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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Ames, Iowa
    Posts
    97

    Post

    Chris,

    The Starlines we've bought are generally good producers. My grandfather has averaged 60 lbs.per hive over the years in an average location in central Iowa. His main interest was for pollination of his garden, so he wanted a gentle bee. They can overwinter well, and don't eat themselves out of house and home like some of the agressive Italians. Their best feature in my mind is their gentleness.

    Now for the down sides: They they collect a lot of propolis, which can make seperating supers a little more difficult, and clean-up of frames/supers takes a little longer. The queens I have had are not as easily spotted as some other races due to the overall smaller size. If you get a Starline I would recommend getting the queen marked. Now for the worst downfall. Not many producers carry Starlines, and if you need a queen shipped ASAP kyou might be out of luck most of the year.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,475

    Post

    Another down side is that second and subsequent generations of Starlines can become very aggressive. If you plan to requeen each year than this is not an issue, but for those who want to allow their bees to raise their own queens then the Starlines may not be the best choice. Based upon my experience, I would choose a different bee and pass on the Starlines.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    I notice more propolis on Carni's and Russians and on my friends Caucasians. I didn't notice any significant difference on the Starlines, but maybe I wasn't paying that much attention. I didn't have problems with agression in subsequent generations. They weren't as gentle, but that's not to say they were agressive. They weren't nearly as productive either. The first generation was just like a really good Italian queen. The second was like a mediocore to poor Italian queen.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    Here is a little history on Starlines as I recall from different stuff I have seen over the years.

    The first successful attempts at artificially inseminating queens was done by Mackenson in the mid 1940's. Bud Cale, who worked for Dadants, developed the Starlines in the mid 50's thru AI work.

    Starlines were essentially a 4 way hybrid....with the originaly mothers being very inbreed. Inbreeding causes a loss in sex alleles which we beekeepers see as poor brood patterns. So 4 different lines were used to outcross a final hybrid (Starline). This results in a final queen which is superior in her laying rate to her mothers and which also has a high egg hatch (good pattern) due to not having the same sex alleles.

    Inbred lines tend to have hybrid vigor, increased egg production and uniformity overtime. That is why some notice that they are more productive than a "typical italian". It is also why the resulting supercedure/swarm queen will most likely not be anywhere near as productive.

    BUT, inbreed lines also are notorious for being VERY difficult to maintain overtime.

    I have no idea what happened to the line over the years. Dadants was highly involved in raising AI production queens upto the early 80's but that business completely fell apart.



  5. #25

    Post

    While I am a electrician and work mostly in the field, I also have to work on the counter in our small shop selling supplies to customers. I have seen it all from the novice to the expert and all tempers and attitudes many scammers and copper gypsies and the key to all of these people is to take time and be polite even when you have to show the customer the door! In the real world we all have bad days, want off on time, are in a hurry to go out to a job or lunch, and sometimes just talk over the customers head or insult him or her by talking to them like they are novices when they are proficient. Most of us regret these shortcomings in ourselves and wish to do better BUT THE CUSTOMER IS LOST FOR LIFE. We are not perfect. The older I get the more I have learned to read people and I try to work with them even when they are rude. Some of these rude people can be nice when given a second chance. The folks at R. Weaver are a prime example. When I purchased 3 packages last year they were very nice at the sale giving many tips and helping with loading customers cars and all. Later on when calling to ask about differences between packages The office worker was rude and short with me saying that I might need to quit calling and get a book on bee keeping. She had probably had had several calls from novices who like me had picked up bees in the weeks before and were asking her "dumb questions" while all the bee experts were out spliting hives , raising queens and whatever else they do from daylite to dark that time of year. I called back and left a message on the machine indicating that I probably did need a book and would they please send me one of their choice and bill it to my credit card{forgeting that I had paid with a check}. I received a book a few days later with a nice note and an invoice to pay off of. I did not get my answer from the book I got it from BEE SOURCE The bees were " wash boarding" and were just fine!! I will deal with R. Weaver in the future and I hope others I have turned off will give me a second try .

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Post

    Yes they are nice during the SALE.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    McGraw,NY,USA
    Posts
    580

    Post

    I have had the pleasure of meeting Harvey York . I have been to Jessup twice to pick up packages along with my brother in law . Harvey York was a fine man that I respected ...He had a foreman James ( his last name escapes me ) but one day when we had to wait for our bees James gave us a tour of the operation including permiting us observe him as he grafted queen cells ...I`m sure the secretary was just havin a bad hair day ..lol..Oh I also called recently about geting some queens and was told that they might not be able to fill the backorded queens they already have commited to so they didnt take an order from me ....as for me I will deal with them again ...Rick

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Brunswick, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    185

    Post

    Hey,
    Had a problem with York a few years back, I ordered two packages of bees, They arrived in good shape and a friend and I took them out to the farm to hive them. Opened them up and guess what "no queens in either package" it was nearly 40 miles away and here i am with 2 3# package of bees no worth a hoot. I called them and they made me feel like it was my fault that they screwed up,I was mad ,I paid for the queens but it was my fault they weren't sent. I think they had and looks like still have a problem with their help. and it should be addressed. It can and will make a good company,like York go bad. Or sometimes the owners don't want to be bothered with the newies and leave it up to some yahoo to handle what really is their biggest access , THEIR CUSTOMER.
    I don't think they ever made it right,and in the end it was their loss. I'll buy elsewhere. Walt

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    sc
    Posts
    47

    Post

    Walt i agree, everyone likes to make excuses for poor service. "they had a bad day, or maybe they are tired"...well i am a nurse on a Cardio vascular ICU and when i have a bad day i just cant go, well i am having a bad day i am not going to make sure this person stays alive. If they are there answering phones at a bee farm, then new people will ask dumb questions....deal with it or quit or loose money as i see they have. No excuses for poor customer service....

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