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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Austin TX USA
    Posts
    300

    Default R. Weaver Apiary Italian Queen

    My All-American Italian queen from R. Weaver Apiary in Navasota, Texas has been a good performer.

    * She is not runny even with smoke, so she is very easy to find
    * The bees are very gentle and calm during inspections
    * The bees are very industrious (up at dawn until after dusk)
    * They are putting away honey
    * They drag out bad pupae (hygienic)
    * Good brood pattern

    Note: This is an open-mated queen, so her drones could have been Italian, Buckfast, or SMaRt. I have a few more black bees than before. With the R. Weaver and B. Weaver Apriaries on adjacent property, I think AHB is unlikely due to sheer numbers of EHB hives (including their EHB swarms to the outlying property).

    Based on this queen, I would recommend R. Weaver and I would not hesitate to buy a queen from him again. Richard was also very helpful and seemed like a nice guy.
    ~May your hive thrive
    Aisha

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    actually the weavers office/stoage/warehouse space are adjacent (appear to be on about 2 acres plot) but their queen mating yards are spread about the local area and I don't think (almost with certainty) the two firms share much besides this small plot of land.

    via past and current history going back something like 30 years now I have always preferred beneford operation for a number of reasons...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Austin TX USA
    Posts
    300

    Default

    Thanks for the clarification, Tecumseh. It sounds like you are closer.

    I noted that the B. Weaver operation seems slicker and maybe more organized based on marketing and web site. I had some good email communication with them, but they didn't have a queen when I needed one asap.
    ~May your hive thrive
    Aisha

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Default weavers

    I've bought from both of them.
    I used R. Weaver's non-buckfast line and they performed well and were cheaper than B. Weaver but I switched over the Binford's SmartQueens as part of my non-pesticide based beekeeping program. They have been a bit swarmy but that may be my beekeeping level of skill. I regressed them on HSC in eight weeks with only a 20% loss (better than other regression efforts).

    The B. Weaver company tells me the varoa resistance in their non-SMR lines is actually virus resistance. They don't have any special hygenic properties but tolerate varoa by tolerating the virus' varoa carry. B. Weaver says they are going to start using their SMRs as drone hives to see if they can cross the hygenic traits into their main lines. Hope it works.

    With several thousand hives they seems to have pretty good scale for queen producing and selection.

    So here are the stats:

    My R Weaver hives have never been treated and are quite strong after 4 years on large cell. Zero winter losses. Honey production have been quite erratic. These hives have superceded at least twice in the 4 years so I would say the queen line has been heavily diluted so as to not indicate much of anything.

    My B weaver SMR hives have never been treated and are on small cell. Honey production is mixed but these hives are either 1 or 2 years old so they are not at full production capacity (I run double deeps for the brood nest). Several hives have swarmed or superceded up to twice in a season, but several have done quite well.

    I am doing a fall requeen of 8 hives with Binfords All Stars which they say are their best honey producers. I know 8 is not a very big sample but it's a start.

    BTW there is a wild hive about 20 miles from me that has been in a hollow tree for 4 years and is going strong. It is on the property of a water plant and they won't use any pesticides on their property. They just let the hive live and let live. Another few years and it might be a good source of genetic material.
    Last edited by wfarler; 10-07-2007 at 12:59 PM.
    "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes"
    Henry David Thoreau, Walden

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