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Author Topic: what bees to get  (Read 2465 times)
super dave
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« on: November 13, 2006, 03:39:56 PM »

hi all
i'm just starting out and i'm planning to order the russain bees -- what are every ones thoughts on this-- has any one had a bad time with them
thanks
dave
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Mici
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2006, 03:58:29 PM »

since you are hopelessly lost it's quite difficult to give you advice about which bees to keep. no matter where you are, i would advise you Carniolans. but you'd better wait what more experienced ones have to say
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pdmattox
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2006, 04:05:19 PM »

I like the italian's but don't know if that to best for you.  If at all possible could you enter your location in your profile, as others have stated your location will help others help you. 

afro
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2006, 08:39:23 PM »

I have italians. From what i know there the calmest but i couldnt really tell you.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2006, 08:49:50 PM »

I've had virtually all of them but Caucasians and have seen and worked them in a friend's hives.  I liked them all.

Here's a list of races:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesraces.htm

But it's on my list of "easy things to change":

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm

The hard things to change, I would pay more attention to.

I'd get whatever comes in local packages I can pick up.

Next year, requeen with what you want.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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super dave
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2006, 08:57:22 PM »

cool stuff
thanks all
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2006, 09:59:12 PM »

Dave, I have had two years of buying Carniolan packages from Australia, they are beautiful, very gentle, great with orientation so they do not have a propensity for robbing.  I have heard the Italians are famous for robbing (but I really don't know, it is only what I have read).  My girls are so gentle, they hardly even bother when I am in the hive in the summer, I venture I could even go out and work them without smoke, but I don't, I see no need to provoke them.  I caught a swarm in my first summer of beekeeping and I have no idea what kind they were.  I just know that they were very prolific, but man, the moment the inner cover was lifted even slightly, you feel the "aura" of this colony, mean, nasty, protective and wanting to sting you come _____ or high water.  I let them be for the remainder of the summer and they came through the winter with flying colours.  I always was very careful when I went near this hive, so nasty.  Last early summer I was going to requeen this colony in the hopes that eventually they would become peaceful.  Hmmm...one day an enormous swarm emerged from this hive and I wasn't around at the beginning of their procedure, my nephew came and told me about half an hour after it had started.  I went out to see what was going on and saw the remains of the cloud flying off into the distance.  I followed them for quite a ways, but then they went up so far in one of the cottonwoods, I could see where they went to, but no way on this green earth could have retrieved them.  Actually, this bugged me a bit, but then I actually went with the view "good riddence to bad rubbish", it saved me the work of going into this monstrous entity and finding the queen.  I had made a nuc a few days before giving them a frame that had some queen cells from one of my Carniolan colonies (they were probaby getting ready to swarm too).  I checked this nuc to see if any queens had emerged, none yet, so I cut out a queen cell and was going to attach it to a frame in the swarm colony.  I put the queen cell into a little tiny box and put it aside.  When I peaked in, the queen had emerged and was walking around the little tiny box.  Yikes!!!  So I carried this box up to my kitchen and put her in a queen cage and put some marshmallow in the entrance. I didn't have time to make queen candy and I heard that marshmallow worked OK.  I then went back to the beeyard and placed the queen cage in with the swarm colony.  Well, I guess it worked, the queen was laying eggs (and lots of them) a few weeks later.  After some time, there was indeed a difference in the temperament of the bees in this old swarm colony, not a huge difference, but at least I was not intimidated anymore by this colony.  I really have to wonder what breed the "swarm" was, maybe a new one called "grumpy".

You have received good advice from people, you need to research and go with gut feeling I guess, everyone has their own breed of bees that they like I guess.  As an aside, when I read all about the Carniolan, I was impressed, I did do alot of research on them, so many good things, the only thing bad that I could really see was that they build up so fast in the spring that they have a tendency to swarm.  But then, if you only have a few colonies, it is pretty easy to prevent swarming I would think.  I did not have any swarm (maybe that is simply luck, I don't know).  I am with my bees so much of the time, working outside, I can see them from almost any part of my acreage.  I am going to post a picture of a "bee beard" on one of my strong colonies.  It was really hot, and they were probably getting pretty full, but I dealt with them by splitting and other things and they never did swarm, just got stronger and stronger.
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
super dave
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2006, 08:00:28 AM »

great info
thanks
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kensfarm
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2006, 10:43:45 AM »

I'd see what types are available close by..  plus you get to make contact w/ local beeks.  I just started this year..  bought nucs locally from 2 different sources. 

My first contacts actually came to the farm before I picked up the nucs to help show me where to best locate the hives..  they love beekeeping and love to share information.. they headed to Europe to study beekeeping there for a year.. I still maintain email contact.

