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Thread: Micro-breeders

  1. #21
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    Dan -
    I followed the link to your Web Page and you have some very good info for beginners. It looks like your class is first-rate. It would have prevented some of my mistakes but I guess on the bright side I have learned from my beekeeping flubs.

    I am hoping to raise a few queens this year for my own use. I guess I would be smaller than a micro-breeder, more like a nano-breeder or pico-breeder. It seems that local queens would make sense and our Ohio State Beekeepers Association has started up the Ohio Queen Rearing Project. They are holding classes and have a nice Handbook
    http://www.ohiostatebeekeepers.org/O.../overview.html

    Hopefully I can learn enough to contribute in some way.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyW View Post
    Dan -
    I followed the link to your Web Page and you have some very good info for beginners. It looks like your class is first-rate. It would have prevented some of my mistakes but I guess on the bright side I have learned from my beekeeping flubs.

    I am hoping to raise a few queens this year for my own use. I guess I would be smaller than a micro-breeder, more like a nano-breeder or pico-breeder. It seems that local queens would make sense and our Ohio State Beekeepers Association has started up the Ohio Queen Rearing Project. They are holding classes and have a nice Handbook
    http://www.ohiostatebeekeepers.org/O.../overview.html

    Hopefully I can learn enough to contribute in some way.
    Tony,
    I think you will find queen rearing rewarding. I think every beekeeper should try it.

    Is anyone here familiar with the Ohio queen rearing efforts? I am interested in learning about as much as i can about the different organizations. But I have some questions concerning the website that tony has listed.

    It seems that two distinct areas of effort is being pursued. One is the efforts to produce a Ohio strain that is better than what they have now. And the other is two educate as many beekeepers possible to raise queens themselves.

    Unto themselves, both are worthy efforts. But combined, I'm not so sure.

    The website encourages Ohio beekeepers to get involved into queen rearing, and sell queens.

    I kind of question the ability to train 500 or 1000 individual beekeepers in queen rearing and somehow tie this into developing a particular line of bees. To maintain a true line of bees is a overwhelming task unto itself. And it would be better with a structured format such as the Russian bee breeders association with a core of breeders.

    But the Ohio program has I think nine region coordinators, and they are training hundreds of beekeepers to take part.

    Can someone explain this to me. What the goals are, what they are trying to achieve, and what the mechanics are behind their efforts.

    Thank you.

  3. #23
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    Maybe I don't belong in this discussion because of my location,buuuttt... I thought one of the main reasons queens were raised in the south was to replace winter losses. The northen beeks were in a hurry to get bees and queens in thier empty boxes and get them back into production, plus the fact of not having to store and protect all that comb. I can see the arugument for wanting queens that are breed for cold weather, and late summer/fall replacement has it advantages. I'm wondering how many of the larger operations can wait till late spring to "rehive". Are yall really seeing a lot of difference between "southern" bred queens, and "northern" bred queens? I'm not disagreeing with anyone just asking.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Hodges View Post
    Are yall really seeing a lot of difference between "southern" bred queens, and "northern" bred queens?
    Hello Dale,
    A good question. Seems like the concept of regional selection or regional specificity
    is hitting home with beekeepers now. The term "Micro-Breeder"
    reflects this new awareness.

    If a Micro-Breeder was located in a Northern clime, he/she would be selecting
    in the local population and thus those queens and colonies would potentially
    be more suitable to that region than queens selected in a clime unlike the local one.

    The bottom line with any bee breeding is the quality of the
    queens --from the breeding stock on through to mating.
    Local queens do not have to travel as far.
    Reduced stress on queens ensures greater quality.

    Thus, at least from my read, the "North vs South" in queens and
    with "Micro-breeding" is more of a local vs remote issue.


    Adam Finkelstein
    adamf7@gmail.com

  5. #25
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    I think you raise a great question. I used to order southern queens because they were ready months ahead of my local ability to raise queens, largely due to cold weather.

    In the past, I bought southern queens, mated and ready to go, in order to replace flagging queens or to make splits from strong hives. And getting a hive/split up and running FAST was my goal. In that respect, no, I could not wait for the right weather to raise my local queens, make split, and expect a good honey crop.

    My intent now, as a pico-producer, is to raise summer queens, make fall splits/requeening, and get a hive settled for winter. While I don't have a brand-spanking new southern queen, I have one that is six months old, tested, broke-in, accepted and ready to go when the weather finally moderates.

