to get "pure" stock. ..... and get them to breed so that you could get some amount of natural selection to go on? ?
If you have 10 or 20 hives, it is impossible to maintain your own GOOD bee stock. Queens fly a couple of miles to mate with strange drones. Queen try to avoid incest.
"Pure" means that you have a queen, which daughters have quite even features measured with those things you want. It needs insemination or very isolated place were queens mate.
Also, what is it about the F1 generation of a hybrid species, like Buckfasts for example that is so undiresable? From what I have been able to find so far they are considered foul tempered? Personally, the idea of an angsty bee doesn't bother me if it is a strong bee. Then again, if the hive isn't safe around people then it shouldn't bee there... So yeah, are reproducing hybrids all that bad? Or are they super??
Hybrid queens are very good, at least F1 = the first "nonpure" crossing.
The basic is this: To breed bees (or what ever) is to select best individuals from large stock (gene pool)
As we say, all we have Einstein genes. This individual Einstein just had "replacement parts" (genes) which best fitted together.
The idea is get variation where to take, and select the bests.
When you have 500 or 1000 hives, you have better possibility to find some "Einsteins" and put them mate together to produce "little Einsteins".
But that good family still have genes of that population, but combination is good. When small Einsteins breed with normal stock and do not practises selection, they genes have soon same variation like others around.
When you take F2 or F3 queens the breeding selection looses its best sharp and you will get large variation, as we say normal distribution.
In regards to Italians, just how big is their appetite in the winter, and are they suitable for Minnesota beekeeping?
I live in Finland at the level of Anchorage Alaska (60 north latitude) . The most popular bees in Finland are Italians. Our professional beekeepers have selected Italian stocks which manage over long winter and forage well during short summer.
Our Italian consume 20 kg sugar during September to May. Our all hives are insulated. When I nursed bees in solid wood boxes without insulation hives consumed 50% more food during winter. This is main issue.
In regards to Carniolans, does anyone know any good resources or have any books to recommend in regards to swarming? ?
I had Carniolans 10 years and I tired to their swarming. It destroys honey yield.
..does anyone have good information on how to successfully keep them without to much swarming.
Many professionals keep hundreds of Carniolan hives but they do not tell how. [/quote]