Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
August 20, 2014, 09:25:39 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: 24/7 Ventrilo Voice chat -click for instructions and free software here
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat(1)  

Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Breed trade-off, wintering ability vs. being gentle to work  (Read 1010 times)
wisnewbee
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 42


Location: Wausau, Wisconsin, USA


« on: April 20, 2011, 07:02:50 PM »

First off I live up North. It gets real cold for a real long time here in Wisconsin.  I'm a first year beek and looking for other peoples' opinions on breeds. I'm looking for a breed that is gentle to work with, but is also able to handle the extended cold. I want to avoid having to repopulate my hives every year like some people seem to do in this area. I've read that the Russians winter well, but get hotter and hotter after a couple of years. I've read that Italians are gentle to work with, but are better in warmer climates. Is there a breed out there that has a good trade-off between these qualities, or better yet, both these qualities?
The local source for bees is not local bees. Most of the packages are coming out of Calf. from a very reputable dealer (Ray Olivarez). The local bees from the commercial beeks never winter here. Their hives winter in warmer states and do almond pollination. They are offering Italians, Carniolan Hybrid, or Italian Hygienic. The owner recommended staying away from the Italian Hygienics. Too warm she says. I trust her. She has given me great advice to date. I'm getting my bees as single colonies. What is a Carniolan Hybrid?

Thanks for your opinions.

Wisnewbee
Logged
Jim 134
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2223


Location: Hinsdale, New Hampshire 03451 USA


WWW
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 07:31:49 PM »

Can you find some local bees  huh

May be you can find some local bees at some of the local beekeeping associations

http://www.wihoney.com/index.htm
http://longcreekapiaries.com/whoswho/wisc.html


  Hope this will helps you


       BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 07:45:26 PM by Jim 134 » Logged

"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
slacker361
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 772


Location: western PA


WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2011, 07:59:12 PM »

THis is my second year being a beekeeper, I got my first hive last year, they are buckfast bees, I was very worried about them making it through western pa winter coming from TX.... They did great.... I actually left them with too much honey for our winter.....I recently got two more hives and they are mainly Italians, I will see this winter if the breed makes a difference.... But the Buckfast came through with flying colors.

As far as being gentle or not, I think any breed can be mean during harvesting, I would be too..... But normally very gentle
Logged
AllenF
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 8115

Location: Hiram, Georgia


« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2011, 08:01:09 PM »

Get local bees if possible.
Logged
wisnewbee
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 42


Location: Wausau, Wisconsin, USA


« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 08:19:10 PM »

I joined the local association.
All the local beeks get their bees from the same commercial beek. The one that winters in warmer climates. Now this dealer/commercial beek has a great reputation, and I like them. Good people to do business with. No offense to what they carry. They carry 3 different breeds. But, I'm looking to get the best I can, for my climate and ability. I thought I would ask the people who deal with it on a daily basis. A proven track record means a lot. I haven't done bees before, so I'm asking the opinion of the people who do. Please bestow your wisdom on me. I'm serrious. I really want to know.

Wisnewbee

ps.. I called myself that for a reason.
Logged
Vance G
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1097

Location: Great Falls,Montana


« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2011, 10:39:05 PM »

I just got carniolan and carniolan cross nucs and they are very gentle and are supposed to winter well.  The cross was with italians.  If they winter as well as they work I will be overjoyed with them
Logged
BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2011, 06:49:28 AM »

I can't do much with dead hives in the spring.

I start with the best mite resistant bees with a better than average chance of surviving the north. That means....Russians and Carni.

I'll manage for the other traits.

"Hotter and hotter" each year is a beekeeper problem based on not controlling your genetics, or allowing your hive to not requeen with new or fresh stock every year.

BTW.....I don't buy the whole "hotter and hotter after a few years" comments all the time. If your bees are replacing queens (swarms, supercedure, etc.) and after a couple years they become hot, that is an indication of the local feral stock, and should not be used as some rationale for labeling a strain of bees as inadequate or otherwise.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 07:08:44 AM by BjornBee » Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Course Bee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 173


Location: Sartell, MN


« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2011, 09:15:46 AM »

Bjorn, Do you re-queen your hives each year or do they supersede on their own annually? If they supersede how do you know for sure that they did? Thanks for sharing your experience.

Tim
Logged

Tim
BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2011, 10:20:39 AM »

Tim,

Due to the nature of my operation, almost all hives are requeened every year. I do have some yards with older queens I monitor, test, etc. But the vast majority are requeened with selected stock.
Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Course Bee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 173


Location: Sartell, MN


« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2011, 10:55:29 AM »

Thanks
Logged

Tim
tandemrx
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 241

Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin


« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2011, 11:28:53 AM »

I haven't been at it for that many years here in WI (tiny bit warmer than you down in SE WI), and I am only running about 6 hives on average, but I have had similar overwintering success with either italians or carniolans - whether they came from wisconsin stock or from california (have gotten as many local nucs - so local survivors - mainly a carni-mixed breed from a local commercial guy as I have packages from Dadant - mainly italians from california).

I am a bit partial to the carniolan-muts I THINK, but not sure I have gotten as much honey from them as I have from the italians (a lot of "not sure's here").

This is all pretty anecdotal as I cannot be assured of exactly what the genetics are of a hive and it does change with supercedure/swarming/requeening etc.   Its all well and good to start out with a certain bee breed, but that will likely all change very quickly when you lose your queen or the hive swarms - easily all of which can happen in the first year - certainly the second.  They you might be scrambling to find a queen and you have to take what you can get (I do like to get local queens, but often cannot be picky about breed).

I honestly wouldn't worry too much about breed as much as finding a good site and getting them well prepared for winter - meaning in part to make sure they have a good population and good food stores . . . thus not stealing their honey too late.  I usually extract around labor day, but I am moving that back a bit as I always have to feed more than I would like to and with our weather it can be a challenge getting them to load up once you get a couple weeks into September (last year was an exception as they drank sugar syrup like champs into October and had time to turn it into food stuffs prior to the real cold stuff coming, but that certainly doesn't always happen).

Its always a good plan to say "well, I can just feed them or let them get the last of the goldenrod", but sometimes, even when it seems they should be desperate they won't touch a drop of sugar syrup or maybe the goldenrod crop isn't that good.  The end of august is usually such a bust in terms of honey production that I am not sure why I think they might get some more supers finished up - I say that every year.

I have never had russians that I know of
Logged
Hethen57
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 420


Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho


« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2011, 12:47:10 PM »

After studying lots, and doing this for a few years, I think "good management practices" will trump "breed" most of the time.  In our cold area, some say Carni, some say Italian, and both can be successful in a cold climate if managed right.  I am told the key to raising italians in this climate is big hives (like 3 deeps for overwintering), but it can be done and they can be prolific honey producers in the cold Northern climates.  My Carni's all came through the first winter with flying colors and produced lots of honey. This winter they looked great, had lots of honey stores, but all died....go figure.  Ya...the feral swarm I caught died first because it's queen failed...

The way I see it, where the bees in the package come from is almost irrelevant...they will all die in 3-6 weeks and be replaced with the queen's offspring, so the better question is what genetics does your queen have?  The bees and queens often don't come from the same place and you can buy queens from nearly anywhere in the US for $25-35 shipped.  If any particular queen breeder had the magic queens, I would think we would be talking about it on this site.  Some will work, some won't, and some that work for another person, will not work for you.  The key is to develop management practices that work for you with your bees, in your area, then repeat that process. 
Logged

-Mike
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.952 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page August 18, 2014, 01:52:05 PM