ok guys , i got in touch with both weavers today and they said they dont have much trouble from the AHB but when they get a hot hive they requeen it asp. are there any other suppliers that says they have good mite resistant italians . i would love to get from the weaver but i have kids riding 4-wheelers and playing close by (about 100yards) and farm animals , and dont want to be the one that brings home them mean-nuns.
>dont want to be the one that brings home them mean-nuns.
Me neither, I had enough of them in grade school!
I am no expert, but I believe that if you had AHB genetics in your bees that it will show from day 1 in their behavior.... I don't think you have this normal acting hive that just looks and acts perfect, and then on a full moon night something "clicks" and sends them into an altered state of AHBism. Then they go and kill the cows/dogs/kids.
RATHER.. I think any mean distemperment would be evident early on in establishing a new hive OR if AHB set up shop in an established hive.... If you get mean bees then do something about ASAP... requeen, or destroy them and get a new package..
Preventing the spread of AHB's is impossible, and is not all beekeepers responsibility.... ie: to STOP beekeeping will not prevent them from spreading.
I think as a beekeeper MY responsibility is to maintain gentle bees, and replace them whenever they show overly aggressive behavior. I got kids myself... I work all around my bees myself.... I got neighbors also...etc etc. I cannot stop AHB's, but I CAN pay ATTENTION to what bees I maintain to ensure they are not becoming a threat to anyone....
Oklahoma is going through the AHB invasion now. After finding one AHB hive two months ago, we now have nine counties with confirmed AHB population. While some of these counties are adjacent to each other all of them are not. So we likely have more than nine counties with them.
The state is warning us against catching swarms. The swarms and colonies when they are small are just as gentle as the EHB. The state is saying they go postal when the colonies get larger.
I have purchased Buckfast and Italians from one of the Weavers and found them the most defensive bees that I have had. The Buckfast are good honey producers and take the mites well but they are the more defensive of the two.
I am not saying the WeaverÂ’s bees have been hybridized. They may be breeding for mite resistance first and gentleness second. In Oklahoma you can get bees DNA tested for $50 and I have a friend with Buckfast. I just might invest $50.
Beekeeping should be enjoyable and working with defensive bees is not enjoyable.
My gentle carniolans went mean pretty suddenly. They had a queen that was fading out, sperm-wise. Half the brood, laid in worker comb, were drones. At this time they would swarm me on an inspection and follow me 100 yards. So, bees can turn mean suddenly.
Seems like when my Buckfasts swarmed the change was fairly sudden. They had been quite manageable and suddenly were hunting me down hundreds of yards away and pouring out the hive in droves when I approached (and had not opened the hive yet).
But, of course, I broke them up and requeened them. Breaking them up is essential to even find the queen, and calms them down a lot right away. I broke them into four frame and five frame nucs so I could find the queen and then put a queen in each nuc. But I would say it can surprise you how quickly they turn viscious and how quickly you can calm them down by splitting them up and requeening.
the weavers said they drone saturate the area so the get a 98% success rate on there queen breeding , but they said they cant promise anything , hell im going to take the chance on 1 package of the all-star from b. weaver and maybe the all-american from r. weaver (they the same i believe), ill just put them farther back away from everything and if they are bad as they progress, ill kill them so i get all the drones to.If they manageable, ill keep them if they alittle hot .
Are there any other suppliers that sell italians that say they are mite resistant.
There are lots of breeders that claim mite resistant Italians - many come from "AHB safe" regions. Personally, I would not risk introducing AHB into my area. It may be true that someday AHB will be throughout North America, but why give the spread any help.
Stahlman Apiaries in Ohio claims the following:
"These queens have been selected over the last four years from stock that has not been treated with chemicals of any kind nor special handling. They are survivors in the strictest since of the word. "
I have used his bees and they are VERY gentle and have good mite resistance.
Please see his website: http://www.gobeekeeping.com/prod04.htm
>They may be breeding for mite resistance first and gentleness second.
That is what they told me when I asked them. As of last spring they hadn't started breeding for gentle yet, just mite resistance.
