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NZ Beekeepers +


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About Scutellator

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  • Beekeeping Experience
    International Beekeeper


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    North Greece
  1. Breeder queens

    I no longer want to save the whole world, most people like it the way it is. I've never sold a single breeder queen. Fist, I find it EXTREMELY dumb idea. Second, it makes the queen rearers lazy, always relying on somebody else to do the hard work for them. Both sides lose in a long run. One of the 4 inbred lines used in the Starline program was actually a Carnica, bred for yellow colour (acording to Larry Connor, the successor of G. Cale) . Used to counterbalance the extreme brooding of the Italians. Practically “stability" is nothing more than certain level of homozygosity. Everything with inbr coefficient around 0,5 and above is considered “stable”. Stable hybrid is one thing, but making it a a productive one requires also modulating the allelic frequencies It is a common obstacle of ALL controlled mating programs. The bee no matter what still is a wild animal. I will keep my mouth shut on this. The only way to get the best results is to have: 1)good forage 2)bee a good beekeeper 3)use superior bees ( without bees, the hive is just a box) Bees are just animals controlled by instincts. We can change those instincts and even silence them. It is a way to make them doing what we want without the need to do it ourselves. Yes, we can skip the selection. We can use crappy bees and still be profitable. We can achieve the same results by applying more human hours. And we can also get the same net profits by having a higher number of hives. Some people prefer the NASA suits rather wearing a T-shirt and flip-flops. That’s another way of solving the same problems, which also works.
  2. Which to buy - Jenter or Nicot

    Why not Eziqueen? It is NZ made and has 4x more beds than either of the two. Very usefull for royal jelly production. But from the two I would say Nicot. Less parts, plus the cells (disposable) and the cell holders can still be used for grafting if you change your mind. The flipside is that one cassete is needed for each breeder ( e.g. for 500 hives about 10 breeders should be used) and is not very sanitary to move the cassete from one breeder to another ( those queens are expensive)
  3. Varroa controlled by sound

    It was presented at the Apimondia this year. To me the sound was very annoying, but I was told that the older guys can't hear it. Damn, I'll have to wait. I asked if they can make it play a parallel melody e.g. Motzart (I would love work the bees in musical atmosphere, plus if the cows can listen music, why not the bees as well), but the inventor said no. The claim was 90% efficiency in 40 days
  4. Breeder queens

    I don't like to explain that i don't have a sister. Aggressive behaviour is a matter of allelic enrichment. And I don't even need to import IF I want that. Mating with related drones doesn't select for calmer bees, it simply suppress the aggressiveness. Selecting a quiet bee actually requires "hot" hives as drone providers for your virgins. Why I don't believe in the "pure" race breeding as commercial approach? - It's damn impossible to combine the vigour, high performance, disease resistance, low swarming index, non aggressiveness and all other things we may want, in a single stable line of bees. The intercolony genetic diversity works in our favour for half of the selection characteristics and against it for the other half, simultaneously. On the other hand, creating a stable (or uniform) queen line that is both quiet, high performing and low swarming, and dominant on those traits and with good general combining ability is very acheivable. All we have to do from then on is to add little vigour and disease resistance via the open mating. Maybe those unrelated aggressive hives can contribute with something after all?( not making a wild guess here) Like it or not hybrids (as opposed to mongrels) will keep becoming more common in future. Bees, plants, animals and even humans. I'm not sharing this coz I need validation ("Where all think alike, no one thinks very much"), that's how I see the things from my humble experience. I have a habit of mine to provide different point of view, thats all.
  5. Spring Queens

    To me the first issue has more to do with bees not well adapted to the climate/your operation. Some strains are very weather dependent (can even canibalize brood during cold spells), others have brooding pattern completely not taking into account polen or nectar inflow, the amount of stores in the hive, nor outside temps The second issue - I don't believe it's really the bad weather ( here we put the blame on the bee eaters). The virgins need only 2 days, 1 hours each of fine weather in a 3 consecutive non-stop rainy weeks. And I remember two such seasons so far. If they don't die of starvation, they get mated
  6. Notching cells

