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Everything posted by Scutellator

  1. Who has the best queens? Without doubt more than half will claim - "my own" So, a nectar collecting monster must have: 1. Bigger honey sac 2. Nearly all bees must be foragers during main flow, leaving the hive look almost like out of bees during the day 3. For the NZ windy weather - STRONGER wings 4. Oh, yes- and low swarming index As to who produces the best queens - I would say Roger White from Cyprus. And part of it is due to the hot humid rainless climate. Second place in my rating (of all non Buckfast bees) goes to a carnica queen inseminated with ligustica from Latshaw. Extremely vigorous bees. No symptoms of varroa and related viruses Regarding my experience with the kiwi bees in 2016 - the 200 hives that I had headed by Yanke's queens were far from perfect, but very consistent regarding performance. Still better than all and any of the mongrels I had access to, and much better than the Beta Bees.
  2. I'm not big enough for you to be the supreme one? Jeez, that hurts my feelings
  3. Few possibilities: -There was a drone laying queen -Drone laying workers from another hive. -BUT based on the description of the situation - less honey, more drone brood (less "police" behavior) farther away from the queen, lack of eggs in the supers and so on.. It sounds like an anarchist workers. Usually there are always some laying workers in a normal queenright hive. And it is common to get some (dozen) drone brood above the QE from the workers. Everybody I know who does AI is aware of this problem. But the percentage of the anarchist workers can vary between the hives and can be bred intentionally. And in such hives, during certain times the season big % of the workers can start behave like queens.
  4. One characteristic thing for the Africanized bees is that you can do some casual work and bees wandering around you for hours, but as soon as you get stung, in less than 5 seconds there will be another 5 stings on the same spot. A lot of fun The quickest test for africanization is that the stinger is active after 24 hours of the death of the bee.
  5. Just for the protocol, VSH is a additive trait controlled by at least 7(so far discovered) pair of alleles. The more of them you have, the more you get. The first generation from pure VSH queen (inseminated with non VSH drones) will be as efficient in removing varroa as pure VSH. Even the second generation will be varroa resistant enough to go on without treatments (thus having on average at least 50% of active VSH alleles in the majority of the workers) http://www.glenn-apiaries.com/genetic_aspects_queen_production_3.html
  6. In regards to AFB, a laboratory results, valid for 30 days, from a sample of few hives in the apiary, does good job. BUT the results can say the hive is healthy and it still may die and be contagious. We simply don't know everything. There is no solution. People are ignorant, oblivious, denial and always looking for the cause(excuse) outside of themselves. "They did not died from a disease. Some of my hives were foraging in pesticide sprayed areas, bringing the poisonous nectar in the hive. They died of pesticide poisoning. I know what a disease is!!!" All business areas with expected high profit margins, attract the greedy part in every human. True, nobody owes you anything. The majority, though, don't realize that by hurting others, they hurt themselves (but who cares as long as still generates profit). I would say - stop thinking how others should behave. Nobody is gonna do it for ya. It is something we have limited control. BUT we have full control over ourselves. There is no short cut. Become better than everybody else.
  7. Some Apis mellifera sub-species indeed practically don't swarm (would endanger their survival in Nature) Breeding out swarming behavior is doable and relatively easy. So, yes, non swarmy commercial bees do exist and are very common on the EU market. But when the selection for low swarming index goes beyond a certain point, the bees sometimes even lose the ability to rear their own queens and without a beekeeper to put a new queen, the hive dies. The non swarmy bees for commercial use don't go to that extreme, but are still very useless for queen cell production (poor acceptance, small queencells) So calm down everybody. Breathe. Nothing new under the sun. The world is not coming to an end yet.
  8. Honey safety is a good concern. BUT - What effect GM bees will have on the industry in the foreseeable future - NONE. First of all, making them resistant to a pesticide doesn't mean they won't die from something else. And even if they are overall better survivors - alive bees and bees producing honey are still two different things. ( Keeping high immune response or/and detoxifying toxins needs a lot of metabolic energy) The second consideration is - If the bees can't reproduce themselves and interbreed ( to protect the intellectual property) - who is going to buy those bees on a regular basis? They will be more expensive, because of the higher production costs alone. AND the beeks, as we all know, just love to spend money (and not conservatively minded at all). The genetically improved bees is not a new concept. And the history already have provided evidence why the idea of superior bees so far have failed to be universally adopted. SO.... Those bees stand a chance only if the beeks have no other options at all
  9. Greece - about 11-12 hives/ sq km Crete (the biggest Greek Island) - about only 6
  10. So many have adopted wrong beliefs, so I feel the need to put my two cents on the topic. The first question that comes to mind never should be “how I can make some money?”, but “ What is missing in this world?” The next questions should be about like: Does the world already needs what is missing?, or I have to create the need for it myself (costs time) Problem + pain = money Somebody already doing it or has been done by somebody else before? Can I learn something from his/their experience? As with anything new and profitable - the first wave gets the biggest chunk of money, the second wave gets enough to recover the expenses and have some profit (could be only a mental energy loss), the third wave…. enter the market too late And not on the last place – what is my target group? Do I know It’s mentality? How can I speak their “language”? For your case - selling your time to people who value their money more than their time is like me trying to sell my services as a man to a prostitute – the both times so far didn’t worked out. P.S The idea itself is not crazy, just the execution;)
  11. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Balling-behaviour-of-A-mellifera-in-simulated-V-velutina-attacks_fig5_262611580
  12. The branding plates are made of bronze (stays hot longer). Bit heavy for this kind of handle.
  13. 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
  14. 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?
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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)
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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)
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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