post #16 radar.....:scratch:
sqaurepeg was talking about my local beeks association people radar, not the people here!
Tom, I have been to Michael Bush website there is a lot of info there! And thankful for the Russian bee recommendation, didn't even know their mite resistance!
Well guys I am going to give the Russian a try and my local beek that's selling me his bees say he just use MITE AWAY QUICK STRIP, should I purchase his hive? Said he uses crisco and powder sugar mix for something else too, but I forgot?
Michael Bush thankful for doing us newbeeks a favor too!
mite away quick strips or 'maqs' is just formic acid, which is naturally found in honey, and leaves no harmful residue in the wax. if i ever have to use a 'treatment' it will be maqs.
Can I have Russian and Carniolan bees in the same yard? Will this affect the Russian bees mite resistance? Thoughts?
You might want to try checking out wolfcreekbees.com. They raise mutts. Here is what they wrote in their Home page: "Our stock is derived from the wild feral stock of the Duck River Basin. We add a little Russian genetics, so that the bees will fly at 38 degrees if the sun is shining and the wind is not blowing. Some Italian genetics are added for honey production. The gentleness and winter handiness of the bees is acheived from the addition of Carniolan genetics. The result is a gentle bee that is a good honey producer."
And their philosophy states: "Our breeder stock has proven to be survivors with a natural resistance to the Tracheal and Varroa mite. They must also be top quality brood and honey producers. One of the advantages of having such a variety of large genetic diversity is that studies have shown that they produce 30% more brood comb than a straight line genetic bee.
We have never used toxic chemicals on our bees. For the last seven years we have used natural oils to strengthen the bees immune system. About that time we switched to the 4.9mm bee and other organic practices."
Anyway, I bought a package from them last Spring and, so far, they're still alive. So I'm happy with their bees.
I've had there bees for 6 years. They are hearty, disease free, and great honey producers, also very gentle. BTW, I called John 2 winters ago and told him mine were flying at 35 degrees. :applause: Also as a side note, have never seen any mites or evidence of mites. :scratch:
Hi Beeman -
I'm with Square - pretty awesome results!
You have run hives for 6 years continously and not ever seen a varroa mite with no treatments? Are you doing tests for mites or just observing for them as you work. Either way an untreated hive from purchased stock having zero varroa mites for 6 years is pretty incredible and sounds like some pretty top line breeding. We are on the other end of the spectrum looking at bees more successfully managing higher mite populations. I'm also wondering if you find dark (black) bees mixed in your population that would be common with the carni or the wild black german bee they speak of on wolfcreeks site. Ironically I was talking with my son about the "black german bees" which 15 years ago would be an indicator for wild bees here, and how they seem to have disappeared from our region completely a few years ago - along with much of the wild population of other strains. Have you purchased any of there queens?
You are right. I have been impressed with these little bees. I started out with 4.9 foundation from Brushy Mt and am switching to foundationless slowly. I use a sticky board to check for mites about 4 times a year but as of yet have not found any. It was funny when I got my first bees from WC I bought 11 packages & 9 of them absconded within 4 days, the other two did just fine. So I replaced those and everything has been fine since. Joel, yes I have seen many of those black german bees in these. 1 package I bought 3 years ago to increase my haives was all very dark brown and the queen was jet black. And yes I have bought his queens, they did just fine.
I'm not one who swears SC will cure evrything from mites to the debt crises, but I will say I believe SC along with careful breeding will go a long way to evening out the field. John's family has over 100 years of beekeeping experience and he is the type that does not think he knows it all. He is constantly studing & observing where he might improve his stock. As to losses, up until this year I had 1 hive die in 6 years due to my error, starved to death. This past year was a wash as I got sick early and was not able to work my bees at all this season. :( Next year looking better.:banana:
the duck river isn't to far from me, i've done some trout fishing there. just might have to see about a queen or two from them to mix with mine. :)
Beeman, Thanks for the filling us in more on wolfcreek! It's always cool to find these backwoods breeders who are doing things really right. Sounds like you are doing the right things and your testing methodolgy is pretty solid. I certainly will try a few of their queens this year (prices are very reasonable) and will look forward to giving them a try. I like their approach to picking a variety of stocks and using the best in their breeding operation, very similar to my thoughts on the subject. My experiances have made me a firm believer in these "dark german bees" from wild areas as when they were in this area and prevelant they were consistently a "different breed" and the most common we found in the hollow tree survivor types. We've had alot of wild bee space loss during the last 10 years due to the beeches dying out, attacks on the maples and now we are facing the scarlet ash borers and everyone is cutting them down to try and stem the tide before it gets a foot hold. I think it has contributed to the loss of those dark bees as I have never seen them in a wall or outside a tree for that matter, except as a swarm.
I was down for a season once in the early 1990's - it's tough for us nature's boy's (and girls) to be not out. Good luck in 2013 and thanks for the info!
joel, funny you should mention the old dark german bees. their genetics are mixed in with the ferals here too, and their phenotype shows up to lesser and greater extents in all of my colonies. i assume from the feral drone contribution to my yard's genetics.
my neighbor remembers when they were more prominent around here, and he remembers them being a little hot. that trait seems to have waned as they have mixed with all of the other strains over the years, but they are still really black.
check out this feral queen that tried to usurp one of my colonies last fall:
>This past year was a wash as I got sick early and was not able to work my bees at all this season.
sorry to hear that beeman. do you mean that you lost more hives this year because you could not work them?
Just wanted to say hi, I'm in LaGrange! Best of luck! You are welcome to come to the Oldham County beekeepers meetings, I believe it's the second Friday of the month, 7:30 pm. Also, check out Fleur de Bee beekeeping, she is in Louisville as well.
well thai, looks like you have received advice from one extreme to the other....
all the way from 'thou must treat' to 'thou must not treat'.
welcome to beekeeping. :)
again, i suggest proceeding with eyes and mind wide open, learning as you go, and most of all have fun!
Melanie thank you! We were looking at Oldham County beeks meeting two nights ago. You are right its every second Friday @ 7:30. Where is the meeting held exactly?