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Author Topic: Package bees  (Read 794 times)
givemeone
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Location: Louisville, Kentucky


« on: December 27, 2013, 07:15:26 PM »

Hello. 

We were thinking of buying a couple of packages of bees for the spring.  The packages are expensive and the shipping is pricey.  It would basically cost about $400 for two packages but, these bees are supposed to be mite resistant/untreated bees and excellent producers.   We currently have two hives of Italians/mutts (hoping they'll make it thru the winter) and I'm worried that either the supposed "good" traits of these bees would be nullified in a season or two or maybe they would pass on their genes to our other hives.

Kelley bees is about an hour drive and we could pick up 4 packages of Italians for about the same cost. 

Just wondering what people's thoughts were.  Beeweaver is the company we were thinking of/ considering buying from........if I'm allowed to say that.
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S.M.N.Bee
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2013, 07:34:58 PM »

You could buy some cheap packages and requeen  with Beeweaver queens.

John
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doug1372
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 07:45:52 PM »

Well, that is a possibility but, we have a poor track record of being able to find queens.  If I could find her.....I'm not sure how I would feel about 'knocking her off...'

We're not really in it for anything except the bees.  (although we did get quite a bit of honey this year despite the fact that our neighbor almost killed off our hives....unwittingly...with the use of Bayer insect killer)

We re-queened a queenless hive this summer but, we've never tried to replace a queen.
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doug1372
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 07:48:19 PM »

computer confusion.

haha..  I had to re-register when I couldn't remember my username.   When I did..... it remembered my old username and used it for the initial post.  Now it's using my "new" name.  technology
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10framer
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 08:02:35 PM »

order the packages without queens and try to time the arrival of the bees and the queens.  worst case steal a frame of open brood to hold the packages in place if the queens run a day or two behind.
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sterling
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 08:03:04 PM »

How far are you from Knoxville Tn Arnold has packages of treatment free bees and Russian bees.
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doug1372
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 08:51:08 PM »

order the packages without queens and try to time the arrival of the bees and the queens.  worst case steal a frame of open brood to hold the packages in place if the queens run a day or two behind.

Clever.  It seems I need to learn a bit more about bees.  I would have thought that it would have been more a quality of "the bees" as opposed to just the queen, that made the bees mite resistant.  I know the queen influences behavior but, can it actually make them more resistant to mites/diseases etc....
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doug1372
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 08:52:40 PM »

How far are you from Knoxville Tn Arnold has packages of treatment free bees and Russian bees.

Well, I'm 3 hours drive from Nashville....more (the speed limit) or less (80 mph +)
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doug1372
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 08:57:54 PM »

I guess the other thing I'm most curious about is the traits of bees.....and queens.

Is it worth it to spend more to introduce bees with "good" traits or....will those traits ultimately get 'sorted out in the wash' through the natural process of breeding, etc.....
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chux
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2013, 07:54:20 AM »

A "good" queen (the one said to be from mite/varroa resistant stock) will be accepted by the cheaper package of bees. Within a few months she will have replaced the colony of package bees with her own "good" offspring. As long as she is laying, the colony will have her genetics. If she swarms, or is superceded, the genetics of the colony will change. A new queen will mate with drones in the area and those genetics are passed on. This would possibly water-down the genetic traits you were supposed to be getting from the more expensive queen. If you truly believe in the genetic stock you are considering, you will probably want to plan on requeening from the same source every year or two, to ensure that the stock in your yard stays true.

I'm a newbee and could quite easily be wrong, but you may be better off spending your time and money on local mutts. Maybe put one of those pricey queens in one package, and put a local mutt in the other package. Let them start as evenly as possible and see if you get your money's worth of difference for those genetics. I wonder....Maybe I'll do that.
 
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acbs
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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2013, 12:49:03 PM »

How far are you from Knoxville Tn Arnold has packages of treatment free bees and Russian bees.

Would definitely support this suggestion!  Purchased our first two nucs of untreated Russians from Tess Arnold over 11 years ago.  They did excellent!!  Now I have mostly ferals I've removed over the last several years. Never treated those nucs, their offspring, or the ferals.  Tess's bees would be a great place to start!
Arvin
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If I know how many hives I've got, I haven't got enough.
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sterling
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2013, 03:57:12 PM »

How far are you from Knoxville Tn Arnold has packages of treatment free bees and Russian bees.

Would definitely support this suggestion!  Purchased our first two nucs of untreated Russians from Tess Arnold over 11 years ago.  They did excellent!!  Now I have mostly ferals I've removed over the last several years. Never treated those nucs, their offspring, or the ferals.  Tess's bees would be a great place to start!
Arvin
I think he will ship bees. But not really sure. I have ordered two Russian packages from him but I'm going to drive there to pick them up.
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shinbone
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2013, 04:13:38 PM »

" . . . mite resistant/untreated bees and excellent producers . . ."

Virtually all package producers say their bees are mite resistant and good honey producers.  Paying a premium based on that statement would be a mistake, unless the producer had a proven reputation for selling superior bees.  
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Zone 5B, elevation 5400 ft.
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