    Aside from other issues, that's what I like about raising local queens. I will never beat the weather and I can't get the jump like my southern colleagues.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyW View Post
    Dan -
    I followed the link to your Web Page and you have some very good info for beginners. It looks like your class is first-rate. It would have prevented some of my mistakes but I guess on the bright side I have learned from my beekeeping flubs.
    Thank you TonyW. I’ve always thought that beekeeping half day classes often produced a lot of frustration and very few new beekeepers. I try to reduce the amount of learning from beekeeping flubs….which might explain my signature line.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Hodges View Post
    I thought one of the main reasons queens were raised in the south was to replace winter losses.
    At the risk of getting another lecture from the panther guy, I think the fact that many queen ‘producers’ are in the south is most closely tied to package bee production. The earlier that packages can be made available, the better their chances to survive and thrive. So, since earlier packages can be produced in the south it only makes sense for them to also produce early queens to go into those packages. And, since they’re already set up to produce queens they might as well supply them throughout the summer.

    There aren’t many reasons, in my opinion, that later season, geographically successful queens shouldn’t be produced locally. Not an absolute statement….my opinion only. I believe that the Ohio Queen Producers are just the beginning.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #27
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    bjorn,

    i can't answer your questions directly, as i know nothing about the ohio queen breeders program (but i do know a beekeeper who grew up in ohio, and talks about meetings where people brought a few queens to meetings and swapped them around...so there may be a history that has influenced the current program).

    although bees are not apples, one can look at the activities of john chapman (johnny appleseed), as they are documented in "botany of desire" by michael pollan and see some possible benefits. for different reasons, bees and apples don't necessarily resemble their parents (at least open mated bees...i can't speak for ai). a seed from an apple will not produce a tree that produces similar apples (which is why grafting is the cornerstone to the apple industry), and a daughter queen who's mother mates with 15 or so different drones will not necessarily produce similar workers (or queens) as her mother did.

    johnny appleseed was not planting trees for eating apples..his trees were for cider. grafting was a known technique, and there were several "old world" apple varieties that would have been good candidates for grafting if eating apples were desired. for cider, any old fruit (even if ugly and not too sweet) will do, so johnny didn't spread grafts around...he used seeds from behind the cider mill....of which each seed had an infinitesimally small chance of bearing "yummy fruit" for eating.

    but the genetic dice were rolled....and of the thousands of cider orchards started from his seeds, a few rare instances of a great apple grew and was noticed. ...the grafts from these trees are the "new world apples" that we know and love, and we would never have them if we persisted in grafting the old lines, and only produced from "the best stock".

    i see a parallel with bees and bee breeding. every location and management/selection style applies it's own pressures, and provides it's own limited isolation. as an extreme example, i'd suggest that if one were using a migratory operation as a basis, you would be selecting for bees that build up and can take advantage of a constant flow broken up with short moving trips....whereas a stationary operation might be selecting for bees that can take advantage of one or two large flows without going through all their stores in a dearth. these are related (quick/anticipated buildup), and contrasting (large population all season) needs. some people inspect weekly, some go into hives 4-5 times a year, some areas get cold quickly, some warm up early.....to keep the genepool diverse and alive...and more importantly, to "discover" the bees we need as those needs change, it's imperative that we have large numbers of small breeders who are not trying to "protect their line of bees".

    i agree that pure lines are going to be impossible for small beekeepers to maintain..but for myself, i'd rather have a system that can be somewhat self contained (as in not buying queens) that might be a little less productive than produce a little more and be relying on crosses of pure lines that come from a breeder.

    with a good inspection program coupled with organized breeding, i think one can "roll the dice" (with small scale "amature" breeding) _and_ select the best to incorporate into the more organized breeding program. this seems like a win/win to me...mostly because it involves more beekeepers in queen breeding....and allows the success of the amature to be recognized and incorporated into the rest of the program.

    deknow

  8. #28
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    I was at at meeting the Ohio State Beekeepers Had at Troy ohio this fall.The meeting was about selecting breeder queens.It was a very good and informative meeting.I am just getting into the idea of raising queens mostly for my own use.What i got out of the meeting is they are trying to make beekeepers self suffciant.At the same time they want to educate beeks on the selction of stock to make high quality queens not just produce alot of queens.I have read lately that several other states are doing the same thing.I see alot of good comeing from such meetings.If nothing else you will learn what to ask when buying queens from anyone big or small.

    I do plan on going to Tim Tarheit's queen classes this season.This another good thing comeing from this typ of meeting.Where and who to contact to get some help.

    I to see the micro breeder makeing an impact in the bee world and maybe sooner than we may all think.Sure there will be plenty of bumps in the road but alot of good can come from such programs.
    Mitch KD8IMF

  9. #29
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    Question Do we need a BUZZ word?