I just got my ABJ yesterday and it had a sales booklet from the Weaver's operation in the plastic wrap with the magazine. There are some interesting statements in there -- once you get past the obscenely overpriced honey products.
They rate their Buckfast and BeeSMaRt queen lines on several different criteria: varroa resistance, aggressiveness, honey production, etc. I don't know how they did the exact rating, but while varroa resistance was high in both lines, you basically have to choose between high honey production and more aggressiveness (Buckfast) and lower honey production and less aggressiveness (BeeSMaRt).
However, I would think the aggressiveness of true AHB would be totally off the scale when compared to these two lines. Because they have such a good reputation to protect and because their location puts them in such a precarious situation, I can't help but think that they go through great pains to keep the true AHB out of their breeding stock.
On a different note, they also make the claim that that they have not treated any of their hives for varroa in the last 3 years (5 years for some). Most programs that didn't treat hoping to breed survivors ended up with a 100% mortality rate. Maybe the Weavers were able to start off with a large enough and high enough quality population to be successful at it.
I would be curious to know the exact mechanism that allows their bees to survive. It has to be more than just hygenic behavior.
Astrobee thanks for the web site im going to call him tonight, i might get them and not take a chance at getting them mean-nuns.
well i talked to him he said all his queens were already gone for next year and wouldnt have any ready until june, he also couldnt have the queens ready before the georgia flow , (i kind of thought that) seems like real good people , told me to call him if i didnt like some of the queens i buy and i could use his queens to replace this fall. Does anyone else know of any other suppliers that has italians that do well with mite resistant's.
well i recieved a e-mail from him, he said all his queens were already gone for next year and wouldnt have any ready until late june, he also couldnt have the queens ready before the georgia flow,(i kind of thought that) seems like real good people, told me to call him if i didnt like some of the queens i buy and i could use his queens to replace this fall. Does anyone else know of any other suppliers that has italians that do well with mite resistant's.
I agree with AstroBee, Try Stahlman at gobeekeeping. I have also used his queens. He is a very good person to deal with. JJ
> the weavers said they drone saturate the area > so the get a 98% success rate on there queen > breeding , but they said they cant promise
When/where was this said, and just to be clear,
did they say "they can't promise anything"
in regard to shipping you what we would call
I seem to remember seeing in another post that Wilbanks Apiaries was highly recommended -in fact they are right in your home state.
Wilbanks Apiaries , Inc., Box 12, Claxton, GA 30417, Phone: (912) 739-4820
I have not used their queens, so I cannot give you a personal recommendation.
> When/where was this said, and just to be clear,
did they say "they can't promise anything"
in regard to shipping you what we would call
I emailed R.weaver and asked if they could guarrantee me that i would not get any bees with the AHB traits and what they said was that they saturate the area with there drone so they would not get the AHB breeding but they try to screen there queens before selling , but they cant promise that you might not get the traits of AHB, they achieve 98% breeding to there drones.Ill post the email in the morning and yall can read it , cant tonight im at work and cant get to my private email.
Ive tried both Weaver and Wilbanks. My experiences with both have been pretty good.Ive only bought buckfast from Weaver and they were the better honey producers.I did have one Buckfast hive that went bad and like others have said went postal.This was out of about 25.Lucky I had it placed away from the other hives so I only went near it a few times and everytime it attacked.It never made it through the winter I never treated it or fed it.So chances are you'll get a good queen and if not you'll know right away.Wilbanks queens are good and their packages are a good deal.
this is the e-mail i got back, yall read it and see what you think, i asked about the chance of get a AHB breed queen and this is what they said.
Thanks for contacting R Weaver. You did not give me your address,
so it is difficult to make a breed recommendation without knowing where you
Rule of thumb is - the Buckfast breed is best for the colder climates of the
north and north eastern part of the US and the Weaver All-American does
best everywhere else. As for the AHB - we operate our queen mating based
on drone saturation so we get about 98% pure mating with our own drones that
we raise to mate with our queens - nothing is guaranteed but we do our best.
The R Weaver Apiaries, Inc.
16495 C.R. 319
Navasota, TX 77868
PH: 936/825-2333 www.rweaver.com
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, October 25, 2004 4:07 AM
Subject: Your Bees