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My comments weren't meant to be harsh just truthful. David's queens were part of a breeding group and they should have been superior in every way but I found them to be nowhere near as good as what I already had. We had queens from white line up north  years ago and they were beautiful looking queens but they died down here and I mean literally died which at least David's bees didn't. The white line queens queens were my saviour over 30 years ago on the Coromandel where they outcompeted the local bees which were truly vicious. They were wonderful queens up there. I hope David does succeed in breeding a truly varoa resistant bee and if he beats the Italian breeders to it I will probably have to concede but until that time I'd like to keep the bees that I have spent a lifetime working on.

My pallets are square with one entrance on each side with the entrance on on your left. I didn't like them initially but for many year now I would not have anything else. It virtually eliminates drifting and cut stock damaged by a huge factor. It also improves your beekeeping as to be practical all hives have to be pretty much the same. Of course they aren't always but it is not uncommon for every hive in the yard to be full at exactly the same time

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I see that the link to the submissions on the Risk Analysis(RA) for the Importation of Carnica semen from Germany and Austria was posted on this Forum.   Remember first that this was 2003, but it does

This image is from 2005 when I was at the F3 stage with the carnica semen importations.  This Queen is 87.5% carnica, and is sort of the bee I am headed back to with our new Kiwi Cross population that

Local selection of local bees leads to greater production, less costs, less losses and helps to retain genetic diversity and genetic improvements that have been bred by local beekeepers for generation

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I just noticed the comment about overstocking not affecting my average production but I use a 10 year average and overstocking has only become a serious problem in the last two years. Time will tell. Overstocking is bad enough but the way things are going soon there will be no sites left for family-based beekeepers with the corporate's using PR men to move in where ever possible and making unrealistic and unsustainable offers of both money and hive numbers. Generally the hives do arrive but the money doesn't

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8 hours ago, CraBee said:

 

Is there any scientific evidence available on the productivity / varroa resilience / temperament etc of the NZ carniolans v other representative samples of NZ's Italian types? Or, is any comparison more anecdotal / field based?  Ta

 

 

i can assure you that around here every carni beekeeper treats his bees just  as often and as much as those that run yellow  bees.

there might be a slight advantage of the carnies over most yellow bees at this stage.

but nothing that couldn't have been achieved with some of the yellow breeds as well.

 

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@tom sayn that is a bold statement.   From my own experience, I had to treat  my Italian Closed Population  at least twice per year, and once I transitioned over to a carnica type bee, I have only ever had to treat once.   On brood area characteristics alone, it only  makes sense that varroa would reproduce more slowly in carnica than in Italians.  My carnica population is usually broodless by the end of April, so for the next 2 months the varroa that are there have no where to hide, and usually succumb to grooming, and being the backs of bees makes  varroa treatments more effective. With Italian type  bees,  you have significant brood areas right through the year.  I believe Italians are mite magnets, and mites load into yellow colonies at a much higher rate then they do into carnica colonies.  Aside from varroa tolerance, the amount of sugar I fed was cut in half with carnica, and with carnica, I have never even seen one cell  of chalkbrood, and  almost never see sacbrood, and if EFB, heaven forbid, ever does show up here, then you may have to change your opinion on carnica, because without a doubt, carnica are more resistant to EFB than Italians. Antibiotics or carnica, that may be tough call for some of you guys!

 

As for your observations, the carni's you are talking about would have naturally mated production Queens heading them, and  they would be hybrid colonies- the carnica Queens would have more likely mated yellow, and the yellow Queens would have more likely mated carniolan.  So with hybrid colonies on both sides, you're right, there wouldn't have been a lot in it treatment wise.

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Along with @john berry I have never said we have pure Italian bees, we don't .

As I have mentioned before we are surrounded by beekeepers who keep Italian "type" bees carnies are not popular here so it's not surprising at all that we are able to keep our bees predominantly yellow.

 

all our queen clients want Italian queens that's the first thing they ask.

They are frustrated at how hard it is to keep their bees yellow up in the North Island.

 

im sure the day will come when we have to give up our yellow bees and "experience hybrids" and that day is a direct response of allowing carniolan semen imports, why do you think I should be happy about that?

 

 

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until a few years ago i was running a breed of italian that would shut down just the same like carnis. usually mid may. hardly ever fed them, nice temper. their color was rather brown. selected them out when something really nasty hit us here. probably nosema c or some dry kind of nosema a or lot maria something. who knows what. they coped well and so did most of their offspring.

but then the area here got flooded with carnis and i ended up with some nerves critters that were just too ill tempered to go on. shame really. had to let go of them. now i use someone else's breed with mixed results. probably will depend on buying my breeders from now on and the food consumption.......

i loved my self selected bee for the short time it lasted. at least didn't invest the time into it that some others did in their breed. i hope John and Frazz can keep their's going.....  for us who try to keep a yellow breed going and don't have AI the carnis are the downfall. similar like the amm before varroa, but at least you new how to get away from them. there are more challenges out there, varroa being just one of them.

