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Have been using this Queen line for about 10 years now. They have been open mated every year in Hamilton area. Always produced nice gentle bees even though they are hybrids. The color of queens has been ranging from bright yellow to dark grey. The bees have always been a mixed color.

 

 

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No. I am happy with the number of hives I have now. Don't want to expand anymore.    Its not that easy to go out on your own with the amount of hives around and the unpredictability in the s

Depending on the season and all. Sometimes it gets a bit hard. I like to keep a good eye on everything going on with all my hives and try to maintain high standards with my hives. So it can be a bit t

I run around 40-50 hives. Cannot manage more than that with a full time job. 

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Eventually that's probably what most NZ queens will look like. I've bought claimed "Italian" queens as dark or darker than that.

 

Bettabees told me they are no longer breeding for colour, and the last ones I got from them had some black tips.

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have you been breeding within your populations as well? or just introducing more genetics from open mating? How has the hybrid model been working out? people often talk about hybrid vigor, and second gen flops if they're not in favour of hybridisation. How have you been finding it? are the hybrids you find these days much better than they were in the past etc?

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All the queens I produce gets open mated to what ever drones are fling around in Hamilton area. I have had no issues with hybrid bees. Occasionally a queen may produce bees are a bit aggressive than others. They get moved to less populated areas so that they don't become a problem to people. I cannot really say if hybrid vigor does give a advantage for the bees because some of the pure bred hives also produce as good as hybrid hives. With the amount of bees and the different type of bees kept by different people now its impossible to keep bees pure bred unless you are isolated by a long distance to other bee keepers.

 

I do buy new queens from breeders occasionally to see how they do and if they are good then I do make daughter queens from them.

 

I think a hives performance goes up or down with the quality of the queen where, if she is well bred and well mated then the hive will have a good brood pattern and produce a good amount of bees and ends up giving you a good crop in the right conditions. It also depends on how you manage the hive.

 

I try to give a queen at least 2 years in a hive and only replace her if she is not performing well. Now a days its rare for a queen to last more than 3 years anyways.

 

Some hives do produce a bit more propolis and burr comb than others and some a bit less.

 

Some lines of queens I have like the one shown here may not be nothing like the original queen I had in terms of genetics because of the amount of open mating they had through out the years. But as long as they are producing well, have a good brood pattern and are not aggressive I will make more queens out of them the next year.

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How many hives are you running jose thayil? Im thinking along the lines of only replacing 2 year old queens if they really need it. I like the idea of breeding from bees that have proven themselves to last atleast a couple of winters. If i carry mated queens on hand they can be instantly replaced once they start failing anyway. 

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10 minutes ago, Jaspur M said:

Oh yeah, have you thought of building up a few more and going out on your own?

No. I am happy with the number of hives I have now. Don't want to expand anymore. 

 

Its not that easy to go out on your own with the amount of hives around and the unpredictability in the seasons we are having. 

 

I prefer to stay as a hobbyist. 

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9 minutes ago, Jose Thayil said:

No. I am happy with the number of hives I have now. Don't want to expand anymore. 

 

Its not that easy to go out on your own with the amount of hives around and the unpredictability in the seasons we are having. 

 

I prefer to stay as a hobbyist. 

Fair enough theres alot of people getting into it now. Its really turning into a strong industry here in nz

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