    Micro-breeder?
    We have always accepted that queen rearing was another step in becoming a good beekeeper.
    Here is another BUZZ word: sustainability.
    It seems to me that every beekeeper at some point should at least know how to rear queens and have experience with all of the timing and steps involved. Even if one would rather purchace queens from another source, I feel that it is very important to have the skills and be ready to jump into action if there was a shortage or worse.....
    For now, I will continue to purchace queens. But every other year I will continue to set up and run a few batches just to keep tuned up.

    Over wintering nucs up north is nothing new.
    Well, it's new to me but not many others.
    And, overwintered nucs DO NOT have to be russian or carniolean.
    I am taking 17 nucs to California that are Italian, and Cordovan.
    YES, they are jammed with bees and have taken up quite a bit of their stores; PERFECT!!
    Follow this thread through all 3 pages for some really cool Northern nuc operations:

    http://orsba.proboards27.com/index.c...ead=1162322072
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  10. #30
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    If it were up to me, I would never like to see anyone order queens from "big-time" producers. This just waters down one's stock in general. I believe in finding a good stock and sticking with it. I also believe that natural requeening is a good trait to have in bees. They will know when a new queen is necessary. I do not think requeening every year is a good idea either. One of my best queens will be going into her third year double cropping and is still outlaying any of my other much younger queens. I have bred off this "mother queen" and all the queens that have resulted are far superior to ordered queens.

  11. #31
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    the 'consumers' preference for a very early queen or packages should not be discounted by anyone and there are plenty of practical reason for this as several people have suggested.... replacing queens that have failed in the early spring and boosting (typically done with packages with no queens) lagging hives being concerns that just will not wait.

    beemandan writes:
    I think the fact that many queen ‘producers’ are in the south is most closely tied to package bee production. The earlier that packages can be made available, the better their chances to survive and thrive. So, since earlier packages can be produced in the south it only makes sense for them to also produce early queens to go into those packages. And, since they’re already set up to produce queens they might as well supply them throughout the summer.

    tecumseh replies:
    most southern queen/package producers* were designed around the idea of taking off surplus bees and weight before the bees are moved back north. when most of these operations were first put together and everything was about collecting a honey crop (in tems of profit) the really huge potential honey crops were always northward. so the idea was to skim off the excess bees (into packages) and honey (into split)... generate a bit of cash flow and then move north.

    *quite typically most if not all southern queen producers also have a northern residence during the summer and there is about a 50/50 likelyhood those 'southern queen producer' family originated from either minnesota or north dakota.

    the sentence that really caught my eye is the last in the paragraph.... I would suggest to you that one of the evolving niche in the queen rearing market is the trend towards some big time 'southern' queen producers not producing queen much beyond very early summer. I do see this niche evolving here in that the small hive beetle is making it increasingly difficult to produce queens without significant 'personal attention' as we drift into the summer months. for the large operation this path may becomes more necessary since by late spring/early fall most of the labor force has move back north with the bees so 'personal attention' becomes almost impossible.

    hopefully my 'lecture' was not too long winded.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    the 'consumers' preference for a very early queen or packages should not be discounted by anyone and there are plenty of practical reason for this as several people have suggested.... replacing queens that have failed in the early spring and boosting (typically done with packages with no queens) lagging hives being concerns that just will not wait.
    Well we'll just have to change that perception, won't we. There's nothing better than requeening a weak hive with an overwintered nuc, bustin' out of their box. That's how you get northern raised queens early.
    Mike

  13. #33
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    Tecumseh:

    One of the advantages of being around a while is you can remember what it was like 20 years ago. If you look back at the Roman Empire you can see the parrallels with the "American Empire" today. Progress does not erase the lessons of history nor does it make them irrelevant, it only encourages people to ignore them.

    In my lifetime I have seen the German Shephard dog go from a medium sized, vigerous, long lived animal to one where you could look at a new thoroughbred pup and make a reasonable guess as to how long, (one doesn't consider the question of "if?") it would have to be put to sleep because it couldn't use it's hind legs. That was the result of inbreeding for traits the breeders considered important without regard for the need for genetic diversity. I could name fifty breeds of animals with differant genetic problems resulting from "pure" breeding. I don't believe that mankind is competent to determine what traits are desireable in our own species, let alone in another species or to ballance the good with the bad in a way that benifits the species in question. Put a pair of comercially produced domestic turkeys together and they won't be able to reproduce because the breast muscles of the Tom are so huge he can't reach the female to copulate. That species will only survive for one generation without human intervention by AI.

