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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
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    244

    Default A gene possible resistant to CCD

    Just got my bees back from California. They look like they are on their way to a full recovery. The brood is very healthy and great population. I spoke with my uncle (who, as I posted before, lost about 80% of his 4000 colony operation to "ccd") as we were talking I told him of one colony I had marked as a breeder before we left for Cali. This colony was by far the best in my little outfit. It looked perfect prior to going to the almonds and when I checked the other day it was still cranking. Out of 600 colonies it was the only one that experience almost no loss over winter. My uncle then proceeded to tell me that all of his best colonies were exactly the same bees. They are Italian looking but fairly agressive and have some traits of an african cross breed (i.e. small in size and fairly hyper, with huge brood chambers) The queens, however ar dark yellowish/orange withno stripes. He described to me exactly the colony I had marked as a breeder. It appears to be a common gene line. We often swap queens when we get new ones from various places so this explains how we both have the same, but not sure why I only have one (at least that I noticed, haven't finished checking all yet) Niether he or I know where this strain came from as we don't keep close enough tabs on blood lines, but I think I will start.
    Has anyone out there experienced anything similar?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,552

    Default

    >>>The queens, however ar dark yellowish/orange withno stripes<<<
    Interesting. Probably only anecdotal, but we have quite a few of these in our operation. We call them "pumkins", lol.
    Sheri

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,499

    Default

    FWIW, during the congressional hearing this morning on CCD, one of the panelists testified that there was no evidence of collapse in AHB colonies in Arizona. She was pretty emphatic about it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,760

    Default

    >>A gene possible resistant to CCD

    Got to be careful here,


    How can you identify those bees as being reistant to CCD, when we dont even understand the nature of the disease.

    These anecdotal experiences are truely interesting,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
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    244

    Default

    John K and Sheri,

    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't you say that your bee's faired well with no signs of ccd this winter? Where are you and how many colonies do you run?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
    Posts
    244

    Default

    coyote,
    One other thing I forgot to mention, my freind in New Mexico prides himself on a naturalistic approach to beekeeping. A few years back he started breeding heavily into the african gene pool. He likes to forget his bees for a long period of time and figured africans could take care of themselves. It seems he took a keen interest in the little devils. His bees have not yet shown any signs of ccd, however he did not send them to Cali. last year (2006) and he had an ideal forage situation in the late summer and fall. Is there something to be said for survival stock.......I think probably so.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    simplyhoney adds:
    Is there something to be said for survival stock.......I think probably so.

    tecumseh replies:
    don't know for certain (i.e. not 100% absolutely positively certain) about you speculation but I would suggest that once you do set ferral and or survivors down into situation where bee hive density is extremely high as in california or florida that the same outcome would be expected (ie, you are quite likely comparing apples to oranges). plus I am quite certain (yes 100% so) that if you did attempt to set highly africanized bees down in say some orange grove in florida or some almond grove in california you would likely not be invited back... even if you could 'afford' to go back (again I would be almost 100% certain that you would not).

    finally as a casual observation (at this location) the queens that I have raised and observed here that seem to thrive the best are pretty much as you describe.

    pumkins... now ain't that a sweet name.... I kind of 'likes' it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,552

    Default

    >>>Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't you say that your bee's faired well with no signs of ccd this winter? Where are you and how many colonies do you run?<<<
    That is right, we ran 1880 out to almonds and as of middle of Feb we had lost about 3%, all due to queen weakness. We only have one truck back from CA so far, with no additional deadouts but 1.5% of those looked weak so we pinched the queen and consolidated. If this trend holds (knock on wood) this is the best overwintering we have EVER had. We are based in Wisconsin (looking out the window right now at 35F gloom I WISH it were Arizona, lol) and send our bees out to CA from November - March/April.
    *I am NOT claiming the genetics of our stock had anything to do with what at this point I am considering our good fortune, but it would be nice if this were true. *
    Sheri
    PS if your friend sends his AHB bees out to CA next year I sure hope he doesn't set them down next to ours
    edit...while we are out working on the bees it is common for workers to be pruning trees right next to the holding yard, some will ham it up for our and each others' benefit by sitting on the colonies, etc.
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 03-30-2007 at 07:22 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Monte Vista, CO 81144
    Posts
    244

    Default miss info on African bees

    I can tell by tecumseh's comment that he hasn't worked with african stock or F1's or F2's.

    >>>"if you did attempt to set highly africanized bees down in say some orange grove in florida or some almond grove in california you would likely not be invited back... even if you could 'afford' to go back (again I would be almost 100% certain that you would not).

    Actually, the friend I mentioned has taken his bees to California for the past several years. We have had comments about how impressed the farmers were that his bees were flying sooner in the mornings, and looked more vigorious. His bee's are not pure african, if you bump the hive you won't be killed. They are more aggressive when working them particularly if you are in a hurry or certain conditions aren't right. We have been invited back several years in a row without any stinging incident.

    I worry that people, even beekeepers, in Northern climates are propagating the rumors of the AHB when they have never dealt with the bees. They can be bread to make great, relativly calm bees.

    P.S. JohnK and Sheri, would it be possible to get 4 or 5 good pumpkins from you about April 18th? P.M. with your info if this is a possibility.
    Last edited by simplyhoney; 03-30-2007 at 08:22 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,552

    Default

    Simplyhoney, I PMed you.
    Sheri

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