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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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3 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

@beefree selecting your drone hives is as important as your breeder so it's good you are taking care with that. 

 

as much as i moan about the migrant beeks who come here  i am grateful that both lots have had years of experience, breed their own bees, and have nice  bees and drones.

 

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6 hours ago, Jose Thayil said:

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. 

you are right. i have put this wrong. was in a rush to get out there.

the first crosses can be ok.but the more generations you do from that mix the more it goes pear shape. just seems to be very hard to stabilize this mix. probably also cos it is a tribble mix carni/italian /amm

if you ever breed a carni cross that you would recommend as a breeder i'm more than happy to try it out, Jose

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@beefree it wouldn't hurt to keep an eye out for a breeder queen that you have grafted from your betterbee breeder,  you would have one or two that really stand out after they have been mated.

I'm sure you will have been around your nucs to check on matings and seen one that you thought wow she's a beauty .

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9 hours ago, tom sayn said:

@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.  

 

 

Tom, virtually everything you stated in this post as fact, is simply not fact.  I doubt you know what the exact racial mix of the bees you are running is.  

Buckfast is a multi-racial  mix which has some Italian in it,  but it certainly can not be described as being based on an Italian X mellifera cross. Brother Adam would be spinning in his grave at that description.  Amazing that you are so worried about carnica hybrids, and yet such a fan of Buckfast, the ultimate racial melting pot.  To me Buckfast is more a philosophy than it is a man-made strain of A.m..  While Brother Adam  travelled Europe collecting  Queens to add to his melting pot back at the Abby (and I acknowledge he wasn't a fan of carnica), once he had gathered this foundation stock, he worked with them like a closed population. Over the years of careful observation and selection he developed  a bee that was commercially useful, but since Brother Adam, modern Buckfast Breeders have, as I said, turned it more into a philosophy- the more you can add to the mix the better, I have even heard that adding Cape Bee genetics to the mix has been at least considered.  This should send a shudder down the spines of the racial purists on this Forum (Tom said I was accusing some on this Forum of being racist, so I thought I would carry on).  Regardless, I am a Buckfast fan.

 

As for Italian X Carnica crosses, I work with them everyday, as do my customers because virtually every Production Queen I produce,  produces a hybrid colony because they have mated yellow.  At first it distressed me to lose control of my mating areas because of the Manuka Madness up here, but I am ok with it now because I realise that these hybrids are a very good commercial bee.

 

As for mellifera being at the other end of the morphometric spectrum from carnica and ligustica, that is a fact, not opinion. I was sent a paper by another beekeeper on the ancient origins of A.m.. I said that Apis originated in Asia, but new fossil research shows that Apis actually originated in Europe, then moved into Africa and Asia, but then the glacial period arrived and drove Honey Bees out of Europe.  After the ice left for the last time, Apis re-colonised Europe as I described earlier with A.m.m. crossing back into Europe from their refuge in Africa at Gibralter, and the bees that would become Italians, Carniolans, Caucasian etc, moving up into Europe from the south east.

 

I am not here to defend the BettaBees Breeder Price, but even at what is, and with annual subscription fee the shareholders pay, they are not making any money.  Breeding programs like that are very expensive to run.  I would be running my program at a big loss if I relied on breeder sales alone- it is only production  queens and some honey sales that make my business work.  FYI, the BettaBees breeder price didn't start at $2000, and it is less than $2000 now.

 

To compare the price of II Queens in Europe is to the price of BettaBees Italians or Southern Cross Carniolans is totally unfair.  The inseminations are the easy part- the hard part is running the Closed Population Breeding Model.  Inseminations are like grafting is to Cell Building- both have very little to no effect on the quality of the outcome as long as they are done by someone competent.  I could sit down, grab drones from a single source, collect the semen in for a single dose in about 5 minutes, inseminate a virgin that had been held in a virgin bank, in less than a minute, and presto, you have a 80 Euro Inseminated Queen- no breeding value, but so  much cheaper than a Breeder that comes out of a real breeding program, and is inseminated with pooled  semen.  I wish we did have Monsanto like profits.