 

i see myself giving in to carnis soon. under the realistic options that's probably my best choice if you keep importing.

but from my point of view i would just prefer you wouldn't.

as a nation we will never know what would have been possible if we would have just tried to do the best from what we had.

or imported buckfast, which would have probably blended in nicely into the existing breed, to give us a head start.

you know that would have been my preference, i never made a secret out of that. but it's not xmas and you are not santa claus, i understand that.

i just believe that a bee population that allows everyone to breed successful without having to buy breeders all the time and relying on AI is far better prepared for what ever is thrown at the bee than when the nation's bee population is basically controlled daycel and better bees. 

it's a bit like monsanto versus heritage seed.

 

you ask us to open our mind to the carni breed. is it such an ask that maybe you at least consider  to call the carni program off in favor of a yellow bee program before we loose more options there? or if you press for making use of what eu has to offer, why not import buckfast and abandon the carnis in favor for a hopefully more compatible breed?

 

i guess i have to take your word for it that you only treat once a year. can i ask how many hives you loose to varroa a year? how much splits, frames of capped brood or drone brood you remove? excuse my skepticism, but i find it hard to believe.

 

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8 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

im sure the day will come when we have to give up our yellow bees and "experience hybrids" and that day is a direct response of allowing carniolan semen imports, why do you think I should be happy about that?

 

Im sure that someone, either you or some else will ensure that the yellow bees continue.
The world is full of people that work hard to keep a wide range of genetic lines breeding true.

Some people are just bred to do it whether its plants, animals and possibly even humans.

 

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@Philbee BettaBee is doing just that. @tom sayn this is getting tragic, now Daykel  and BettaBees are some resident evil, the Monsanto of the NZ beekeeping industry.  All I am trying to do, and I am sure it is the same for BettBees (except it is with yellow bees)is try my best to maintain and improve a population of carnica type honey bee which allows me to supply good quality  Breeder and Production Queens to our beekeeping industry- I am proud of what I do.  NZ is lucky to have 2 such programs, and our commercial bee stocks are better off because of them.  If not for these 2 programs, and the importations from Western Australia then our commercial bee stocks would all be like the Whiteline stock John Berry talked about, with the only option being A.m.l.  X A.m.m. crosses to turn to, and Varroa would have had a much more devastating impact than it did.  Again @tom sayn, carnica is nothing like mellifera, they are like night and day- carnica and Italians are very closely related, if you had 2 discs one representing the range of variation in  carnica in the old world and one representing Italians, and you laid them down there would be a big overlap, with some carnica behaving more like Italians, and vice versa.  While mellifera is totally at the other end of spectrum- always nervous, usually nasty, and always  unproductive, but amazing survivors. I know which racial hybrids I would prefer. Unfortunately, they colonised Western Europe, and were the bee our early European settlers brought to NZ. Imagine, all those early importations were done without a Risk Analysis and hence no Import Health Certification! 

 

As for why I have jumped back into this forum, I started hearing back what was being said on this forum, and when  I looked back over the last several years, I saw that it was the same small group of individuals talking the same  crap from time to time over the years, misrepresenting the truth about the importation of carnica into NZ without the facts- so I thought I should give my 2 cents worth.  Finally, @frazzledfozzle I never asked you to be happy about it-  I don't even know who you are, and that is another thing, if you are not prepared to use your own name on a forum like this, then you shouldn't espousing your opinions

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@David Yanke I'm a newcomer to beekeeping and therefore lack experience to form a preference for any type of bee. I keep bees as a hobby and I enjoy them immensely.

 

I understand that when varroa first arrived that colonies could tolerate quite high mite loads without distress. But the mites allowed viruses to spread more quickly. As the virus load increased the detrimental effect on bee colonies also increased. I might have grossly simplified this concept but that's how I understand it.

 

You mentioned that in your closed breeding programme that your bees required mite treatment half as often as an average NZ bee colony. I wonder whether the closed nature of your programme is somehow reducing the virus load and that this is reducing the harmful effects of the mites. Do you keep records of mites per bees? Are your bees tolerating a higher mite load or are there fewer mites?

 

It could be that migratory beekeeping is amplifying the effect of the mites by continually stirring the pot of viruses. If so then perhaps your closed programme gives us hope. If your bees can adapt to the viruses they are exposed to and build mite tolerance, then perhaps the same could happen across all of New Zealand. Afterall NZ could be a closed system if we stirred the pot well enough. Migratory beekeeping could be both a curse and our bees' salvation.

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7 hours ago, David Yanke said:

try my best to maintain and improve a population of carnica type honey bee which allows me to supply good quality  Breeder and Production Queens to our beekeeping industry- I am proud of what I do.  

