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Author Topic: Bolling Bee???  (Read 2547 times)
charlotte
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« on: October 21, 2008, 12:13:00 AM »

Hello all!
   I am a newbie looking into caucasian bees...The only supplier I have found is Bolling Bee in Alabama, and from past posts it looks like they may not have been the best at shipping, etc??  Anyone have any more recent dealings with them or the caucasian bees? I would be really disappointed to have spent all winter putting together all the hive components and then not be able to actually get any bees!!  I am in WI and other beekeepers in the area have had a really hard time wintering their bees..I have read that the caucasians winter well, and are gentle. I only plan to have a couple of hobby hives, so I am interested in enough honey for us, and some nice bees.  Also, I am hoping to make some chunk honey, to put in some jars of extracted honey someday down the road, will caucasians be suitable for this?  Thank you in advance!! Smiley
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steve
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2008, 05:40:14 AM »

Charlotte,
          There are some very fine bee breeders in your state.....buy local when you can !
              Just remember, like all other endeavors when just starting out use the KISS method !
                                                                                                                                       Steve
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charlotte
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2008, 10:22:16 AM »

...actually, the only breeders I have been able to find are Dadant and B&B Honey that are near me, and they get their bees in from Northern California and Texas. There are a few hobbiest in my area, and all have bought package bees from many companies.  Unfortunatly, none of them have nucs or are selling there own bees at this point.  I guess I am looking at it from the angle of if a big company is getting package bees from another big company via the mail, what is the difference if get my bees directly to me through the mail, instead of going through the middle man?  I would really like to try the caucasians and have done lots of research in it's regard.  Just hoping to find a reputable dealer of this breed.  Thank you!
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2008, 10:53:42 AM »

I guess I am looking at it from the angle of if a big company is getting package bees from another big company via the mail, what is the difference if get my bees directly to me through the mail, instead of going through the middle man? 
The only difference is a lot of dealers make the trip to the breeder and transport the bees back themselves, usually pick up the bees the day they are packaged and drive directly back so the bees are only packaged for a day or so.  In theory, they also tend to the bees needs better than the postal system so the bees are less stressed when you get them. 

Quote
I would really like to try the caucasians and have done lots of research in it's regard.  Just hoping to find a reputable dealer of this breed.  Thank you!

I don't think you will find a reputable Caucasian dealer anymore.  I've been looking for a few year myself and have come up empty.   

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charlotte
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2008, 11:04:12 AM »

....I actually found another company/individual that sells caucasians called "Winter's Apiaries"  I am going to call them today.  Not sure if they sell packages, queens or both.  Not much on the website, maybe a small hobby type business. Have you heard of them?
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2008, 11:22:22 AM »

No, I have not heard of them.  Please let us know what you find.
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charlotte
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2008, 02:18:53 PM »

So here is what I found...regarding caucasian breeders.
Winter's Apiary- ph # / e-mail do not work
Bolling Bee- Ph # can't leave message, and e-mail does not work
Farris Homan Bee Farm  in MS- 662-767-3960 left them a message, but it sounds like they do not ship.
Homan McMaster Apiary-662-767-8923 only sell queens

So, unless anyone else knows of any other contacts, I probably will go with 2 packages, one italian and one carn. from Dadant in Watertown WI. From what I have read, Caucasians are used all over Europe and parts of Asia for many, many years.  In lots of place with cold wet springs, and long cold winters.  I know the propolis factor turns people off, but I really wonder why it is so impossible find them in the U.S. There actually is a really good market for propolis too, and they are supposedly less suseptible to the hive beetles because of all the propolis use.  I also have read that another reason that the varroa and trach mites, aside from over medicating and resistance have gotten so bad is that the two main strains in the U.S. Ital & carn have been used extensively for so long that these bugs have genetically altered themselves through the years to be better capable of attacking these species.  I may do some more looking into the Russian and Mn hygenic species.  I have heard though that they can be more defensive than other breeds.  Any and all thoughts on the above are appreciated.  Thanks in advance!
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2008, 09:58:34 PM »

Sorry for butting in, but I've had Caucasians before, posted about them before, and I really don't miss them.  Most of the Caucasian stock, if available is hybrid anyway in this country.  They did better as hybrids.
Caucasians love to build lots of burr comb. Comb bujilding in weird places can get out of hand with them.  Somewhat lazy in warmer weather but do well at moderate temps.
They like to swarm. 
IMHO, the OWC and Russians are both from a hybrid of Caucasian and Black German bees.   Both work better in warmer weather than the Caucasians and build much less burr comb.  They also winter in smaller clusters like the BG bees do/did.
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bmacior
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2008, 10:38:16 PM »

Quote
I may do some more looking into the Russian and Mn hygenic species.