 

 

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i'm not such a fan of buckfast. i'd rather see no imports at all.

when you imported than i would have preferred buckfast. firstly cos i believe (believing is not knowing but!) they would have blended into what's was present already and i also believe they have more potential than carnis.

i wouldn't think blending buckfast on top of our original breeds + carnis wouldn't make anything better. carnis would probably have to go first. that's not going to happen. so no imports at all would be my call. (not that anyone asks me but)

never the less, i like the ideology of buckfast. for me that's "what ever works, regardless the race". a buckfast bee is defined by it's characteristics (temprament, resitance , production ......) and not by it's race.

the carnis are defined by their wing index, the length of the bum flaff  of their drones and this and that which defines them as a race and when they don't comply they are discarded regardless their qualities. that's the sort of selective pressure they have undergone many decades. doesn't make them very flexible with new challenges one would guess. (by the way, your carnis are not even a carni by definition, cos there was never a carni mother. now don't call me racist cos really, i couldn't care less)

anyway, there was a dispute about why carnis weren't in the mix of buckfast and the carni fraction was accusing the buckfast guys for being racist against carnis (funny that) but the buckfast guys said they tried to cross them in but the lines never lead to a pleasant result and were discarded.

i believe you will find that in the publication from Jungels, Luxenburg. also recall some really intersting debates with Ralph Buechler, Kirchhain, and Jungels about carnis and buckfast amongst the publications, i'm sure you will enjoy......

with the cape bee and the buckfast, maybe you shouldn't believe everything you hear, i know i wouln't believe that one.

and with the exodus of the bee. they say this and that and it's usually just the history of the latest error...

the carni breeder bible form Rutner (i'm sure you'll have one) will also tell you that the carni x italian cross is very temperamental.

 

my honest opinion about your carnis is that they are an outstanding bee. i also believe that their first cross is still an excellent commercial bee. but for sake of independent breeding for all beekeepers i believe they are not much short of a pest.

 

i admit my post this morning was sloppy. i needed to fire up before i went to work cos it made me angry when i read yours and now i feel much better. i hope you find some amusement in this too. i sure do.

 

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On 8/21/2017 at 5:28 PM, tom sayn said:

you are right. i have put this wrong. was in a rush to get out there.

the first crosses can be ok.but the more generations you do from that mix the more it goes pear shape. just seems to be very hard to stabilize this mix. probably also cos it is a tribble mix carni/italian /amm

I have a line of bees which started as a swarm caught around 10 years back. They have always been open mated in Hamilton area. They started as predominantly yellow bees but over the years they have produced queens and bees which range from yellow to black. This line has not shown any excessive aggressive behaviour. I usually graft around 15-20 queens of them every year. One or two of them might produce a little bit aggressive bees but nothing which cannot be managed with a bit of smoke. All the other ones can be worked with minimal protective equipment. They have been good producers. 

 

I had posted some photos of one of those hives here before which shows the range of colour differences in them.

 

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On 17.08.2017 г. at 10:50 AM, Dave Black said:

 

Thank you for quoting those pieces of paper. I love the scientific language, but the easy to process statement like “we did not found it, which doesn’t mean it isn’t there” leaves no mystery for the brain.

I’ll add few more papers to the mix

“Recently, RT-PCR detection of DWV in honeybee eggs has been reported (Chen et al., 2005), suggesting also vertical transmission. Here, we demonstrated that larval food contains DWV, indicating feeding as a third route of transmission.Both routes explain DWV-positive bees in the absence of Varroa, as detected by analysing the Swedish bees originating from a Varroa-free region as well as the phenomenon that we detected 100 % DWV-positive bees even in hives with only 45 % DWV-positive mites. Curiously, Tentcheva et al. (2004b) did not detect DWV-positive bees in Varroa-free hives in France, although DWV was shown to be prevalent in Varroa-infested French honeybee colonies.”

Yue, C. & Genersch, E. (2005) RT-PCR analysis of Deformed wing virus in honeybees (Apis mellifera) and mites (Varroa destructor). J Gen Virol 86, 3419–3424

 

“The correlation between DWV replication in mites and the development of wing deformity (and conversely, the correlation between absence of replication in mites and absence of clinical symptoms in bees) suggested that, although DWV transmission by V. destructor is a prerequisite for the development of crippled wings, a crucial factor is the replication of DWV in the mite prior to transmission.”

Gisder, S., Aumeier, P., Genersch, E. (2009) Deformed wing virus: replication and viral load in mites (Varroa destructor). ). J Gen Virol , 90, 463–467

 

"In Varroa-free areas, DWV was detected in 6 to 13% of colonies, but it increased to 75 to 100% where Varroa had been established…

…High DWV loads (>107 copies per bee) have also been associated with colony death in Varroa-free areas, indicating that naturally virulent variants can cause colony death, with or without signs of wing deformity, although rarely….”

Martin, S J; Highfield, A C; Brettell, L; Villalobos, E M; Budge, G E; Powell, M; Nikaido, S; Schroeder, D C (2012) Global honey bee viral landscape altered by a parasitic mite. Science 336: 1304-1306.

On 17.08.2017 г. at 4:28 AM, john berry said:

 Frankly if we had to import anything I would have thought Buckfast were a better bet.

