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Author Topic: NUCs in the Northeast?  (Read 2773 times)
josbees
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« on: December 29, 2008, 09:19:06 AM »

I'd like to buy a NUC this Spring to replace a package that failed this year.  Does enyone know of a supplier in Connecticut or lower Mass?
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2008, 10:40:23 AM »

Try   www.warmcolorsapiary.com

I see it on the forum under the topic "Just payed for 2009 packages" or something of the sort from someone in Springfield Ma or maybe woosta Ma. 
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2008, 07:13:02 PM »

Try Trail,s End Farms

http://www.tefarm.com/

He has local stock and will build equipment to your specs at reasonable prices.

He is located in Richmond, RI.

You can also try

http://northernbredbees.com/

I have purchased one nuc from each and they both did really well this season.



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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2008, 07:23:27 PM »

Thanks everyone.  Plenty of choices.  Appreciate it.
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 07:17:27 AM »

Just FYI.

I'm not sure if you are looking for northern bees or not,  but most places selling nucs in the Northeast are actually nucs they haul up from the South.  I personally don't know about any of those mentioned,  but just wanted you to be aware.


rob..
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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2008, 07:54:12 AM »

Just FYI.

I'm not sure if you are looking for northern bees or not,  but most places selling nucs in the Northeast are actually nucs they haul up from the South.  I personally don't know about any of those mentioned,  but just wanted you to be aware.


rob..

So very true.

That is one of the items that we watch for with NSQBA. We are trying to build a network and association based on northern breeders, with overwintered stock and northern genetics. A couple of our members do sell packages, which is something I hope as we build the market in the future, they will see as detrimental and not in their best interest going forward. But the problem as it stands now, is that there are few actual northern breeders and nuc providers. The demand is there, but the supply is far lower than what can be supported.

We have turned down several operations that take their colonies to Florida and California in winter. They then split their hives, raise queens, and ship them back and sell to local beekeepers. They may be northern suppliers, but hardly can be called northern breeders.

Again, the best thing all beekeepers can do, is based on what your looking for, is too ask questions and know the operation.
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2008, 10:11:52 AM »

Just FYI.

I'm not sure if you are looking for northern bees or not,  but most places selling nucs in the Northeast are actually nucs they haul up from the South.  I personally don't know about any of those mentioned,  but just wanted you to be aware.


rob..

So very true.

That is one of the items that we watch for with NSQBA. We are trying to build a network and association based on northern breeders, with overwintered stock and northern genetics. A couple of our members do sell packages, which is something I hope as we build the market in the future, they will see as detrimental and not in their best interest going forward. But the problem as it stands now, is that there are few actual northern breeders and nuc providers. The demand is there, but the supply is far lower than what can be supported.

We have turned down several operations that take their colonies to Florida and California in winter. They then split their hives, raise queens, and ship them back and sell to local beekeepers. They may be northern suppliers, but hardly can be called northern breeders.

Again, the best thing all beekeepers can do, is based on what your looking for, is too ask questions and know the operation.

I understand the position that these bees are not truly northern bees, but what are the other side effects of buying these bees, I ask because I am looking at a local beek that does just that. He is honest and told me up front that they winter in FL are split, requeened and sold . Any other worries I should concern myself about.
Also last year my packages although purchased here locally came form Georgia. Whats the significance. Bees will become norther bees pretty quick right? Last years Georgia bees, are doing fine so far. ?? Not arguing just curious.  The only thing I see is if the seller is less than  honest with you and misrepresents the bees.
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josbees
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2008, 10:17:04 AM »

I'm curious about the reasons too.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2008, 10:39:24 AM »


Also last year my packages although purchased here locally came form Georgia. Whats the significance. Bees will become norther bees pretty quick right? Last years Georgia bees, are doing fine so far. ?? Not arguing just curious.  The only thing I see is if the seller is less than  honest with you and misrepresents the bees.

If your consider  2 winters pretty quick, then yeah.  If you consider it too long, then no.  It takes at least 2 winterings to fully aclimatize a hive, that means a 2nd or 3rd generation queen from the same hive.
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2008, 11:32:34 AM »

A couple different questions were asked, and I always screw up the  multiple cut/paste, so stay with me.....

First, there is absolutely nothing wrong for a seller to be up front and honest of where one gets, makes, or sells. Nothing wrong was implied, based on this. The comments about knowing whether a supplier is actually breeding northern bees or bringing them in from elsewhere, is important to many, who desire to buy acclimatized stock, support a more locally produced product, and perhaps get bees and even nucs, that are not traditionally found in the south.

Second, Although some look at bees as bees, and will say there is no difference between one strain and another, I do not feel that way. There are clear differences between Italians, Carni, and Russians. Ever wonder why? Because over millions of years, they were tailored by such things as environmental conditions in the places that these strain originated. If environmental impact was not a factor, all bees would be the same. And we know that is not true.

