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Poll
Question: What type queen do you have in your hives right now?  (Voting closed: November 30, 2008, 09:57:22 PM)
Italian - 18 (31.6%)
Russian - 3 (5.3%)
Carni - 2 (3.5%)
Buckfast - 0 (0%)
My own survivors/mutts/feral - 14 (24.6%)
A mix - 15 (26.3%)
Other - 0 (0%)
I'm not sure - 3 (5.3%)
No bees yet - 2 (3.5%)
Total Voters: 56


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Author Topic: Queen and bee type  (Read 2487 times)
BjornBee
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« on: October 31, 2008, 10:57:22 PM »

So what are you running in your hives? And did you select the type bees or is that what you wanted? Or is the queen just what came with the package/nuc/hive?

Thank you.
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1reb
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2008, 10:58:53 PM »

This spring I going to get two hive of russian



Johnny
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bassman1977
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2008, 11:51:51 PM »

I have both italians and a carnolian hive.  The italians I went with because that is what I was first introduced to when I started keeping.  When I bought some packages this past spring, I didn't have a choice in the queen type.  My carnolian hive I got just to try something different.  I really like them and would go with that breed any day.
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LAC
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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2008, 05:21:38 AM »

I purchased two 3lbs packages both with Italian Queens on 4/19/08. I was recommended to start with this type being new to beekeeping.   
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BjornBee
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2008, 08:00:56 AM »

I purchased two 3lbs packages both with Italian Queens on 4/19/08. I was recommended to start with this type being new to beekeeping.   

I've always wondered about that type comment to new beekeepers. I wonder if the person saying it has anything other than Italians, has ever even tried other bees. The comment suggests there is something wrong with other types, to a point that one can not consider starting with something other than Italians. I also wonder how many of these comments are based on that being the type bees that many packages comes with. So is this a marketing comment suggesting getting the bees that are coming up on the back of the truck of the person making that statement?
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TwT
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2008, 08:12:28 AM »


I've always wondered about that type comment to new beekeepers. I wonder if the person saying it has anything other than Italians, has ever even tried other bees. The comment suggests there is something wrong with other types, to a point that one can not consider starting with something other than Italians. I also wonder how many of these comments are based on that being the type bees that many packages comes with. So is this a marketing comment suggesting getting the bees that are coming up on the back of the truck of the person making that statement?

could be but I would think the main reason is that they was always the type bee's most had years ago and was consider the one of the calmest and most productive also the most common. 
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2008, 08:20:25 AM »

I've been raising queens from feral survivor stock for a few years now.   After many years of buying queens from down South and having mixed results at best,  I finally tried a few northern queens from David Eyre and was quite surprised  how much better they did for me then southern queens.   When I could no longer get the Canadian queens,  I started raising my own queens from feral/survivor stock and have become a true believer that acclimatized queens are best.
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2008, 08:31:30 AM »

I choose ferals because that what I graft from, I also have PBA hives that I have crossed into my ferals with good results, I have a few Russian hives and a few Italian hive's I steel brood frames from during queen rearing. these are separated yards so I can keep the genetics I want to raise from 
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BjornBee
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2008, 06:36:48 AM »

In looking at it now, I wish I had asked from the start for those choosing the  "feral, mutt" option, of whether that means letting them "raise their own" or actually grafting from a selected queen.
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Robo
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2008, 06:57:56 AM »

Good point.

I graft mine from selected stock,  but I think you will find a large portion of folks here that are believers in walk-away splits Cry
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BjornBee
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2008, 07:09:10 AM »

Robo,
A good amount of my queens go for other people's walk away splits.  Wink
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2008, 08:36:57 AM »

First Year- Buckfast
2nd & Third Year- Italians

I am also experimenting with Purvis Queens and VPC Queens, both of which are bred from survival stocks, no particular race, but mutts. I am finding that they should not be in close proximity to the Italians *.

I'm stuck on the Italians at this point and time. I plan on trying some Carniolans in the near future  Smiley


* If you must know why, the Italians with their strong tendencies to ROB, have almost obliterated the Purvis and VPC stores, leaving those hives weak going into winter ( guess who's bringing them dinner ) I am guessing at this point, those strains were not strong enough to defend their hives due to traits or numbers, I don't know.  Sad
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mlewis48
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2008, 09:33:19 AM »

First year- Italian and Buckfast
Second  year- Russian, little back German, Carni's, & a few queens from others survivor stock. I was looking for the breed that I like the best to start raising queens from. Hard to beat the Russian or the Carni's. I have been in contact with a member of the Ohio Queen Breeder Association and want to get involved with them because of the queens that they produce. I have a few ferral hives that are good producers as well.
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Gware
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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2008, 11:09:01 AM »

I do have a feral hive , italian hive and 3 hives that the beeker said was italian and german mix. I am going to let them raise there own queens. I like the italian german mix if that is what it is, because they are very gentle and my main hive swarmed twice and by fall it had built up again to large numbers
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2008, 12:32:18 PM »

 I have four Italian's from David Miksa's, he is about six miles from me so I recon they are acclimatized.
 Two are unknown. Look and act like Italians, also, they are the strongest out of the six hives. I hope to try splits from them this spring.
 I lost three due to what I think was mites this Aug/Sept. So I hope the remander are more resistant. 
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asprince
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« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2008, 01:34:00 PM »

Mine are just BEES. No pedigree that I am aware of. They came from wherever I could get them.