Not in this Universe
 

On 18.08.2017 г. at 11:49 PM, Philbee said:

Are we heading then for a possible Monsanto model of annual Hybrid Queens bred  on islands and supplied to the peasant masses, possibly on a quota basis

You've just nailed it.

All improvement made in any bee breeding program dies as soon as ( or even before) the program is discontinued. Honeybee’s mating habits prevent inbreeding, and there is no lasting improvement, without it. A bee with extreme honey production disposition and zero or low swarming index can’t reproduce itself naturally (it’s biologically impossible, like ). If the line is very homozygous and stable ( the queen is always dominant), the open mating in F2 will bring back those unwanted castes, which had been culled out previously.

 

I personally see no problem in paying x4 the price of the normal queen, IF she will collect only x2  more honey. Same goes with spending thousands on a breeding program, if that way I am gonna save more from less labour.

 

 

On 20.08.2017 г. at 0:19 AM, David Yanke said:

 My Italian population was a closed population, and I used morphometric testing  to move the population as far away from A.m.m. as possible, so it was very Italian type.  

I believe you are aware of the Moritz's paper "The limitations of biometric control on pure race breeding in honeybees"the limitations of biometric control.pdf

 

On 21.08.2017 г. at 0:25 PM, David Yanke said:

.... but since Brother Adam, modern Buckfast Breeders have, as I said, turned it more into a philosophy- the more you can add to the mix the better....

 

 

True. Currently there are two trends in the buckfast breeding methodology. The majority today are doing just that - speed tempo crossings, paying little or no attention to the stabilizing part of process

 

Quote

 ....adding Cape Bee genetics to the mix.....

B| Are you refering to Horst Preissl and one of his lines?

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On 17.08.2017 г. at 4:28 AM, john berry said:

...I have spent a lifetime developing a strain of predominantly Italian bees which are quiet, productive, very conservative with honey stores, genetically suited to the local environment and reasonably wasp resistant....

The true Ligustica I remember are wasp and hornet proof (well, not the Asian hornet, though)! Blocking the entrance with their bodies: http://beeman.se/cyprus/cyprus-nf.htm

A friend of mine always reminds me - you can't feel the loss of something, you don't know it exists.

 

 

( btw, the above site got me inspired to go commercial years ago)

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So while you lot continue with your esoteric arguments here at the coalface I'm still trying to get an understanding of the relative productivity of pure NZ Carny's v Italians in NZ, and whether perhaps there are conditions in NZ where one bee type may be better than the other?  @David Yanke can you assist?  No motives here aside from challenging myself as to the best type of bees for my own operation.  I think I may have asked this previously but may have got lost in the swamp.  

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On 8/21/2017 at 10:30 AM, 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

Agree 100% 

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On 7/23/2017 at 6:54 AM, Scutellator said:

 

In one of my expeditions many years ago, I climbed the highest peak on the highest mountain on an undiscovered yet Island in the Atlantic ocean. And there, in the middle of nowhere -there he was - an old beekeeper, who happened to be a friend with br. Adam. In his apiary I found one such queen and I am still grafting from her. Unfortunately, they won't let me import her in NZ

and i would have sworn you are one of these neo buckfast typ breeders after that statement.

out there on the quest to find a bee at the other end of the world in nz.....

goes to show you never can tell.

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@CraBee Sorry for not  answering you directly before  this, but it is impossible to give a definitive answer- there certainly haven't been any field trials here to look to.  If you consider how much variation there is within each of the geographic races in the Old World, and then have those lines blurred even further as these races were moved to the new world, and then add the fact our commercial bee stocks are generally hybridised to at least some degree- I don't think any racial conclusions can be drawn on productivity.  Both Carniolans and Italians are considered to have good production potential.  

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17 hours ago, Scutellator said:

A friend of mine always reminds me - you can't feel the loss of something, you don't know it exists.

well, if you were for example unaware of the reserve bank as most of us are we will still feel the loss if it was gone, right?

that was probaby not a good example but anyway....

i think if it comes to bees it's more the other way around.

we won't realize what we had till it's gone.

 

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On 8/21/2017 at 10:30 AM, frazzledfozzle said:

if you are starting off with terrible bees then there's 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

I love these comments @frazzledfozzle I'm regularly surprised by my small successes. Bees are very good at doing what bees do. They only need subtle encouragement from us. My queens are all either last year's swarms or they are descended from one line. My favourite queen (for now) is a daughter of my original swarm queen. Chosen on vigor mostly - loads of bees and gentle temperament.

