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Author Topic: B. Weaver Bee and Apiary Review  (Read 3569 times)
Rob Steff.
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« on: April 24, 2008, 02:06:26 PM »

 Hi all,

I happened to see in my archive searching of this forum that there are a few individuals out there who seem to have negative feelings toward the quality of B Weaver Bees out of Texas, especially when it comes to their gentleness (of lack thereof). Some went as far as to call them "aggressive," "mean," and even "vicious"! As my experience with these bees have been dramatically different, I thought others might find my review useful and interesting.

The bees arrived at my door step straight from Bee Weavers truck in perfect condition. I installed them that afternoon, and was surprised at how gentle they were. Even though I have never had or hived any bees before, I hived all four without any smoke, veil, suit, gloves, or any protective wear at all! I had a short sleeve hiking shirt on for three hives, and actually got brave enough to hive one without a shirt! And... not a single sting!

I just completed my first hive inspection a couple days ago. They had been in the hive for five days, and I couldn't wait to get in there. Problem was, my smoker and veil still had not arrived. So the decision was made to inspect all four hives the same way I hived them - no smoke, veil, gloves, - and a short sleeve lightweight shirt. Once again, not a single sting.

I really am delighted with the gentleness of these bees. I received an email from a friend recently who said he just hived a couple bees and couldn't even approach the hive without being bombarded with guard bees. I really feel good when I can approach my hives and actually put my eyeball right just a couple inches from the hive entrance with bees coming and going all around my head - gentle as puppies.

By the way, the bees are doing terrifically well. Queen was released, frames are being filled with eggs, pollen, and nectar - after just five days.  One of the hives had 80 bees coming and going every minute this morning! All I can say is - I'm pretty happy with B Weaver!

Blessings,
Rob
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 10:07:15 PM by Rob Steff. » Logged
BMAC
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2008, 02:21:39 PM »

count your blessings.
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Robo
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2008, 03:38:44 PM »

I have no experience with Weaver bees,  but I believe a lot of the complaints I recall talked about the bees becoming aggressive after supercedure.

Best of luck...
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


steveouk
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2008, 05:01:51 PM »

Good luck with your bees i know a number of beekeepers who have had bees from them and in less than a year have become very aggressive. I have been told that even weaver themselves now acknowledge the fact and are trying to breed gentleness back into there breading stock.

You will have to tell us how well you have done come next spring so more of us can try them out...
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Daddys Girl
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2008, 05:25:12 PM »

I had these bees come highly recommended to me by an experienced BK who extolled their virtue as a very gentle bee, and was very clear that re-queening was a necessity if you wanted them to stay that way.  My package arrives this weekend, and that BK is going to help me install them, and we're going to have a longer discussion about that issue and his experiences.

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sarafina
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2008, 07:41:47 PM »

My bees are from R Weaver in Navasota and they were very gentle when I hived them and up until 2 days ago.  I have a Bordman feeder and was chased by a guard bee for the first time 2 days ago - just one bee and she didn't sting.  Last night I decided to turn the entrance reducer to a larger setting and it doesn't fit well between my hive and new SBB - the old solid BB was fine.  So, I had to mess with it a bit and had my smoker lit since I was fiddlling with the entrance.  I was chased off once and popped on the back shoulder (I only had a veil and gloves on) but I went back and fixed it without any more problems.  They had brood now so I can understand them being a bit protective.

I don't have anything to compare it to since this is my first hive but I wouldn't call them aggressive at this point.  I will inspect them this weekend if the weather is ok to see if they are ready for a second deep yet.
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Kimbrell
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2008, 11:50:34 PM »

I bought two packages of Buckfast Bees from R. Weaver's when I first started keeping bees three years ago.  They do tend to be a little hotter than the other feral hives I have.  However I think their behavior is reasonably in keeping with my often clumsy attempts at maintenance.  Sarafina, if I'm messing around the entrance to the hive I always expect a reaction.  I can't really blame the bees for getting a little peeved.  Their tolerance does have its limits! Smiley
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wtiger
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2008, 12:27:56 AM »

I got two packages from b weaver this spring also.  They were a little testy when I installed them but that was my fault it was cold and windy and about to rain.  I didn't find any stings in my suit, but they were headbutting me like crazy.  When I checked on the queens/released them a week and a half ago they were very gentle and calm.  Same story a few days ago when I actually opened them up and checked the frames to make sure the queens were laying.  They hardly even reacted.  I go out and have a look almost every day when I have time just to watch them for a few minutes.  On occasion while I'm sitting 5 feet in front of the hive a bee will buzz and act like it wants to head butt me, but looses interest quickly and leaves me alone.  So far I really like them they forage in much cooler and wetter weather than The italians I got from rossman last year.  Today it seemed like as long as it wasn't pouring down rain they were out and about doing their bee thing.

Time will tell.  The hives are still small.  They may get more aggressive when the hives get big and strong.
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Rob Steff.
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2008, 05:47:16 PM »

I'll keep you all updated. Hopefully my super-gentle bees won't turn aggressive come next spring, but I'll be sure to keep you posted.

By the way, I got their All Star bees, which B Weaver claims require no chemical treatment whatsoever for any mites. Since I've only had them for a little over a week, I haven't been able to test the accuracy of their claim - has anyone else had any experience with this aspect of the bees?

Rob
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sarafina
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2008, 08:45:12 PM »

I bought two packages of Buckfast Bees from R. Weaver's when I first started keeping bees three years ago.  They do tend to be a little hotter than the other feral hives I have.  However I think their behavior is reasonably in keeping with my often clumsy attempts at maintenance.  Sarafina, if I'm messing around the entrance to the hive I always expect a reaction.  I can't really blame the bees for getting a little peeved.  Their tolerance does have its limits! Smiley

True!  Whenever I poked my hive tool at the entrance reducer, trying to get it lined up properly they started buzzing loudly.

They settled down and I am changing out the syrup on my Bordman feeder without any chasing me.

Mine are Italians, btw.
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mgates61
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2008, 09:48:54 PM »

I will bee getting 2 packages of all-american Italians from R. Weaver this comming week.  Hope all is well with the bbes as  I am a new beek.  My thought is that if they turn out to be
HOT", Off with the queens head and enter a new dynasty.


Mike
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