My second source made me wait an additional 2 weeks before coming to pick up the nuc because he wanted to make sure the queen was a good layer.  He also showed me around his apairy and came to visit me at the farm last month. 

It is wonderful to meet such great people that are so willing to help! 
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super dave
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2006, 08:14:45 PM »

hi kensfarm
i see you are only about two hours away from where i live -- would you mind getting your supplers names for me-- i wouldn't mind driving two hours or so to pick up bees -also do you now where bjorn apiaries is at -- you are close to harrisburg  and i think they are around there
thanks
dave
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Jeff L
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2006, 09:39:00 PM »

Mici, why is Dave 'hopelessly lost'?  He's a newbie who's asking for advice, and picked a great place to receive some. Doesn't sound lost to me.

Jeff
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Ken
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2006, 09:45:02 PM »

Not to answer for Mici, but when Dave originally posted he had as a location Hopelessly Lost. Mici didn't mean any thing by it.
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Jeff L
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2006, 11:56:56 PM »

OK. I saw Fairchance PA on my Mac. Dave probably put his location in after being asked to. Not a problem. My mistake. Just sticking up for fellow newbies. I apologize Mici.
J.




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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2006, 02:06:36 AM »

Pardon me for sticking my nose in, but I've found that the best bees to get are those that gather honey.  If you're not a beekeeper then you must be a wasp wrangler. LOL :>
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Ken
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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2006, 06:53:53 AM »

Well said Bryan. I was going to say much the same thing Smiley
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Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2006, 09:52:27 AM »

Pardon me for sticking my nose in, but I've found that the best bees to get are those that gather honey.  If you're not a beekeeper then you must be a wasp wrangler. LOL :>

I personally think too that all bees are wonderful, just like humans, it does not matter the colour or breed.  And if they get honey for you, then be grateful that you are involved in their lives.  I even believe that the Africanized bees probably have their place in this world.  See documentaries on them and they have some good attributes too.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
kensfarm
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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2006, 10:57:10 AM »

i see you are only about two hours away from where i live -- would you mind getting your supplers names for me--


Hi Dave.. I'm about 10 minutes from the MD/PA line.  Here's the info..  you could also do some Google searching.. to find local contacts..  hope this helps!!   grin

I bought my first 2 nucs(Minnesota Hygienic) from Kirsten & Michael Traynor..  Kirsten has written
several articles for Bee Culture.. and had one of her pictures as the Cover of BC.  She was the  recipient of the German Chancellor Scholarship and will be spending 2006-2007 in Germany studying beekeeping.  I took Michael's advice on using all Med. Supers as hive equipment for exchangeability.. his enthusiasm and knowledge of bees make him fascinating to learn from.  I need to email them to find out what the availability is for Spring 2007.  
http://www.mdbee.com/products_nucs.html

My 3rd nuc was purchased(July) from Lord Byron's Apairy..  his Italians are so gentle.. he show me around his Apairy in shorts & shortsleeve shirt..  he pulled frames from multiple hives.. even showed me a Queen bank..  not a bee paid us any mind.  His honey recently won a tast contest in Baltimore.  He is a master beek(30+ years) and I've called him several times for advice.
http://www.lordbyronshoney.com

This is the info Bjorn posted on Bee Source.. I've only seen good things posted about his bees.
Bjorn Apiaries
696 Potts Hill Road
Lewisberry, Pa. 17339
Tel/Fax 717-938-0444
mikeandida@cs.com


 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2006, 08:25:14 PM »

>I personally think too that all bees are wonderful

I had some Buckfasts back in 2001, that I don't think ANYONE would think were wonderful.

>just like humans, it does not matter the colour or breed.

I agree with that part.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
super dave
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« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2006, 09:17:09 PM »

thanks so much kensfarm this should be lots of help
good luck with your bee fun
dave
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Cindi
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« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2006, 05:15:56 PM »

>I personally think too that all bees are wonderful

I had some Buckfasts back in 2001, that I don't think ANYONE would think were wonderful.

>just like humans, it does not matter the colour or breed.

I agree with that part.

What on earth are Buckfast bees?  I get the impression they were probably very, very crabby!! ha.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Michael Bush
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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2006, 12:40:51 PM »

Very crabby would be a HUGE understatement.  They would hunt me down and sting me hundreds of yards from the hives days after I had last worked them. If I approached the hive from the BACK they would pour out of the hive at me.  You don't want to even imagine what happened if you opened it.  The banana smell would fill the air and they would be all over you, not headbutting but stinging.  Four hives (all four hives at the time) went berserk like this simultaneously in August of 2001 in the middle of a drought right after all four swarmed.

This is NOT what the Buckfast bees I had for the previous 27 years were like at all.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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