 

This year I will have fun and graft two lines. The second queen I'll graft is a swarm caught late last year near a commercial apiary. Without any stimulation they have exploded in the last few weeks. I'm excited to see how they compare.

 

So absolutely people should back themselves and give it a try. It's very rewarding.

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On 22.08.2017 г. at 10:36 PM, CraBee said:

 I'm still trying to get an understanding of the relative productivity of pure NZ Carny's v Italians in NZ, and whether perhaps there are conditions in NZ where one bee type may be better than the other?

The NZ yellow bees seem too soft for the windy climate. In my personal experience the NZ carnies are more stable and have higher bees to brood ratio. IF the choice has to be made only between the two, for me it is the carnies. 

 

I am saying this as not carnica-type beekeeper. I really hate their unreliable brooding weather/feeding depending cycle in the active season, swarming instincts and small winter cluster (true carnica has cluster with the size of basketball ball or less)

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1 minute ago, Scutellator said:

The NZ yellow bees seem too soft for the windy climate. In my personal experience the NZ carnies are more stable and have higher bees to brood ratio. IF the choice has to be made only between the two, for me it is the carnies. 

 

I am saying this as not carnica-type beekeeper. I really hate their unreliable brooding weather/feeding depending cycle in the active season, swarming instincts and small winter cluster (true carnica has cluster with the size of basketball ball or less)

 

@kaihoka :-)

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On 23.08.2017 г. at 10:47 AM, tom sayn said:

well, if you were for example unaware of the reserve bank as most of us are we will still feel the loss if it was gone, right?

 

Many countries have more than one native races of bees - Poland (2), Italy (2), Greece (3, if we don't count the islands), Serbia (2), Turkey (at least 7). Even an Island as Crete had two separate populations of bees - dark on the East and yellow on the west (climate adaptation). And as for carnica - it is NOT the same bee throughout the various carniolan countries. Pure race of bees does not exist. Every race originally was conglomeration of many locally adapted bees, differing in colour, characteristics and stability, due to the constant (slow) gene flow between populations and races.

 

Bann the bee imports is a strategy that doesn't work! The migratory beekeeping creates a real havoc on the local populations alone. Mongrels between inter race populations are just as good as interracial ones.

The sooner we realize the life isn't fair, the better for ourselves. Instead of complaining and blaming the neighbor for polluting the skies with his undesired (from our perspective) drones, we should start doing something about it.

 

The breeding programs in Europe slowly but steadily are going downhill on vitality. Some of them are dependent on gene supply from other populations to delay the process in the time. As no program can stay bottlenecked forever, eventually fresh genetics will have to be introduced. Remember when Sue Cobey went to Turkey in 2009 to collect bee semen and it was confiscated on the airport? Later we found out that they have accepted (think couple years after the event) a law against the "biopiracy", where every plant, animal, insect, fungus and bacteria are considered national treasure and any attempt to export it is subject to heavy penalty.

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The grass is not always greener and like I said before not all Italian bees are equal or at least some of them are more equal than others. Mine aren't perfect but I've just finished my spring round and they have consumed about 5 1/2 kg each over the last four months with losses of less than 5% and these mostly queenless or drone layer. They haven't come through quite as strong as I would like but they will be ready on time. I would be interested to know how much carniolans consume over the mid April to mid August period. Has anyone out there actually done any comparative tests on production et cetera.

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1 hour ago, Scutellator said:

the NZ carnies are more stable and have higher bees to brood ratio.

 

I have noted that the Carni biased bees I have tend to have a higher brood to nurse bees ratio, (less nurse bees required to look after more brood) compared to the Italian biased bees in the same apiary.

i can't for the life of me find the article on the internet but I read something 1 nurse bee to 3 brood cells for the Carni breed. Hence their ability to increase colony size quickly when conditions are conducive, they catch up and even surpass Italians in brood rearing (and then swarm because you got caught out?)

Edited by dansar
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9 minutes ago, john berry said:

The grass is not always greener and like I said before not all Italian bees are equal or at least some of them are more equal than others. Mine aren't perfect but I've just finished my spring round and they have consumed about 5 1/2 kg each over the last four months with losses of less than 5% and these mostly queenless or drone layer. They haven't come through quite as strong as I would like but they will be ready on time. I would be interested to know how much carniolans consume over the mid April to mid August period. Has anyone out there actually done any comparative tests on production et cetera.

I checked an apiary yesterday one Carni hive in amongst 10 italianish hives, overwintered as doubles. The Carni still had at least 8 frames of stores with a cluster about the size of a soccer ball and 4 frames of brood.

just an observation as the rest had just about cleaned themselves out of supplies and had lose clusters. I haven't paid attention to other sites to say whether the Carni are more frugal though.

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