 

As for why I have jumped back into this forum, I started hearing back what was being said on this forum, and when  I looked back over the last several years, I saw that it was the same small group of individuals talking the same  crap from time to time over the years, misrepresenting the truth about the importation of carnica into NZ without the facts- so I thought I should give my 2 cents worth.  Finally, @frazzledfozzle I never asked you to be happy about it-  I don't even know who you are, and that is another thing, if you are not prepared to use your own name on a forum like this, then you shouldn't espousing your opinions

 

You are right to be proud of what you do just as we are proud of what we do, it goes both ways.

In the past you have complained about the amount of Italian ( yes I understand its lazy not to put "type" after that but I am lazy) bees in your area which makes it harder for you to get the results you want but that sentiment works both ways as well. 

You say I've been talking crap and a misrepresentation of the truth so without me having to trawl through everything can you be more specific about what I have said?

 

If you knew my name you still wouldn't know who I was so don't be concerned, the beekeepers that know me know who I am on the forum and TBH it's a bit silly to say I shouldn't voice an opinion unless I use my name. 

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17 hours ago, Philbee said:

Ive been thinking about this john as its not the first time you have mentioned it.

A pallet group of 4 hives will I assume have one entrance to per pallet side.
This is bound to reduce drift.
Could this actually be a very good way to keep Bees?

One facing each way...

good way to get stung on the bum in my experience haha

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I was excessively tired last night and I unreservedly apologise if I upset anybody. On reflection the point I was trying to make was that bees selected to do well in the top half of the North Island do not compare well to local bees. This even applied to the varoa tolerant bees from hort research in Hamilton and believe me I had every reason to want them to succeed. Things can work out the other way as well for instance I once sent a breeder to my uncle in Rotorua but he couldn't use it because it was terrible for chalk brood. That breeder was only selected after a two-year trial and believe me I would not breed from anything that showed any sign of any disease. My preference for bringing in new genetic material (within a New Zealand) has always been to go somewhere with worse weather than we have. The same applies to any problem you have with your bees, if it's wasps get a breeder from someone with worse wasp than you have. If we ever do get European foul brood carniolan's may indeed be the only thing that saves us from antibiotics which would be a good thing but the same would also apply if we had imported Buckfast for even Italians that have been selected for resistance.

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@David Yankefact is that many of us here were running a successful italianxamm cross. fact is also that the buckfast is based on an italian x amm cross and just as pleasant in temperament as carnis.

fact is also that a successful, pleasant carnixitalian cross is unheard of. i wonder why? maybe all these theories about "the end of the spectrum" are not backed up by reality?

i remember better bees started of with charging $2000 for an italian  breeder. no idea what they take these days but it's out of my range anyway. when i compare what you pay for an ai queen here with what you pay in europe, about 5 to 20 times more, than i find" monsanto statement" not unjustified.

so better bee might be working on some italian as pure as possible type bee but i'm not interested, even if it was for free. it won't have any input of my bee in it nor will it carry John's breed on when that's gone. a lot of "lines " will just end but i guess in your opinion these little substrains don't even deserve to be carried on.

 

maybe instead of going though other peoples post, maybe go through your own and see how you accuse others of being paranoid, racist, nasty and i don't know what else when really they just share their own opinion. i won't apologize cos i strongly believe that who dishes out like you should also tolerate the same.  

 

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1 hour ago, tom sayn said:

fact is also that a successful, pleasant carnixitalian cross is unheard of.

That is not entirely true. I have some Italian/Carniolan cross bees which are as gentle as any other bees around. I will not say all the crosses are very gentle but some are. 

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11 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

@tom sayn the comment you just made in your post above regarding the sub strains of bees that beekeepers through out NZ run disappearing is something I think needs more publicity.

on trade me right now you can go to a number of people selling queen bees and more than a few advertise that they graft from Betterbee AI breeders.

 

with more and more beekeepers / honey producers not willing or unable to raise their own queens from the best of their own bees I do worry about what that means in the future.

 

if you are starting off with teffible bees then theirs a good reason to go for a breeder queen from a reputable breeder but anyone with reasonable bees will always be able to find something in their existing stock that will stand out.

 

I wish more beekeepers would back themselves and give it a go it's one of the most interesting and rewarding aspects of beekeeping IMHO

My approach is more that the biggest potential gains in beekeeping are related to Animal health.

The healthy but run of the mill hive will out preform the best genetics any day.

Remember that breeding probabilities are a multiplication of each trait so for example,  to get  a prolific layer may be a 5% chance and a varroa tolerant trait may be a 2% chance so to get both = .05 x .02 = .001 which is one per thousand.

