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Trevor Gillbanks

November 2019 Apiary Diary

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12 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Carnis in their pure form do have their good points. But the issue i have with them is their swarmyness. May be less of a deal in the South Island, but a major problem where i am.

They still swarm,even in the S.Island,even with heaps of room. What I like about the dark bee is the ability to shut down brood rearing completely for 3 to 4 months and the fact that they live on nothing yet right now the population is the same as the yellow ones.

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Yes that would be the good point, they'll winter on 1/2 the stores. Once mongrelised, even to F1 though, they won't.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

Carnis in their pure form do have their good points. But the issue i have with them is their swarmyness. May be less of a deal in the South Island, but a major problem where i am.

Nope , still a big deal here .

They were definitely mongrels.

Chased me 100 mtrs too .

Edited by kaihoka
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We had a huge genetic pool in New Zealand and could have bread for anything we wanted and a lot of us did. Then in come bees from the other side of the world with a known propensity for snotty hybrids. Pure carniolan's as people have said are not too bad although I think they have a slightly edgier temperament than mine. I have five hives that I got from David and this is the second year. They seem to be slightly but only slightly swarmer than mine and certainly build up fast under good conditions but have been abysmally slow to build up in cold areas with little stimulation whereas mine came away a lot better. Just a few years ago if I was short of cells I was happy to let around 80% of my hives raise their own queens. Now you'd be lucky to get 10%. Chalk brood which I haven't seen in any quantity for years is now in most of my hives and hives are much more variable than there were a few years ago . Most years I would get over 90% pretty much perfect at the start of the flow. I now work a lot harder and 90% would be a dream. I don't blame it all on carniolan's. Some of it is varoa and a lot of it is the new breed of beekeepers who wouldn't know a breeder queen if it bit them on their admittedly useless arses. The vast horde of bees that have come in from outside the district also bring in genetics not ideal for our local conditions. Sometimes I just want to give up.

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3 minutes ago, john berry said:

The vast horde of bees that have come in from outside the district also bring in genetics not ideal for our local conditions. Sometimes I just want to give up.

I think I am very luck with the quality of drones the two migrant outfits who come here have .

They have both been beeks for 40yrs plus  and are very keen on yellow bees .

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12 minutes ago, john berry said:

We had a huge genetic pool in New Zealand and could have bread for anything we wanted and a lot of us did.

 

13 minutes ago, john berry said:

I don't blame it all on carniolan's. Some of it is varoa and a lot of it is the new breed of beekeepers who wouldn't know a breeder queen if it bit them on their admittedly useless arses. The vast horde of bees that have come in from outside the district also bring in genetics not ideal for our local conditions. Sometimes I just want to give up.

Agree.  We didn't want carnies on the Plains cos of hot nor westers.  Now it's incredibly difficult to get a pure Italian.  Fortunately my bees have tested Nosema free.  Genetics bought from outside the area is definitely a problem. 

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17 minutes ago, john berry said:

 I have five hives that I got from David and this is the second year. They seem to be slightly but only slightly swarmer than mine and certainly build up fast under good conditions but have been abysmally slow to build up in cold areas with little stimulation whereas mine came away a lot better. 

I haven’t heard that about carnis before. 

That could explain some of my crossbreed hives slow build up. 

We have next to no spring flow. I need to pay more attention to the queens in these hives. 

I pinched out a few queens today that have been too slow to build and they were Definitely very dark or black. 

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This year has been particularly swarmy in our little corner of the motu...my 2nd an third swarms for the season..

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5 minutes ago, Phil46 said:

This year has been particularly swarmy in our little corner of the motu...my 2nd an third swarms for the season..

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Your own bees ? 

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5 minutes ago, M4tt said:

Your own bees ? 

flax flowering unbelievable

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1 minute ago, Bighands said:

flax flowering unbelievable

Our mountain flaxes have been flowering for a week , the big ones are budding..

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Just now, yesbut said:

Our mountain flaxes have been flowering for a week , the big ones are budding..

ours have not even looked like it

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@M4tt I hope not mate...no these were around town,i have my name at the district council office as a swarm collector/ beekeeper.

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1 minute ago, Phil46 said:

@M4tt I hope not mate...no these were around town,i have my name at the district council office as a swarm collector/ beekeeper.