Steve   
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reinbeau
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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2008, 10:12:03 PM »

Can't answer the poll because we've got two different types of queens.  NWC up in Maine, Italian down here.
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Shawn
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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2008, 12:01:55 PM »

Granted I only have one hive at this time and did not have very good luck, as you can read in my other post. I started out with Italians and did a lot of reading and posting hear in the forums in to which bees to get. I really wanted the Russians because the other beek here has 30 hives of Italians and I wanted to see what the difference was and what would do better hear in our climate. I also tried the Goldline queen as beehoper did but I believe I set her up for failure, too low of numbers for her to make a difference. I did give teh other beek a Goldline I purchased and he said she was great and passed up on the build up over his other Italians. I had a swarm move in, unknown from where or even what kind they are, Im guessing Italians, but they are doing great. I will order another package of Italians and set up my 3rd hive for a swarm capture. 
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ikeepbees
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« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2008, 12:11:17 PM »

In looking at it now, I wish I had asked from the start for those choosing the "feral, mutt" option, of whether that means letting them "raise their own" or actually grafting from a selected queen.

I selected "mix". I still buy a few queens every year, but most of my hives are just what I call mutts, because I don't requeen anymore. I let them supersede, and don't interfere too much (no grafting). I make a few splits for the queens I purchase, and watch them to see how they perform. If a hive gets too defensive, I usually just pinch the queen and see what happens.....

Ok, I have to drag this in from Bjorn's thread with the great picture of two queens on a comb. I mentioned there that I haven't actually seen a two queen colony. But I have pinched the queen once in a pretty mean colony, and went back a month later to see what had transpired, and found that a queen had been laying the whole time (two queens anyone?) I gave them another month and they had calmed down considerably. Guess I pinched the right one.

The queens I do buy currently are B Weaver All Stars and PBA (I think the B Weaver queens are all one queen now; the all stars, SMRs, and buckfasts have been combined). So far I have had good success with both of them. take that for what it's worth - I don't do mite counts. Why? Because I am lazy, and I don't want to be a mite keeper. How's that for honesty?

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A good amount of my queens go for other people's walk away splits.

Bjorn, I have a lot of success with "walk aways", if that means a split that is allowed to raise its own queen. I do make sure that the parent colony retains its queen (at least one of them!), and the split is often made up of frames and bees from more than one colony. I do move the splits to beeyards far enough away that the bees can't return home, and I make sure they have lots of bees and sealed brood. Sometimes I see evidence of a second queen coming from the parent colony in these splits.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2008, 02:54:42 PM »

ikeepbees,
Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against walk-away splits. I personally favor more efficient ways of raising queens. My whole rub with walk-always, is that some have mentioned this is "natural" or the best way to raise queens. And although there are many ways to raise queens, this has to be the least productive and least controlled way of doing it. If you want 20 queens, I prefer to raise 20 queens from my best stock. Not a couple from each hive. I can also control mating, and bring in cells from one yard and keep inbreeding in check. Yes, someone will suggest that inbreeding from walk away splits can not happen, since bees fly a certain distance, etc. But my thoughts on such matters differ greatly from the standard text book comments on the matter.

Of course walk-away splits are a management tool and a good way to raise queens, but does have its limits and negatives also to keep in perspective. When I say that many of my queens go to others trying to raise queens, I can only imagine that they may of based what they did in generalized comments in seemingly easy instructions. But down time of the hive making a queen from scratch, of a queen that the beekeeper waited too long and realizes the hive is laying workers, finding out that drones do not fly at certain times, and some queens get killed along the mating process, all play into a broader discussion of something beyond "Do walk away splits, its natural, the bees know what they are doing, and you get better queens."...which is hardly the case many times for those not knowing what they are doing. Its not rocket science. And I'm not trying to discourage people from raising queens. Just suggesting to look at all factors that go into it, to get the best results for not just you, but for the bees.
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ikeepbees
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« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2008, 04:08:39 PM »

Hey Bjorn,

Understood, and I think I agree with all your points (wow!)

One point that may be lost in this, one I think you get but I don't want to confuse others with. My walk away splits work for me because I am NOT trying to create lots of queens, but instead lots of colonies. Your point that this is not the most efficient method of rearing queens is spot on. Were I to need to rear queens, I would go back to grafting.

I do try to control the mating side of this equation. I have a yard that is surrounded by three yards of some of my best performing hives (They are from 1 to 3 miles away from the mating yard.) I try to take the majority of my splits there for mating, but I do place others throughout my operation in an attempt to keep the genetics diverse.

I think it's most important to emphasize that while these walk away splits do work for me, you have to put some thought into how you go about doing them and what kind of results you are looking for. Also you must consider your location and whether the time is "right" for making these splits.

Great points; I wouldn't want someone to read my posts and think this was an easy endeavor and then be disappointed.
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Rob Koss

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