My Minnesota Hygenic Italians have been very gentle.
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charlotte
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2008, 10:57:44 PM »

Thank you everyone for the input!  I have read and heard a lot of mixed reviews on the Mn hygenics- some say gentle, some say not so gentle, some say big yields, some say little..I suppose it depends on the queen and the supplier.  Have read the same with Russians.  I guess I am trying to figure out what is the best breed/ type for me to have, as I will be starting a couple hives in the spring.  I know that typically Italians are recommeded for the beginner, however, I am in WI, and most local beeks around here do not have italians or have had terrible time wintering them here.
Most around here have NWC, but all complain about the swarming...If only we could find the "perfect bee!"  Funny thing is I think nature already did that...
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2008, 01:15:56 AM »

Thank you everyone for the input!  I have read and heard a lot of mixed reviews on the Mn hygenics- some say gentle, some say not so gentle, some say big yields, some say little..I suppose it depends on the queen and the supplier.

That can be said for just about every strain of bee.

Quote
  Have read the same with Russians.  I guess I am trying to figure out what is the best breed/ type for me to have, as I will be starting a couple hives in the spring.  I know that typically Italians are recommeded for the beginner, however, I am in WI, and most local beeks around here do not have italians or have had terrible time wintering them here.

You want a cooler weather bee.  Your best bet is to get bees (any strain) that has survived at least 2 winters in your area (local bees).  It takes 2 years to aclimatize a hive a bees (if they survive). 

Quote
Most around here have NWC, but all complain about the swarming...If only we could find the "perfect bee!"  Funny thing is I think nature already did that...

Try OWC if you can find them, if not NWC or Russians work well in harsher winters.  But in actual fact local feral bees are the best stock to use, if you can find them (swarm).
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2008, 07:40:34 AM »

My Minnesota Hygenic Italians have been very gentle.

How long have you had them, and are you allowing them to supersede? 

Buckfast are touted as being gentle too,  just don't let them supersede.  I know a few folks who swore by buckfast until they superseded and became meaner than hell.

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BjornBee
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2008, 08:39:28 AM »

The old owner, or at least one of the owners, or someone associated (Huh) in the past to Bolling Bee has acquired some of the bolling bee stock and has been propogating the line again in either Tn or N.C.  I heard they will have some available perhaps this coming summer. I just had a conversation about this a couple weeks back from someone in the know. But I just don't remember the details. I'll post an update as soon as I can ahold of him again. How pure or the quality as compared to the original stock remains to be seen. But there will be a producer of caucasians again in the near future.
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charlotte
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2008, 11:52:05 AM »

Thanks everyone!  Definately great advice  grin.  Please let me know what you find out about the caucasians -Bjornbee, I still would like to try a hive of  them out, even though I know they have some bad points too.  Always the option to requeen later if I decide they aren't for me...

I will also check into OWC..My goal is alittle honey for me, bees that survive and are pretty gentle.  I think I am too green to try and capture a wild swarm yet ( or too chicken!)  Maybe somewhere down the road! Wink

I appreciate all the tips and advice!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2008, 07:04:12 PM »

>Thank you everyone for the input!  I have read and heard a lot of mixed reviews on the Mn hygenics- some say gentle, some say not so gentle

I've had both.

>some say big yields, some say little..

I've had both.

>I suppose it depends on the queen and the supplier.

Probably.

>If only we could find the "perfect bee!"  Funny thing is I think nature already did that...

I think so.
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bluequeenb
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« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2008, 05:11:31 PM »

i had a bad expierence with boling bee.
IMHO they are not the best , my expeirence with them was a couple of years ago.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2008, 10:05:51 AM »

Charlotte,
I have not spoke to the guy about caucasians yet.

But there is a guy on here  www.nsqba.com that is from Wisc. I don't think he has the type of bees you want, but may be able to help you out with something more local.

This is a new association just started this past year.
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