I'll also say, that I never agreed that the USDA should of taken a northern hardy stock such as the Russians that were brought over, and propagated them in the deep south. Does not make sense to me. Those bees should of been progated in the north. And even today, to open mate, even with the best breeding protocol, makes you wonder if these bees would be better off being propgated in the north with localized feral and other like stock. But this is a deep subject.

Is there a difference between one type bee raised and perpetuated in the south, and one in the north? Some would say no. But I also would suggest many would also agree that there are different traits between the different strains. And some of those strains may be better off being raised in the north.

There is no doubt, that many people do not want southern raised bees for a host of reasons, whether real or perceived. Items include concerns over AHB, bees being raised without environmental traits being expressed, limited strains available, as well as the decline of quality of product from huge operations that have harmed their breeding programs due to necessity in regards to SHB, and endless mite cycles. I know I hear of many complaints of queen quality. And I think overall, southern producers with a host of problems, may be more inclined to treat with chemicals, and then have weak genetics and queen viability.

As for the the AHB concern, the jury may be still out on that. On one hand, I think some good traits may be worth looking at. But also understanding that the global genetic pool is also being compressed by AHB, and less genetic variations will continue to be available as AHB take over more and more area. But no doubt, the beekeeping community is concerned about spreading AHB any faster than absolutely needed.

If you understand the need for a three tier approach to bee breeding, it helps to understand why constantly mixing every bee strain to the point that all bees are the same, can only hurt in the long run. The bee genetic matter has been weakened by mass distribution of just a few lines of bees over the years. Mainly the result from mega operations and breeders all buying breeder queen from the same source. malcolm Sanford would love to get the GBBA off the ground and isolate the purist strains of the bees we know. But the problem is that as we have done, beekeepers in other places such as Europe, have "blended" stock. So the ability to breed certain lines based on future problems, may be less likely.

The three tier breeding program we need is 1) Isolate and keep pure the main lines as they exist today around the world. 2) Have breeders for each strain, such as the Russian bee group. 3) Have breeders that select for what the beekeeping community wants for their own region.

The problem from above is 1)The world's pool of genetic material for bees is becoming smaller. Even the spread of AHB takes out potentially feral stock that may of been useful for future use. 2)The purist stock we have like the Russians, will be blended into less and less pure stock, will be bred for commercialization and profit, and eventually will be just like any other bee. As it stands now, it's not about keeping the Russians pure, it;s about mating them for what we want, thus changing them with every passing year. Why we want them to be like Italians, or anything else, is going to harm the beekeeping industry long run. 3) If there is truth to feral genetics, localized traits, and other benefits, then we need to capitalize on them. As it is now, the country is flooded with hundreds of thousands of packages from stock being raised in environments and climates that most of us do not keep bees.

You can argue many of the points I listed. I for one, have seen the results. I have cut my loss to a fraction of they once were, and a huge contributing factor was using the correct strain for my area, and selecting from overwintered and northern raised stock. I know I could not achieve anything near what I have now, if I continued that same old "lose half your hives, and buy packages from down south every year". I guess if you can "baby" your bees, and you are going to treat anyways, then stock can get less important. But for those who want to go with no chems, less treatments, etc., I would suggest that the different strains does make a difference.

But I also will say that I do not favor buying bees based on a "label". I don't buy Russians or Carni's. I buy Russians and Carni's from breeders who are doing the right thing. Like not weakening the queen viability through chemical use, overwinters and selects on survivability, and other breeding protocol. And as of now, I can not find that with most producers in the south. And I will admit, that there are few northern breeders filling the need.

The northern bee community is demanding a northern produced product. Many are recognizing that there are differences in where you get bees, from who you buy bees, and what strain are best in a localized  area. Up till now, there was no supply.

Now some will say, that many of my points are questionable. But I ask myself questions like "Why did some southern producers try Russians when they were first brought over, only to change back again to the old reliable Italians"? And the answer is clearly that some strains react, overwinter, and have traits different than the Italians. Some good, and some bad. Of course these same breeders now suggest that what I say is all "hot air" and that "bees are bees". Of course they know differently.

Most people who try raising their own bees, breed localized stock, select from overwintered colonies, all agree after awhile, that a big difference can be seen after a couple of years. And many of them have no vested interest or a bee to sell.

Are we to a point that everyone can buy northern nucs? No. There will always be a market for early packages. And the northern breeding industry is at infancy stages right now. We need northern breeders. We need to understand the ramifications of the shrinking genetic pool, what ways are best to go forward, and what benefits can be realized in the coming years.

That's why NSQBA was formed. To help northern breeders join together, work towards better northern stock (You don't do this by breeding in the south), and hopefully one day give the community a larger viable option for bees. Some states such as Georgia may never ban the export of bees even if AHB become a problem. But some states have indeed talked about the banning of imports of bees from other states. And will where that leave the market?

