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Breeding black queens


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I love that historical information David...didn't know Hastings was from Saskatchewan. And ironically Saskatchewan is also the birthplace of the new bee line now becoming popular...was able to try som

Hi Mark, It is hard with open matings. I struggle like you do with heaps of yellow mongrel drones haunting all the Drone Congregation areas in my mating area.  I am ok with the hybrid colonies that re

There is no real goals in mind. As I said I am impressed that on sunny days, even at a high of 9 degrees, we can see carniolans flying about.  They also seem very placid compared to italians.  Althoug

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20 minutes ago, David Yanke said:

I can still get you Carniolan Queens. Email me. 

I tried to get some off you over summer but couldn't get through via your website. I ended up getting them honeystar new zealand. I will get at least one off you in spring as I am putting a topbar observation hive in at school. Maybe even one at home.

 

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The first queen I got was a carniolan..They proved unsuitable for my environment .

All the drones in my area are Italians so my bees are gradually getting yellower.

It would have been a big mission to keep my bees as carniolan.

My bees are mongrels but pretty docile ones .

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I watched the Randy Oliver presentation at the Apiculture New Zealand conference 2017.  

I liked his comment "I don't give a sh*t in my operation what colour my queens are, yellow doesn't make me money." About 5 min in.

 

 

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On 4/07/2018 at 5:42 AM, David Yanke said:

I had an ulterior motive with my offer to swap Queens with John and @frazzledfozzle, I want to get my hands on as much good yellow stock as I can, and I know John's is as good as it gets, and I've heard that fozzle's stock isn't that shabby either.  @beecavalier remember 'Starline' and 'Midnite' Queens.

 

They weren't promoted to us commercial guys on the Canadian prairies...at least not that I can recall. But these were sure in favor at that time...taken from "Canadian Beekeeping" Magazine...1978 Winter issue. 90% of the commercial guys didn't winter so they weren't popular because of winter hardiness. They just stood on the merits of honey production ability...and there temperment was nothing like the gentle stock I've got from Arataki or Kintail in recent years.

 

 

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4 hours ago, beecavalier said:

 

They weren't promoted to us commercial guys on the Canadian prairies...at least not that I can recall. But these were sure in favor at that time...taken from "Canadian Beekeeping" Magazine...1978 Winter issue. 90% of the commercial guys didn't winter so they weren't popular because of winter hardiness. They just stood on the merits of honey production ability...and there temperment was nothing like the gentle stock I've got from Arataki or Kintail in recent years.

 

 

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We picked packages up from his place about that time(they were about $18 for a 2lb package). Don Strachan had an amazing operation, but was a bit of a scary guy.  Hasting was a Canadian, beekeeping in Saskatchewan.  He went into a business relationship with Don, and would supply them with Carniolan breeders selected under Canadian conditions.  That stock was the foundation stock for Sue Cobey's (speaker at conference this year) New World Carniolans.  Don has passed away, but his daughter Valeri still runs the business, and they  now sell New World Carniolans, but there would be quite a multiplier applied to that pricelist now!

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7 hours ago, beecavalier said:

I love that historical information David...didn't know Hastings was from Saskatchewan. And ironically Saskatchewan is also the birthplace of the new bee line now becoming popular...was able to try some for the first time...the Saskatraz queens. I heard from a beekeeper that Olivarez (who bought out Saskatraz and alot of other queen breeders recently including Kona) has switched over almost exclusively to them. Was checking their performance yesterday...after 34 days...don't know the temperament yet:

 

 

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Good info.  I hate to say it, having done all my Canadian beekeeping in Alberta, but Saskatchewan has always been a hub for progressive beekeeping, through the 60's and 70's there was Hastings with his breeding work, and Don Peer and other Beekeepers around Nipawin telling us how to produce more honey.

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Agreed Dave...the Alberta mentality was to produce more honey too...but they did it by doubling their hive numbers. The exception to that was the work done by Tibor Szabo and Don Nelson at Beaverlodge...selecting stock (Peace strain and Prairie strain) over a five year time period with the end result of an increase in honey production of 20%...quite impressive. Then the government money ran out and the genetics were cast to the wind...some ended up in Chile and I think Tibor and his son run some hives in Ontario.

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One of the most satisfying times of my beekeeping life was after buying hives on sites in a new area. 

The hives were almost exclusively AMM, they were NASTY and full of chalkbrood and I had never seen anything like them before. 

We had to buy gloves to work them and at times it was actually scarey.

Any time we went into the brood nest all the bees would fly out of the hive with barely a bee left in the frames.

trying to requeen with our yellow Queens was very difficult and mostly had to resort to papering on Nuc’s rather than introducing in queen cages.

it was very cool to see the black bees disappearing and being taken over by the yellow.

Now we have productive hives that are a joy to work and since varroa I’ve not seen an AMM feral hive.

