Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Scutellator

  1. Bee Box Brander

    The branding plates are made of bronze (stays hot longer). Bit heavy for this kind of handle.
  2. lines of hybrid bees

    The local mongrel mix in Europe has Caucasian, one or two (out of 60+) lines of Carnica, few strains of Ligustica, Cypria, Carpathica, Anatoliaca, Armenian, Primorsky, Sahariensis, Monticola/Elgon + some relic genetics of native bees in it. And you dare claiming good genetic diversity for the NZ bees, holding only three sub-species of bees as a proof? WoW
  3. lines of hybrid bees

    Yes, introgressed genes always exist, even in the pure race "Nazi" Carnica line breeding programs in Austria and Germany. But even they rely on heterosis for their production hives. Ask a professional sports athlete IF he/she takes substances prohibited by the Anti-Doping Agency. - NO!, right. Is a Dingo dog a crossbred or a dog breed itself?
  4. Cell Spacings On Cell Bar

    Regarding preventing construction of brace comb over the cells, as mentioned above - having two foundations per batch of grafts in a finisher helps . Empty foundationless frame, even better, but still doesn't solve the problem completely. Things that work best are: Queenless finisher Putting the cell bars into a insulator frame (queen excluders) Hair roller cages over the capped cells (left open). Good for small scale queen rearing. Cells get ugly, but unaffected otherwise. About the spacing, believe this is the right one: Less space between cells does make them smaller, but more than this doesn't seem to make them any bigger.
  5. lines of hybrid bees

    Very interesting concept. Heterosis (invented term, standing for stimulated heterozygosis) is correlated with the level of heterogeneity. The degree of stability (homozygosity) is calculated by the inbreeding coefficient. Both are opposite and self excluding things. The only hybrid bees known to me are a result of the famous breeding program ran by Dadant for nearly half a century. Rest should be called (interracial/line) crosses (known parentage) or mongrels. Is it possible to stabilize a cross? - YES! Most dog breeds and todays non hybrid plant cultivars are created by crossing different dog strains and plant varieties (most of which do not exist anymore). Do they possess hybrid vigour? – NO. As for Buckfast, just like any other strain of bee, it gives best results when outcrossed. It is nothing more than a set of qualities/additive polygenic traits, holding on their dominance in open matings. Rest is heterosis. 439.full.pdf
  6. DWV seen 3 months after Apivar came out

    Assuming the hive has low varroa numbers. Then is a good idea to requeen with a more virus tolerant queen. Nowadays is best if the varroa numbers are kept at low levels at all times. DWV can accumulate in the combs (and evolve. Every replication is inexact copy) to the point that ones varroa do it's job , it may no longer needs it to cause clinical symptoms. There already may be enough nosema and other opportunistic infections to cause crawling bees. If a hive for some reason becomes too infested, I find it necessary to do nosema treatment alongside the varroa knockdown. The miticides are not a cure and should be applied only when necessary. They have an impact to the bee health as well. (Flumetrin and fluvalinate residues increase the DWV titers in non infested larvae)
  7. Mated queens disappearing

    I've came across this problem for a first time seven years ago. My advise is to use different breeder queen for grafting. The antibiotics doesn't help, neither shookswarming. Good record keeping is essential. Bees and brood taken from some hives constantly gave problems if used for making nucs (slow build up, missing queens, defective queens - usually crippled leg etc). I've had one occasion the queen being supersceded 3 times for one season. The first few years was most contageous (a jar of honey could knock down a whole apiary), then it became less of nuisance The most prolific queens (pale yellow) were the ones having defects (missing or ceasing laying) most often.
  8. Newly marked Q being balled

    The fact that the queen is mated and laying is not equal to fully sexually mature queen. Up to 3 weeks after the mating the estrogen levels are still rising ( similar to puberty in humans) and the egg laying rate gradually increases. The newly mated queens are still nervous and they are the ones who initiate the fight. Sometimes upon harvesting they fall into a cataleptic shock. Never seen a "tested" queen or virgin to do that. There was an Aussie paper investigating the correlation between the age of the queen upon harvesting and the introduction success rate. Somehow got covered in dust.
  9. Lyson gear