Breeding, selection, maintaining genetic variation, protecting for future AHB concerns, and so on, all play off each other. Many will be happy for the packages they get from southern origins. And I am not suggesting anything wrong with them. But I can clearly state why one should consider northern stock, and why this industry may be more important in the future.

If anything, I bet there are a few who never knew that some of those selling nucs were just southern producers, and northern sellers.
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2008, 12:07:16 PM »

Quote
The three tier breeding program we need is 1) Isolate and keep pure the main lines as they exist today around the world. 2) Have breeders for each strain, such as the Russian bee group. 3) Have breeders that select for what the beekeeping community wants for their own region.

One way of insuring pure bred bees and isolated mating yards are maintained is take the Demark Example:  Only a specific genetic strain can be housed on any particular island.  For example: Here in the San Juan Islands we could stipulate that each one of the large Island be dedicated to one specific breed, Russian on one island, Italians on another, OWC on another, and so on. Since bees aren't known to cross large bodies of water keeping the gene pool relatively pure would be much easier.  Let the not so isolated places work with the mixed bee like MH and Buckfast (although there are those that'd insist that Buckfasts are a pure bred bee).
The USA has enough states with islands to make this feasible but it would take some re-alinement of thinking by both beekeepers and the USDA.
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2008, 01:31:31 PM »


When someone asked about nucs in the northeast someone else mentioned 3 so I called them to get the scoop.This has nothing to do with the rest of the thread going on I am just giving the info I got.
I only spoke to 2 as of yet but this is the following info I recieved from each of them.


I spoke to the owner of Warm Colors Apiaries in Deerfield, Mass. last week and he produces all of his own nucs right here from his own stock of overwintered bees.
He sells only on new comb and does not treat his own colonies other than treating the nucs for nosema.
He described his stock as italians,russians and a combination of the two.
He calls his strain warm colors hybrids.
He mentioned that although he also offers packages from Georgia he is most likely going to be stopping that practice soon because he does not like the odds of survival and that you have to keep purchasing new packages.
He is encouraging others to offer more nucs from our area and not packages according to the newletter I just got as well.
The Trails End Farm sells different strains of overwintered bees, all of which are done here in New England, he is in RI. He says they have isolated yards and integrated yards and will fill orders to specifications.
He has a holistic approach to beekeeping and I thought he was very sincere.
The other one mentioned, Northernbred Bees, I left a message and have not heard back yet.

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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2008, 03:29:36 PM »

Again, thanks to all who have responded.  This thread has gotten into some really interesting issues.  I too have contacted the northern breeders mentioned, and I think I'm going to take a drive up there this spring rather than pay someone else to haul a NUC from Georgia.  BjornBee, you have given me a whole new perspective. 

Happy New Year!
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2008, 06:33:36 PM »

This topic is just as pertinent for the PNW as it is for the New England states. 
Currently there is Olympic Wilderness Apiaries in Port Angeles, WA for supply of Russian Hybrid queens and an outfit in centeral Idaho that sells packages and nucs on a pickup only basis...too far for me to drive.

We really need to develop a platoon of nuc and package suppliers in every major quadrant of the USA so that aclimatized bees can be more readily available.  I think we would see (as BjornBee states) a lot less hive mortality if aclimatized bees were available for every area of the USA.  I think those on this forum who are familiar with my postings will agree that I have advocated local (aclimatized) bees without chemical props as the best answer to beekeeping. 
The Asian honey bee has functioned for thousands of years with the varroa mite and adjusted to them, the same thing needs to be allowed to happen to the various strains of European honey bees as well or we're going to end up killing off our avocation.

Additinally:
There are a lot of 2ndary equipment suppliers that also sell packages but most of those packages are from southern suppliers, so I settle on Northern California bee packagers as the closest to what I want.
Western Bee, in  Poulson, MT has great service and the shipping charges are much less than other suppliers (even California) when buying lots large enough to discount.  There are others out there.  But wherever a beekeeper lives he should make an effort to buy local bees and equipment from local sources.
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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2008, 09:02:36 PM »

Excellent Thread, very informative. Gives one lots to think about.
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« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2008, 07:42:15 AM »

It is not just nucs or packages, but queens too.  I noticed a big difference when I started to use David Eyre's queens.  Although not exactly the same climate as here, it was much closer to mine than that of the deep south.  Once I couldn't get queens from Canada anymore,  I started raising my own from local feral stock.  Personally, I find acclimatized bees the only way to go.

rob...
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« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2008, 04:58:12 PM »

Beeline Apiaries in Hudson, NH has New World Carnis. We bought three NUCS from him last year and will be going back again this year because we liked them so much. He's not that far off Rt. 93 and well worth the extra drive in our opinion. Nice guy too. !! grin
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