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There used to be lots of feral hives in the Bush here too.

We lived away during the for 7 years and when we came back I noticed there were absolutely no bees in the area unless the migrant hives were here .

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The complete loss of our feral bee populations is one reason I wish when @David Yanke brought the carniolans, he should have brought the Russians too. Yes they are more swarmy and has a lot of other unwanted characteristics but they had proven varroa tolerance. That one trait alone would have benefited our bees a lot. We could have bred out a lot of the bad characteristics with some good selection and we could have had a good feral population which would have helped to keep our genetic diversity high. 

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2 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

One of the most satisfying times of my beekeeping life was after buying hives on sites in a new area. 

The hives were almost exclusively AMM, they were NASTY and full of chalkbrood and I had never seen anything like them before. 

We had to buy gloves to work them and at times it was actually scarey.

Any time we went into the brood nest all the bees would fly out of the hive with barely a bee left in the frames.

trying to requeen with our yellow Queens was very difficult and mostly had to resort to papering on Nuc’s rather than introducing in queen cages.

it was very cool to see the black bees disappearing and being taken over by the yellow.

Now we have productive hives that are a joy to work and since varroa I’ve not seen an AMM feral hive.

I accidently pressed the wrong button.One reason AMMs are so aggressive is due to being hybrids and hopefully I can get some pure AMMs.

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14 minutes ago, Jose Thayil said:

The complete loss of our feral bee populations is one reason I wish when @David Yanke brought the carniolans, he should have brought the Russians too. Yes they are more swarmy and has a lot of other unwanted characteristics but they had proven varroa tolerance. That one trait alone would have benefited our bees a lot. We could have bred out a lot of the bad characteristics with some good selection and we could have had a good feral population which would have helped to keep our genetic diversity high. 

As you say on varroa tolerance alone, it would have been worth injecting some of that material into our commercial bee stocks,and it was tempting, but it wasn't allowed.  That Import Health Standard we used was first race specific- only carnica material, I guess without too much of a stretch we could have justified including the Primorsky material, but they were a definite fail on another condition- the Queens from which the semen was sourced, had to be bred in Germany and/or Austria, and had to have resided in those countries for the last 12 months.  The Russian Queens at that Institute had been born in the USA, reared from stock imported from the Primorsky region of Russia. I then looked at modifying the IHS to allow semen to be sourced directly from the Russian program in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but the risk of Africanised material being brought in with it could not be mitigated.

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@black bee it's no bad thing having no other bees around for at least 6 months of the years.

I can manage my bees in ways beeks in over stocked areas can not .

After following the forum for a few yrs I can see so many current issues are due to crowded hives.

It must be very hard on beeks who have been keeping bees for over 20 yrs to adjust to the new normal .

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6 hours ago, Jose Thayil said:

Yes they are more swarmy and has a lot of other unwanted characteristics but they had proven varroa tolerance. That one trait alone would have benefited our bees a lot. We could have bred out a lot of the bad characteristics with some good selection and we could have had a good feral population which would have helped to keep our genetic diversity high. 

varroa resistance is not "one trade". they are a number of complex behavioral trades and you don't know if any of that remains when you cross them.

not every primosky showed significant resistance. but they don't need to, cos they multiply by swarming like rabbits. as long as more survive than die the population is stable.

if they would have managed to establish somewhere in the ranges, they had the potential to become a true pest in nz, swarmy as they were.

breeding all sorts of problems out of them while maintaining their varroa resistance? not sure how good you are, but it doesn't look like anyone had much luck with that or you would hear from it.

 

i believe that our evaluation techniques here could do with improvements and it is astonishing how few people are capable  of artificial insemination. don't think there is any controlled mating  facilities around. 

so that would be my call. before importing some anecdotal super bee, learn the techniques to look after those desired trades on a high standard. or we loose them again or have to keep importing.

once we would have a system in place how to select successful, we will probably discover that we don't need to import and that we are best off to breed within one compatible breed on a wide base.

nz could be a paradise for breeding your own "homebrew". places where there is varieties of races on top of each other are a nightmare for a beekeeper, only good for those who supply artificial inseminated breeders.

 

as i said, i wouldn't have a problem if nz would decide to switch to carnies. but i can't see that ever happen and so it seems to make much more sense to go yellow. but the parallel breeds are unwise, only good for a few people who can supply pure stock.

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I've seen some pretty pure AMM in the past and the only thing they had going for them was wasp tolerance and I have pretty much bred that into my Italians. They were nasty, swarming, unproductive and extremely susceptible to chalk brood. As for going back to having large feral populations, no one knows what the populations were but there is not much doubt that in some places they outnumbered and outcompeted farmed hives and I suspect the cost of varoa treatment is more than covered by the increased production due to their demise. Please note that I don't think varoa is a good thing, just that it's not all bad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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