Cool . Nice score 😉

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Time out on the Barrier earlier this month and even managed a bo peep at some local hives with an awesome host

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Many years ago when I kept bees on the Coromandel we got some white line queens which were fantastic produces in that area and much quieter than the local AMM hybrids. Later we tried some in Hawke's Bay . Wasps killed most of them and what was left were not adapted to the local environment. There was nothing wrong with those queens. They were superb in the environment they were bred for and useless down here.

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5 hours ago, M4tt said:

Is anyone selling Carni queens since Daykel sold @David Yanke?

 

I don’t want any , just curious . 

Are you guys all trying to flush me out with all this anti-carnica fire?! You succeeded. Of course Carniolans are still being sold.  There are far more  carniolan and F1 carniolan X italian Hybrids being raised and sold commercially than there are so called 'pure' italian  Queens.  Every single  Queen exported to Canada is either  carniolan or F1 Hybrids.  Every production Queen  produced  by the Kiwi Bee  Queen units, Apiflora, and most of those produced by the big King's Queen units are F1 Hybrids.  It would be just as ignorant for me to label all yellow bees rubbish, or claim that yellow bees swarm more than carniolans, or claim that  italians are responsible for nasty hybrids.  The truth is that both carniolans and italians are good commercial bees.  I can't say the same for mellifera.  Crosses between the races can be savage, but you can't blame one of the races involved, it is because they are racial hybrids.  Most of you carni bashers, either have little experience working with them and manage them the same as you manage your yellow bees, or have never even tried them.  If I managed my yellow bees the same way that I managed my carniolans, then my yellow bees would starve before spring.  This year has been a particularly swarmy year up north, even though the spring has been crap, and we have had more swarming in our yellow bees than in our carniolans.  Any way, back to the original Question- the answer, as I said is yes, the Kiwi Bee Breeding Unit is  maintaining and improving two Closed Populations, one yellow, and one carnica.  Each season, we cross the two  populations, inseminating yellow virgins  with carnica semen, the resulting F1 crosses, are utility Breeders from which we rear all of our production Queens, these Queens are very uniform, very vigorous, very productive, and a pleasure to work with.  In a trial last  year, they performed significantly better than the straight BB's stock in the trial. We sell these F1 Utility Breeders to anyone that is interested in giving them a go.

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Whiteline queens!! Wow that must have been quite a few years ago.

 

I met the original Mr. White, and had a look at some of his bees, although his nuc yards were off limits, secret methods.

 

He had at that time 2 main strains, a commercial strain, and a hobby strain. The hobby strain had bees you could just about kick around the site and nothing would happen. I think the commercial ones were pretty docile also.

 

After he died and the operation became whiteline queens, i never found out just what happened, why they disappeared.

Edited by Alastair
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2 minutes ago, David Yanke said:

Are you guys all trying to flush me out with all this anti-carnica fire?! You succeeded. Of course Carniolans are still being sold.  There are far more  carniolan and F1 carniolan X italian Hybrids being raised and sold commercially than there are so called 'pure' italian  Queens.  Every single  Queen exported to Canada is either  carniolan or F1 Hybrids.  Every production Queen  produced  by the Kiwi Bee  Queen units, Apiflora, and most of those produced by the big King's Queen units are F1 Hybrids.  It would be just as ignorant for me to label all yellow bees rubbish, or claim that yellow bees swarm more than carniolans, or claim that  italians are responsible for nasty hybrids.  The truth is that both carniolans and italians are good commercial bees.  I can't say the same for mellifera.  Crosses between the races can be savage, but you can't blame one of the races involved, it is because they are racial hybrids.  Most of you carni bashers, either have little experience working with them and manage them the same as you manage your yellow bees, or have never even tried them.  If I managed my yellow bees the same way that I managed my carniolans, then my yellow bees would starve before spring.  This year has been a particularly swarmy year up north, even though the spring has been crap, and we have had more swarming in our yellow bees than in our carniolans.  Any way, back to the original Question- the answer, as I said is yes, the Kiwi Bee Breeding Unit is  maintaining and improving two Closed Populations, one yellow, and one carnica.  Each season, we cross the two  populations, inseminating yellow virgins  with carnica semen, the resulting F1 crosses, are utility Breeders from which we rear all of our production Queens, these Queens are very uniform, very vigorous, very productive, and a pleasure to work with.  In a trial last  year, they performed significantly better than the straight BB's stock in the trial. We sell these F1 Utility Breeders to anyone that is interested in giving them a go.

