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Thread: Cordovans

  1. #1
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    Aug 2003
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    Other than the color, are there any differences or advantages to cordovans? While I'm on the subject, what are the benefits to using Carnolians over Italians? I see most of the people on the forum seem to use Carnolians, but most of my books say to stick to I-talians. Caucasians or Russians? Sorry to have such a general post, but I guess I have to learn sometime.

    [This message has been edited by Branman (edited August 25, 2003).]

  2. #2
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    Aug 2002
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    >Other than the color, are there any differences or advantages to cordovans?

    The consensus of people rasing them seems to be that although Cordovans are just a color variation of Italians, they do seem to be a particular strain of Italian that have some specific characteristics. Noteably that they very gentle but still nicely productive.

    >While I'm on the subject, what are the benefits to using Carnolians over Italians?

    I've raised all kinds of bees except Caucasians (and I've had friends who had them) I think they are all very good bees. The tendencies of one over the other are not so notable. The natural variation of qualities in any of the races overlaps any differences in the races. In other words, Carniolans and Caucasians are noted for being more gentle than Italians. This is a true generalization, but like any generalization it isn't always true. A hot Carniolan hive is hotter than a gentle Italian hive.

    Some say the darker bees (Caucasian and Carniolans) are more swarmy. But a swarmy Italian hive is less swarmy than a non-swarmy Carniolan hive.

    I think the Carniolan, Russian and Caucasians are more prone to crowding the brood nest and then swarming and so you need to pay attention to this, but then the Italians are liable to do the same thing, only not as often.

    >I see most of the people on the forum seem to use Carnolians, but most of my books say to stick to I-talians. Caucasians or Russians?

    You won't go wrong with any of them. The interest in Russians is that they have been surviving the mites for longer and should have some genetic resistance. Again, a good queen in one race will out perform a mediocre queen in any other race. Differences due to individual queens is greater than differences due to race.


  3. #3
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    So basically find a supplier with high quality queens with characteristics suited to you and run with it.

  4. #4
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    Some people say that the Italians do better in hotter climates and the darker bees do better in the cooler climates. I haven't noticed much difference, but I only started with some Carniolans this year.

  5. #5
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    Also Michael correct me if I'm wrong,But I think the Cordovans was breed up for their resistance toward the T-mites.
    I seem to have read that from Glenn's in Ca.>>>>MARK

  6. #6
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    >Also Michael correct me if I'm wrong,But I think the Cordovans was breed up for their resistance toward the T-mites.

    That could be. I don't know. I hadn't heard of Cordovans until I got on this forum.

    Most bees now have had some selection for T-Mites either on purpose or by accident. But many breeders have been breeding for resistance to Tracheal mites now for many years.

    It's the same with AFB resistance. There has been some work toward it, but the AFB that wiped out so many bees back 50 or 60 years ago culled the ones without resistance pretty well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
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    Mason, MI, USA
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    This is the first year that I have had a hive of Cordovans.
    In my experence I have found them to be very gentle and easy to work very much like my Italians. They seem to build up faster than any other bee I have had.
    Every neighbor coments about the beautiful golden bees in their gardens this year.
    The only problem I have had with them is that they tend to try to rob all weaker hives when there is no nector coming in.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  8. #8
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    Jan 2003
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    Clinton: I've noticed that also, that is the only thing I have a problem with.
    Almost all of my bees is cordovans,
    I'm hoping by next season that all of my bees will be cordovans.
    I have bees here, an also in Ms.the one's
    here is all cordovans,>>>>MARK

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
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    The primary reason that cordovan color variation shows up so often is that is has historically been used as a marker by breeders. Not so much that a breeder wanted a cordovan but that he/she wanted to stabilize the color into his/her line particularly for observing outcome of natural matings.

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