    From one Chinese manufacturer YES, to both first two questions. Back in 2010 for the first time. But the good product market and sells itself and if I am lying, my opinion of a forum troll won't matter anyway.
  10. Breeder queens

    Thanks for the participation. Anybody thought about the invention of the sugar? "Survival of the fittest" have different meaning now, having nothing to do with things like climate adapted or high vitality. If I didn't knew that conservation is often difficult even with Artificial insemination and island matings, maybe I would also believe in the open mating way.
  11. Breeder queens

    Hi there, new to the forum. I have a question - does anybody knows where to find breeder queens with pedigree in NZ? Thanks Donnie
  12. Carniolan queen, bees and brood

    I don't know all the answers, but when two lines are crossed (which is done once in every 3 Gen) that creates variation. The extreme yellow ones tend to make more brood ( like Italians) The extreme dark ones are usually thrifty and hot ( resembling other ancestor - Cecropia)
  13. Carniolan queen, bees and brood

    Nah, they are all different. US Italians, South American Italians, Scandinavian Italians, Chinese Italians, Italian Italians.... and so on. One of the best pure ligustica (if such thing exists) I had, was foraging in light rain and were always the first go out in the morning. One winter they were bringing in pollen during snowing day. Nothing like the typical WWII bomber aircrafts like some of the Italians.
  14. Carniolan queen, bees and brood

    According to some, there are four carniolan types: Black (Germany and Austria) Grey (Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, etc) Yellow (the Banat bee, some parts of Albania) Brown (Cecropia/Macedonica) The external uniformity is not a natural state but a result of the selection. Sklenar still has high frequency of one orange tergite on the workers.
  15. Breeder queens

    I don't think anyone in the world would disagree with a statement that said. We all argue about the details. But it is easier to say than actually do it. BTW. Does anybody knows the single turning point event in the honey bee evolution?
  16. Hi Paul, A1) Silly question. Yes, of course. A2) quick googling. Found this: Haven't read all the posts (too lazy for that). A3) Can't think of any. A4) YES. Absolutely necessary. All the supers should be placed in between ( until someone disproves otherwise) A5) I don't know. But keep in mind that after the last flow one of the queens usually disappear. And the amount of honey to my experience is less than what you would get from 2 separate hives, but more than one queen hive. Useful for early flows, with bees with slow spring development.
  17. Carniolan queen, bees and brood

    Ever heard of genetic linkage? Simple answer is YES. http://www.pedigreeapis.org/biblio/artcl/JHacarABJ91en.html In Buckfast breeding we see genetic linkages every day and sometimes the gut feeling saves time.
  18. Which to buy - Jenter or Nicot

    I suppose you used saliva for the #000 brush. It is said that the saliva increase the rejected grafts. The best grafting tool I am aware of is the Swiss one (not it's Chinese imitation) The Chinese grafting tool (with the bamboo pusher) is also good, doesn't require a sharp eye, but it is much slower than the Swiss one. I have an issues with the authority persons. Even the most erudite one sometimes speaks complete nonsense (don't ask me how I know that) As far as I know there are two models of Jenter. The one allows to pick up every second bottom in the row at once. So which one your mentor has in mind? The idea of Jenter is stolen from a plastic fondation with some removable bottoms from the Balkans in the middle of the '80s, whereas the idea for the removable cups, as far as I've been told, is a Russian patent. Nicot has one Turkish replicate ( same for eziqueen) and I hear now - one Chinese as well, and at least one imitation (45 cups). They all work differently. I've had such experience with carniolan type of bees. When the cups were not had been placed in a hive before the grafting - complete disaster. Never had the same issues with Italian type of bees. In the European countries where the queen rearer has a choice, Carnica is seldom used in the queen rearing. It makes it more difficult.
  19. Musings on waxed hive interiors

    Apart from the above-mentioned reasons, the beeswax is a organic fat and is still a medium for fungi (doesn't stop rotting), whereas the paraffin is non organic fat. Paraffin wax has much shallow penetration than the beeswax, so it is usually mixed with the more expensive microcrystalline wax at 50:50 ratio
  20. 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.
  21. 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)
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. 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