:20 PM »

I can only talk about the Italians. I have 2 hives only about 100 feet away from where my children often play and have had NO trouble with them. They are very busy creatures that go about their tasks. The farthest away from the hives I have ever been stung is about 10 feet. My fault. Good luck!
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Finman
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2004, 03:06:21 PM »

Quote from: Umbriel971
Greetings from Canada.  I am getting back into beeking after a very l;ong hiatus.  I have been reading up on the Russian type and they seem to have many of the qualities I am looking for:  Hygene, disease resistance and wintering.

I have been talking with a long time beekeeper here who also supplies bee's and he says that the Russian's are real go getters, and judging buy his hives they are good producers. Matt


I asked that from Finnish professional beekeepers, what are Russian bees?

They said that is breeded in USA. Russians habit are not good at all, so I understood.  They have many odd and unwanted habits.

I had Krainian bees 10 years. They were very  mild but too eager to swarm.  I stopped to keep them.

Now I have again Italian strains which have shoosen in Finland. There are many strains of Italian, tens or hunreds !

Also I just tried Elgons, but they were too eager to sting me. Some were mild. They kill mites.

http://www.beesource.com/pov/osterlund/abjdec2002.htm

I have nursed bees 42 years. During this time breeding have incerased yied in Finland from 40 libs to 120 libs per hive.

During 15 years artificial insemination has eliminated desire of attacking from bees. Bees are realy good, but more sensitive to deseases than before.

Mite came over Russian border about 1975-1980, and killed our wild bees from houses and from nature.  Now condution are very well. Bees are really good. It took 15 years to go over Finland.

My nabour beekeeper has about 40 hives. He got only one sting from his Italians last summer. He is allergig fo bee sting.

I use bare hands. Stings are not many. There is allways bad girls , but then I change the queen.
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2004, 06:14:54 PM »

I find my Carniolans to have a much better disposition than my Italians.  I can dig thru the hive with no smoke and they act like I am not even there.  In fact I can't remember the last time I got stung by one.

Whatever you decide to go with,  make sure you requeen with queens from a reputable queen breeder.  If you allow supercedure or emergency queens, you stand a much greater chance of the hive becoming hot.
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2004, 12:32:46 PM »

I don't know if it's an illusion, but slightly more aggresive bees (in the same yard) seem to make more honey.  I don't know if it's because they make me pay more to take it away from them, if they are more aggresive about collecting it, or if I avoid fooling with them until I absolutely have to. (fewer intrusions more production)  Obviously, since my bees are in a subdivision, I can't tolerate aggresive bees.  I was just puzzling over the trade-offs.  I've never had anything but banded italians, including the swarms I've caught over the years, but they seem to be an all purpose bee.  Tolerate cold well, build up fast and early, make lots of honey if there is nectar out there.  Temperment for the most part is calm, although I have had colonies that wanted my head on a pike.   I would like to try some of the other bees out there, but just getting going again, it's hard to go wrong with italians.  I would add, that these bees seem alot calmer in general, than the bees I kept years ago.
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Finman
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2004, 12:11:06 AM »

Quote from: golfpsycho
I don't know if it's an illusion, but slightly more aggresive bees (in the same yard) seem to make more honey.


That was true in my yard 15 years ago. The biggest colinies was hybrids and  queens have copulated with "norther race". Thery were awfull to handle.  8-9 boxes, smell of sweat, and they wait when to attach.

Mite killed those furious native bees. I and my nabour have only breeded bees and we destroy queens which are angry.

The fact is, that there is honey on the field. Bees, are they  4 hives or 6 hives, they are able to gather that honey from flowers. Some hives are good and others not, but the sum of hives is same as honey in flowers.

That IN NORMAL SITUATION. There is one or two weeks that no hives is not enough gather the yield, but flower summer is  3 months long. They fly at minimum level during most of summer. That is why I keep only 3-5 hives in one point.

I decided that it is easier to keep 2 lazy hives than fight with angry one hive.

But now in my yard good hives are also calm. I cannot make difference with yield between angry and calm.

But if I take more than one generation daughters from  commercial queen, the genome of good selected features will be scattered abd bees goes to direction of natural. And the nature of bee is ATTACK AND DEFENCE YOUR HONEY STORE.

When I have 15 hives, it is quite difficult to select one good hive breeding. When commercian bee keeper has 600 hives, he has more opportunies  for breeding selection. Also in Finland many has insemination tools or they ask help from another.
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BigRog
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2004, 12:44:41 AM »

"the sum of hives is same as honey in flowers"

Very well put
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Anonymous
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2004, 02:59:14 PM »

Thank you for the advice  Cool
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