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  1. #1
    Dzug Guest

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    I had two hive that didn't make it through the winter. I was planning on taking this summer off because I lacked the funds for more bees (my wife and I are both students, but not for long!). I was suprised with a little birthday money specifically for bees, but it's a little late to be ordering. I appears that everyone likes having the bees around, including our landlord.

    Is anyone aware of any package bees for sale? I've called a few places and it seems hopeless. I would be willing to drive a reasonable distance if necessary.

    Thank you!

    Doug

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    I am pretty sure buckeye has some bees, but you'd want to requeen the packages with a queen more suitable to your locale because I think only cordavans are avialable now and they are more suitable for (sub)tropical climates.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    South Mississippi
    Posts
    128

    Post

    I believe that a Cordovan bee can survive anywhere any Italian bee can. They are just Italians that have had a particular gene recessed.

    The cordovan color variation does not constitute a different race and is not known to be inherently linked with any other physical characteristic or behavior. In fact, any stock can be transformed to cordovan color in two generations of a cross and backcross to cordovan drones.

    Buckeye Bee has packages they have Italians and Carnolians and are sold out of Cordovans.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    BetterBee had packages available for May 22 pickup about (2) weeks ago. They had several hundred so they may still have some.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    cochran,
    Yes Cordovans are just a subspecies of Italians, but actually Cordovans are noted to the inability to build up in the spring when in the north. They do best in (sub)tropical climates.
    For what its worth, Italians are noted for the (Sub)tropical qualities as well, they build up too fast in the spring for up north and eat away at stores far too early in general. The Italian being more of a southern bee has the genetic behavior of a bees that has evolved with 100s LBS of honey in stores ready to buildup to massive number for earlier nectar flows, like citrus blossoms and other early blooms that occur as early in the season as november and december.

    Dark Bees, like the NWC (although a newer breed in the scheme of evolution), is better suited for the north, where the bees build up well in the spring but do so frugally.

  6. #6
    Dzug Guest

    Post

    Wow, you guys are great! Now for another question...

    Supposing I didn't get a race that suitable for my area, could I simply replace the queen with a different variety immediately upon arrival?

    I have read about Bweaver's bees that don't need any chemical treatments and thought this might be a good choice.

    Thank you all!

    Doug

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    The race of bee mostly effects how the hive performs at spring buildup.

    Southern bees have more tropical like behaviors. They build up sooner to a population that expects honey flows almost all year round. Nothern bees are a bit more frugal in the winter and spring buildup. If you were going to requeen for race, the latest I would do so is late summer so the bee population can be moslty replaced by the new race of bees before the hives sets down to winter.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,467

    Post

    If you monitor the mites you can try no treatments. The only way I've seen this succeed is on small cell, but you can try it.

    I bought Buckfasts from Weaver (and then B. Weaver) for many years (decades actually). They were wonderful bees. Two summers ago they went mean (more like vicious) on me and I'm hesitant to try them again.

    I can't say if they will do that well against the mites. Personally I'd take what you can get and requeen in the fall or next spring, but not right away. The package will be used to the queen it was shipped with. It would be less stressful for the bees, to get her laying and the hive established before you requeen.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    South Mississippi
    Posts
    128

    Post

    Michael

    On a side note, How are/did your Cordovan bees do that you got from McCary?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    43,467

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    They were all in nucs and I think maybe one made it through the winter.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    43,467

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    I guess I should point out, I don't necessarily think it's the bees that were the problem. I also had carni's and ferals that were in nucs that didn't make it. I just haven't figured out how to winter nucs when we get a -20 F cold snap for several weeks.

    Hopefully I will do better at it next year.

  12. #12
    Dzug Guest

    Cool

    That makes sense. I was going to use B.Weaver's buckfast bees, funny you should mention them. Viscious bees would surely get me evicted, or at least the bees! I was excited because they claim that they haven't used chemical treatments on their bee for two years and that their bees don't need them. I find that kind of news exciting!

    Flowers are starting to bloom everywhere around here. I'm hoping to get my bees as soon as possible from Buckeye Bees.