Thanks 😊 

 

Im just wondering why my bees are trending more yellow . Luck of the draw I guess with local bred stuff 

 

Cheers 

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David what kind of colour are the bees from the production queens produced by your F1 breeders? Care to post a pic or two?

Edited by Alastair

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It must be a big shock for a creature that evolved in a continental climate to live in a cool martime climate like NZ.

I know its a big shock for some plants who expect when spring starts and its all go but in NZ its stop start , stop start.

I often wonder how bees managed to adjust , they would have come from a climate where it was cold , they were dormant , then it was warm and they were busy .

I should imagine thats the carnolian climate .

Did italian bees come from italy .?

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7 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Did italian bees come from italy .?

Yes

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12 minutes ago, Alastair said:

David what kind of colour are the bees from the production queens produced by your F1 breeders? Care to post a pic or two?

Yea, I have got some good ones on my work computer. I will post them later tomorrow. 

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12 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

I know its a big shock for some plants who expect when spring starts and its all go but in NZ its stop start , stop start.

I often wonder how bees managed to adjust , they would have come from a climate where it was cold , the

I read a description of how they developed a coffee plant tolerant to our climate. They grew thousands of plants in a greenhouse and then reduced the temperature. They grew cuttings from the survivors and repeated the process. Over a period of years only the cold tolerant plants remained.

 

The bees have been here long enough for the climatically delicate to have been bred out- and I guess this is what John Berry is referring to when he describes local bees. They are selected to suit the local climate (as it was before climate change was invented). Maybe the extra swarmyness reported this year is evolution in progress.

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As a newbie, I had very little experience with bees of any colour. I purchased my first nuc from Kirwee Bees. Nice golden italians. They survived all my fiddling and playing and trying different queen rearing techniques and is the foundation of all my stock. To get bees into school, I had to convince the Board of Trustees to allow them. My principal, also a beek, suggested I offer to get carniolans, so the "experts" on the board could do some online research and come up with websites generally positive in their behaviour. I run 4 hives at school, with queens from David and Honey Star New Zealand. At home, I have Italians, with queens purchased from Kirwee Bees. I also had an extra nuc of Italians from a local commercial beek to build up numbers (I purchased on behalf of someone else who changed their mind so I kept it). This nuc was one of the most savage I have seen. Once they were in a FD box they turned nasty, flooding out and headbutting the veil, following me over a hundred metres back to the house. I sent the queen to heaven pretty fast. 

I have had no issues with the carniolans. They are no worse than the italians for behaviour. Though I do note that in cold weather, they get pretty worked up if you open the hive. I found that out the first winter when I was topping up the sugar feeder. I haven't had any swarm, but I manipulate the brood box by adding plenty of frames to give then space. The only swarm I have caught was an italian queen that probably came from a commercial hive off on the neighbouring farm. It landed in a tree 20m from the school hives.  I did have one hive swarm, but that was my fault. I was setting up a topbar and had them draw out some topbars before transferring them to a topbar, with the queen. I left 2 queen cells in the parent hive and they sent out a micro swarm with one of the virgin queens, which I caught as it went about 6 feet from the hive.

In my hives now, I have a couple of daughters from those original queens. this girl in the photo is from one of my original carni queens and in the best producing hive. She was an open mated Carni queen, grafted from Daykel AI queens, purchased from Honey Star NZ. She kept going and going and made it through 2 winters before they superceded this spring. I am kicking myself that I didn't make more daughters from her. The bees are nice and quiet. Though I have learnt to tuck my overalls into my socks. When working a carni hive, I have noticed they all seem to run out the front door and cluster on the front of the hive and I have had a few crawl up my leg. 

My reasoning is, that if commercial operators are happy to buy enough carni/italian hybrids to keep themselves, and the breeders in business, then there can't be any issues with their productivity and they will be fine for me.

 

tiger queen.jpg

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