    The short answer is that the worker cell become full to the edge with royal jelly within a day. The longer is - that the oldest method of queen rearing is grafting (Doolitle). All others - Alley, Miller, Hopkins-Pehacek.... improvements. You might also find interesting the method of a Serbian beekeeper - Milos Corbic. The hive raises about 50:50 ratio of workers:queens The evidences that the beekeepers are bad in accounting should not even be mentioned. Starting a hive with open brood takes normally 11 days for the queen to hatch and 7-10 days to start laying = 21 days without laying queen (8 frames of brood lost), and after 21 days the split will have half of the bees than in the beginning (adding of brood may be required). 21 days the split is like sitting duck (no queen pheromones = low foraging activity) Starting with a queen cell/virgin - 8-10 days of disrupting the activities of the hive. Plus some percentage of failure Starting with a laying queen - about 3 days for the queen to start laying
  7. Why do honey drums blow?

    I would be more concerned about the bees health, rather the honey. Try to keep the pathogen levels as low as possible. After 2-3 years all will get back to normal.
  8. rhododendrons

  9. rhododendrons

    The honey from Alpine rose (rhododendron ferrugineum) is quite famous, but not poisonous. Maybe colleagues from Italy or Switzerland can tell us more about it. The poisonous rhododendron honey actually has a market value (is this the reason you are asking?;) ) Deli bal ( from the south shores of Black Sea) and the red honey from Nepal are good example. If you can't find enough rhododendron pasture, you should go up North for weed honey. I believe the Tutu honey should have similar properties, if the right dose is measured. The bees can tolerate certain amounts of toxins in the nectar (most plants have) and I don't think they will prefer other plants specifically because of it. PS. I know it is illegal in NZ, I am just kidding.
  10. Breeder queens

    Because I don't have parasite mentality?
  11. Carniolan queen, bees and brood

    The value of a bee is always judged by comparison. Can you please, tell us the average of the other hives, the maximum crop from the other hives and was it only one carniolan queen that year. I am more interested though, what were your actions after discovering that you can do better?
  12. Breeder queens

    I could tell you the things you want to hear, but prefer to give you what you need instead. Sue me. Nowadays the hybrid corn is everywhere. Why? - Because the eye of the pirate cannot be satisfied.
  13. Breeder queens

    I know what Punnett square is, but the meaning of the above comment eludes me. Still have issues understanding the Humans
  14. Breeder queens

    Who said it has to be stable? We also need to make a living somehow, you know. Besides, what would happen if a stable, more productive bee gets in the hands of the big shark commercial guys? - They will crush you! The only way of maximizing the performance is by heterosis, and i mean controlled heterosis. Not all heterosis gives increased vigour, it can also brings decrease in it. Heterosis. Bud Cale.pdf. Don't have to read the whole thing, table 4 says it all. Nothing against making your own queens, buying nucs, hiring a person, taking brood from the production hives ( which IF you're working with non swarming bees, reflects on your crop), but without selection program ( more expenses and personal time), you're getting just that - layng queens. And IF "mated" is the only criterion for quality, you may even call them "quality queens", but you'll be fooling yourself. Usually is better to buy a TV than making one yourself. The pleasure, though, does not have a price tag, and it's gonna cost you. Many beekeepers fail (more or less) in their efforts to become commercial because they can't leave the hobby mentality behind. If you ask me, if I could, I would make the bees to die after my F1, so to discourage the beeks making the mistake to graft from them (and while improving from what they had before, losing profits, from my point of view). The best I can do at the moment is to make them become extremely aggressive (the docility is always dominant, when homozygous)
  15. Breeder queens

    As soon as the population becomes light inbred, the virgins start avoiding related drones. But if you keep the genetic diversity within the population you should be ok. The virgin normally mates within 1km of her hive. If the drones are insufficient, she'll fly further.