    Doug

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    south river nj usa
    Posts
    59

    Thumbs down

    moutain camp you say better bees have bees? welll i order bees through them and they were suppost to be hear last month so i called and they told me they didnot get any bees yet because of weather ? so i guess my ? is this how did you get bees when there not giveing me mine? they took my money but dont want to dilever my bees?i admit im new to the bee hobbie but i not new to being screwed around and i think thats what better bee is doing. how can you get yours and not me?well im staying clear of betterbee and i advise evryone else to also

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    south river nj usa
    Posts
    59

    Thumbs down

    moutain camp you say better bees have bees? welll i order bees through them and they were suppost to be hear last month so i called and they told me they didnot get any bees yet because of weather ? so i guess my ? is this how did you get bees when there not giveing me mine? they took my money but dont want to dilever my bees?i admit im new to the bee hobbie but i not new to being screwed around and i think thats what better bee is doing. how can you get yours and not me?well im staying clear of betterbee and i advise evryone else to also

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Clifton Park, NY, USA
    Posts
    133

    Post

    I got my bees from betterbee on saturday may 1. This was the first shipment of italians from wilbanks. It was delayed 1 week due to weather. The bees were due on april 24, they also had a shipment of carnies on April 17. If you ordered bees and expected them a month ago you didn't order from betterbee because I have never seen them have bees before the second or third week in april.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    south river nj usa
    Posts
    59

    Post

    stay away from betterbee

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    971

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    I have delt with betterbee for years and have never had a problem. I have never seen bees for pick up there usually before 3rd week of april. It is hardly there fault if the weather is poor at wilbanks. Bees and beekeeping doesn't go by dates and times like we all wish, we must all make allowances for poor weather, less help, losses,we are dealing with agriculture here.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    1,895

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    "moutain camp you say better bees have bees?"

    I said that they still had packages for the May 22 pick-up, but at that time I had called them (2) weeks before.

    "welll i order bees through them and they were suppost to be hear last month so i called and they told me they didnot get any bees yet because of weather ?"

    The weather in Ga where they pick the bees up has caused delays, this happen last year to a number of package suppliers. Bees and beekeeping is VERY weather dependent.

    "so i guess my ? is this how did you get bees when there not giveing me mine? they took my money but dont want to dilever my bees?i admit im new to the bee hobbie but i not new to being screwed around and i think thats what better bee is doing. how can you get yours and not me?"

    If you re-read the post, all I said was that they had bees for May 22 pick up. I have not picked up any bees yet this year from anyone.
    I have (6) nucs on order from BetterBee that were schedule to be picked up the beginning of next week, but with the cold and wet spring that we have had in Upstate NY, I expected that they would be delayed.
    The spring blooms around here are running (2) weeks behind where they were (2) years ago.

    "well im staying clear of betterbee and i advise evryone else to also"

    That will mean less competition to get bees there, thank you. If you no longer what your bees from them, what is the new pick up date, I'll take them.

    But, I am afraid that you may want to find another hobby, because at some point every bee supplier will have weather problems and ship your bees late.

    These are the facts of life with beekeeping.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,081

    Post

    I have not ordered bees from betterbee, but have ordered from them numerous times. I liked thier labels, but have never had an order go smoothly. About the only thing I order from them nowadays, is support pins. They are at a good price. Anything beyond that, I go elsewhere. 9 out of 10 orders are screw-up in some way. Last year I mailed back my catalog and a letter stating my problems. Not to get anything, but I believe the owner should know what he's missing. My equipment bill for Dadant and Mannlake was over 30,000 dollars, so they missed alot.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    1,895

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    I picked up my (6) nucs from BetterBee yesterday. They were schedule to be ready anytime after May 10. I am very happy with a May 11 pick up for nucs made in Upstate New York this year. Fully expected that they would be delayed with the cold and wet spring.
    I inspected the nuc boxes and frames completely before installing for SHB, none found.
    Now, if the (6) packages scheduled for pick up this Saturday from another source, go as well, this season will be off to a better than expected start.

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