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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    54

    Post

    I've been using the Russian/Carniolan cross sold by Taber's Honey Bee Genetics in CA. These bees seem to have a fairly orderly approach to comb building.

    But this season, I tried in one hive an 'All-Star' queen from B. Weaver in TX. This hive has been very productive. But, they don't build orderly comb. It could be that this queen is not typical of this line of bees, or that I haven't managed this hive well--for one thing, they've built comb a lot faster than my other hives, and maybe I just don't know how to manage such an industrious hive. So I don't really have a verdict, at this point, on these bees. But I'm concerned--I fear that they just aren't well suited to being managed in a top-bar hive.

    And, I need to get 2 new queens for other hives by fall. And I'm only willing to consider queens for which a reliable claim of mite-resistance is being made. Can any of you recommend a queen line which you've found to do well (i.e., build orderly combs) in your TBH, and which has mite resistance? I might try more queens from B. Weaver--perhaps their Russians--but I'd like to get some other suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    >But this season, I tried in one hive an 'All-Star' queen from B. Weaver in TX. This hive has been very productive. But, they don't build orderly comb. It could be that this queen is not typical of this line of bees, or that I haven't managed this hive well--for one thing, they've built comb a lot faster than my other hives, and maybe I just don't know how to manage such an industrious hive.

    I didn't have Weaver All-stars in a TBH before, but they always seemed willing to build good straight comb when I've had them. I think it's just some queens don't.

    But then again they've been breeding for mite resistance, so who knows what they mixed in.

    >So I don't really have a verdict, at this point, on these bees. But I'm concerned--I fear that they just aren't well suited to being managed in a top-bar hive.

    That could be. Some bees just won't build straight comb for anything.

    >And, I need to get 2 new queens for other hives by fall. And I'm only willing to consider queens for which a reliable claim of mite-resistance is being made. Can any of you recommend a queen line which you've found to do well (i.e., build orderly combs) in your TBH, and which has mite resistance?

    I'm not having any mite troubles with the Carniolans I've got in my TBH's and they've been drawing nice straight combs. But then the beveled "comb guide" on the bottom also seems to help. But how do I know how much is that and how much is the bees? I don't.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    54

    Post

    Are these NWC? From which queen producer?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    I really don't know. I get them from the local bee supply store (Honey Bee World) and they come on a truck from California with no label or anything on them. The typical California queen cages (small, with no candy)

    I have had very good luck with the queens.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boynton Beach, Florida, USA
    Posts
    278

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    I found about as much variation within a selection as there are between selections. The bell curve for behavior is very broad and flat for both. And they overlap.

    I've run queens from B Weaver in my tbhs without problems. I've found their average queen to be pretty good.

    From my commercial beekeeping days handling thousands of queens, I found about 1 in 200 will have problems drawing good free hanging comb. Less than 10% from a single graft will be hotter than normal and about the same number will be very gentle. About the same amount will be either very conservative or will raise brood until the snow shuts them down.

    When buying a few queens, the chances of getting either a really great one or a really poor one is pretty small, although it can happen. Last year I bought two NWC queens. And I got a one in a thousand great one and a one in a hundred lousy one.

    Regards
    Dennis

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