To get a healthy hive is equal to,... well much easier than that

 

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22 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

@tom sayn

on trade me right now you can go to a number of people selling queen bees and more than a few advertise that they graft from Betterbee AI breeders.

 

with more and more beekeepers / honey producers not willing or unable to raise their own queens from the best of their own bees I do worry about what that means in the future.

 


One of those is me (well nucs not queens). I started off from ground zero, a few hives, grafting from a pretty small gene pool, so it made sense for me to go with a Bettabees breeder queen to establish most of my stock. To me they were the best bet, they can retain a relatively clean Italian line through AI, in my experience they seem to do well enough, but it's only half the story, I think a lot comes down to the drones in the area. The largest advantage about Bettabees in my opinion is not so much their traits (even though they are gentle and good on spring buildup), but their queens produce reasonably consistent virgins, also AI allows for super mated breeders, which I believe helps to promote genetic diversity. The point is they may not be better or worse than any other breeder queen out there, but at least for someone like me who has a totally random and small gene pool, going something artificially inseminated with a long history is a good start.

I don't buy into the hypothesis that we are reducing the gene pool, considering the amount of hives out there and how far drones travel, I'm sure a lot is naturally preserved.

 

Edited by beefree
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10 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Can you enlarge on this a bit please ?

 

My hypothesis on this may be wrong, so I welcome it to be boo booed.

I think because the drones are selected based on a set of wanted traits translates into more consistent behavior or traits in the offspring of the AI breeder queen. Typically non AI queens are naturally mated, therefore the drones are a bit random to a degree, especially with the amount of hives out there these days, what's to stop the a few Carni drones ending up in the mix of semen, which would end up in the odd virgin being half Carni.

Edited by beefree
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@beefree what you are saying is right to a point.

your AI  breeder queen you get from Betterbees has had all its drone material selected which is fine. But that's not what is going in your nucs. You are getting half of what your breeder is giving you the rest as you say is coming from " out there" random drones. 

I don't know how many breeders you use in a season but here I use a minimum of 6 for the amount of queens and cells I produce. The more you produce the more breeders you would have. 

So you have your breeder queen hopefully more than one or two and the guy down the road has his breeder queen from Betterbees and the guy up the road has his queen from Betterbees I don't think that's a good thing.

You have been doing queens and cells for a few years now and I would imagine you would have some pretty good bees. Why not select from within your own outfit? It doesn't mean you don't get a breeder every year from Betterbees or where ever else but it's good to evaluate what you have yourself. 

I don't know if you still run bees on the coast but if you do you should look at selecting a breeder or two from over there as well as this side of the main divide. 

 

While I can't guarantee what drones our breeders have mated with I can see when I look at a hive over the course of the season whether it has what I want.

 

If she has all the traits I want but throws either one or both dark drones and a mix of dark and light bees I won't use her because she has either AMM or Carnie somewhere in the mix, it could be in her or in the drones she has mated with.

 

So I look for an outstanding hive during the course of a season.

it must have a yellow queen, yellow drones yellow bees. It must produce an above average honey crop have no brood problems be gentle and hygienic. 

 

 

 

Up here in a Nelson I am extremely lucky that all the big beekeepers around me keep Italian and I'm in the middle of a couple of queen rearers who also run Italians and select from within their own outfit. 

Recently there has been more than a couple of new commercials in the area and I have no idea what they run because I have never met them. I'm sure our days of beautiful yellow Italians are numbered but until then I will continue to do what I do.

 

just to end We all bring in queens from outside our own outfits every now and again to keep the diversity up.

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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@frazzledfozzle

I agree with what you are saying that it's only a start, I have a long way to go before I even start to consider breeding from my own stock, if I do it now, I'm only going to end up with a grand daughter of a Betterbees breeder, so not much better off.  My next big step is to buy some queens from around the show and mix up my genetics a bit, to increase the gene pool. I had the idea to do a queen swamp on this forum or at least give some free queens away to some big players on here in exchange for their honest opinion of them, I don't give my own observations much credit as I have little to compare with.

In terms of drones, well I'm right next to Christchurch city and have hobbyist all around me, they buy hives from all over the show, so I'm confident I get a reasonable diversity of drone DNA. I also am still working on drone hives, last season I borrowed a selection of some of the strongest hives from a beekeeper out Oxford way to act as drone hives. I have to be pretty careful to avoid inbreeding as most of my mating sites also have hives from the same breeder. I think I may have to clear it all out and bring back selected drone hives.




 

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It's a beautiful day here today and Ive had my head in a beehives. 

 I've been thinking about this thread and about @David Yanke and Carnies.

 

I guess that David feels about his Carnies the way I feel about our bees so I think we just have to agree to disagree on this subject.

Theres enough I'll will and negatively in the bee industry today without creating more. 

 

I really don't want to see any more imports of bee material the main reason is because I don't trust MPI to get it right. 

 

 

 

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