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Author Topic: Your best Honey Bee?  (Read 1456 times)
wd
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« on: November 03, 2009, 06:01:05 PM »

May I ask which honey bee you prefer and why? I've had europeans and nwc.

not sure which way to go with the next.



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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2009, 06:55:25 PM »

the ones that i dig out of buildings and trees.    grin
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
bigbearomaha
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2009, 06:55:34 PM »

Ferals.  They don't need to "fit" in.  They just are what they are and do their own bee thang.  Yes,  I realize most ferals are predominantly italian in origin from down the line,but, they don't don't get excited about it.  

Real down to earth bees.  

heh heh

big Bear
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wd
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2009, 07:43:55 PM »

the ones that i dig out of buildings and trees.    grin

Do you re-queen with purchased stock, let them do it on their own, both or?


Ferals.  They don't need to "fit" in.  They just are what they are and do their own bee thang.  Yes,  I realize most ferals are predominantly italian in origin from down the line,but, they don't don't get excited about it. 

Real down to earth bees. 

heh heh

big Bear
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2009, 07:49:02 PM »

most of the time i get the queen.  if not, i try to let them requeen on their own from their own eggs if i get good brood comb.  if not, i will use eggs from another hive.  only very rarely will i buy a queen. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
lenape13
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« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2009, 11:33:22 PM »

Ferals are the way to go.  They are free and acclimated to your area.  My ferals are out performing my package bees (Italians).
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SlickMick
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2009, 12:38:11 AM »

May I ask which honey bee you prefer and why? .....


Her name is Mary and she lives in hive 2a, comb 7, cell 34,17.

Apart from being a hard worker, she is really pretty, has royal blood too. Limited shelf life and I have to go through the selection process about every 6 weeks. rolleyes rolleyes grin

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
BjornBee
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2009, 06:38:20 AM »

May I ask which honey bee you prefer and why? I've had europeans and nwc.

not sure which way to go with the next.


wd,
May I suggest you consider a "breeder" instead of a "type". Or at least consider that the breeder, regardless of which type, may be playing a bigger role than the type stock.

Here is three "type" bees, which you can call what you want. But all have much to do with their origins.

A) A typical queen, lets for this call it an "Italian", which was raised at one of the large quantity producing bee operations, and may of even came in a package. You can read all day long about beekeepers not being happy about recent quality when it comes to queens as of late. Too much supercedure, to much outright queen failure, etc. Is it from contaminated comb? Articles in the bee mags have pointed out time and time again, that operations that use strips, have serious problems with queen viability, longevity, etc. CCD comb testing has allowed us to see that many large operations (some big breeders, but their names are withheld for obvious business reasons) have serious problems with chemical buildup, which effect queen performance and hive health.

B) Queens coming from swarms or feral situations. It is hard to know for sure, but I would suppose that many of these queens (and bees) have been raised on uncontaminated comb (at least having only the chems the bees themselves have brought in) and many are a generation or two from the chemical tainted queens that they originally started as. I have seen feral stock that was good, and ferals that were very bad. I actually see many more SHB in feral colonies, to which I am not sure why. So on one hand, I think you are getting a wide range of good and bad stock, it may be a far better situation from the mass produced chemical tainted stock as in the example "a" from above. Queens that many beekeepers raise themselves fall into this category. Many of these beekeepers do not have the tainted comb as compared to large mega producers, and their queens may be better if for nothing more than this fact alone. And as long as things like inbreeding is kept at bay, then you can have some really good stock. Although most beekeeper are just happy to have better than what they were previously getting, but further selection is limited.

C) These are queens from breeders that are actually focused on selecting for traits that may be lacking in some of the larger operations. These may be smaller operations also that have far less chemical use, or no chemical use at all. These queens may be from operations focused on acclimatized selection, and enhanced survivability of actually having bees go through winter, or selected for traits unique to a individual area.

I encourage all beekeepers to raise their own queens with sound and proven management in mind. I'm not a huge fan of just letting your bees do it themselves, without a good system or plan. For many, raising their own is a step above some of the stuff being raised out there. Of course, just like every breeder, every beekeeper thinks they raised good queens, as they evaluate themselves. Which may about as far from proven or fact as one can get in being biased in your own evaluation.

I think there are good breeders, and good queens from all three examples above. But no queen on genetics alone will magically overcomb the problems that a breeder will throw at the bees.

Myself, I favor carni and russians, from smaller known operations, using good sound practices, limited or no chemicals, and selecting for the traits I am looking for.

I have ordered most recently from a couple larger operations, OHB and Keohnen (sp), both from California, and liked what I got. Beyond a few select larger operations, I try out local and regional raised bees from smaller operations, and have been very happy doing so. And many of these bees don't come with labels....just the knowledge of how they were raised.  Wink
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wd
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2009, 01:02:09 AM »

Almost submitted a reply a few times today, instead, I found myself preoccupied with my surroundings outside the monitor and keyboard.

The original plan was to obtain feral and swarms this coming season to cut cost and leave it at that. In thinking more about it, decided to purchase a few packaged bees and 'queens as needed' and possible which prompted the question. Breeding stock and a small boost is in mind.

Thanks for the replies!
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wd
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2009, 02:31:44 PM »

Well, decisions, decisions, for purchased power, if I can call it that, will go with Hygienic Italian and New World Carniolan. Like what I know of the russian but will wait.

Stock may be to harsh a word to use. breeders does sound better.

« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 10:09:07 PM by wd » Logged
BeeHopper
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2009, 03:34:36 PM »

I really can't point a finger because I've only had Bees for a short time (4Th season). I've had Buckfast, 1st year they were gentle, 2ND year they got nasty, so bye-bye to the Queens. I've had Italians for 3 years, I like their buildup except for their robbing and nastiness, I've never had any ferals and lastly I've just started with New World Carniolans from Sue Cobey's stock, so we'll see how they do for the next year or so. I really like them all, but I am focused on what thrives in my local environment.  Smiley

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SlickMick
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2009, 03:51:06 PM »

I cant really say what my girls are as most of them have come from swarms. Only one came from a purchased nuc and that has done as well as the swarms and no better or worse so basically I suspect that they are all of the Heinz 57 variety. They all look the same although some of the offspring are a little more and some less golden than others, so who knows?

I have been tempted to requeen at times with known race queens but I like my mutts so much that I dont bother

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
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