    My suggestion was that a small breeder should introduce new genes into his local gene pool from time to time to avoid this sort of thing. It doesn't matter if the new genes come from open bred queens, or AI queens, or feral swarm queens, as long as there is a reasonable amount of variation from the population in the breeder's imediate area. Then if the beekeeper allows nature to have some control over the surviving population he/she should be able to maintain a viable but slightly variable genetic line indefinately. I'm not saying we should go back to the old German Black Bees because they have been able to survive without us, but just that we don't want to turn our bees into critters that have to have a dozen differant chemicals and be pampered (what Sue Colby calls welfare bees) in order to make it from one year to the next. Genetic diversity and natural selection are the key ingredients of a strong population that is able to bounce back from environmental stress. AI is a means of excercising more control over some of the desirable traits, but if one depends exclusively on it for production stock they will find that something is always lost in the process of tight selection, and often that something which is lost is critical to the survival of the population. Most good AI breeders warn their customers that their AI queens are for queen breeding only and not to try to use them for production. Most good production queen breeders only use AI queens to introduce a specific trait into their line and make no effort to use a large enough percentage of AI queens that the controled genetics can overwhelm the traits in their original production line.

    AI is a good tool, but don't depend on a screwdriver to drive a nail. Don't depend on AI to provide diversity, it isn't designed for that job.
    Last edited by sierrabees; 01-23-2008 at 10:54 PM. Reason: spelling
    doug

  14. #34
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    Smile Micro-breeders

    I was raised in the Chico area of California.
    Here are some reasons why the queen breeders are historically in that area.
    1.0 Easier to move the bees into the almonds for building bees. Some of those moves are onley 20-30 miles.
    1.1 I flew into the Chico airport to visit relatives and when we starting to approach the airfield I had the great delight to see thousands of bee HIVES staged on the volcanic soil base for almonds. AT MY MOM AND DAD'S SMALL CATTLE RANCH I WOULD WATCH MANY TRUCK LOADS OF BEES GOING INTO ALMOND POLLINATION, SOME OF THOSE POLLINATORS MADE 2-3 ROUND TRIPS PER MORNING !
    2.0 The flowering sequence kind of goes like this.
    WILLOWS, ALMONDS, PRUNES, PEACHES, PEARS, PLUMS, MUSTARD AND OTHER WILDFLOWERS, MANZANITA --WE HAVE 30 SPECIES IN CALIFORNIA AND A 30" PLUS RAINY SEASON.
    3.0 IF YOU GO UP INTO THE REDDING AND RED BLUFF AREA YOU HAVE EVEN MORE RAIN.
    4.0 THE ORCHARDIST MAY ALSO SEED THE ORCHARD WITH WINTER COVER CROPS WHICH IS REAL NICE FOR BUILDING BEES.
    5.0 THE CANADIANS COULD MAKE THE ANNUAL TRIP FOR PACKAGES.
    6.0 THE ABUNDANCE OF OAK TREES IS USED TO SHADE THE HIVE LATER IN THE QUEEN SEASON.
    7.0 THE AREA IS BLESSED WITH A LOT OF NATURA RESOURCES.
    7.1 JUST THINK ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF WILLOWS ON BOTH BANKS OF THE SACRAMENTO RIVER AND ALL OF THE STREAMS THAT CONVERGED WITH IT TO CARRY WATER TO S.F.
    8.0 you have 4 + of the largest queen and package bee producers in the USA within 30 to 45 miles of each other. (That must get exciteing once in a while!) (Spell check is not working.)

    Regards,
    Ernie
    Lucas Apiaries

  15. #35
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    michael palmer writes:
    Well we'll just have to change that perception, won't we.

    tecumseh writes:
    this is call eduation but don't expect consumer preference to be an easy thing to alter. so expect this 'reeducation' to take a while.

    sierrabee writes:
    In my lifetime I have seen the German Shephard dog go from a medium sized

    tecumseh replies:
    exactly... I look at this as when fashion over rules all your good senses. what was that old line? "it' better to look good, than to feel good." anyway you point is well taken that maintaining some diversity in stock is not easy for a large queen breeder and is likely to be even more difficult for the small producer. from my prospective (my problem) I find (as a fairly small producer just identifying 'the very best' is not so simple. expanding on this to 'maintaining genetic diversity' is even more mind boggling.

    and thanks for the list Bee4u. there is an lot of information in that one post. I personally enjoyed your list of nectar/pollen sources and sequence. as I have suggest before I suspect that my fairly famous neighbors just down the road are not there simply because of their name. or to put it in real estate term... location, location, location.

  16. #36
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    michael palmer writes:
    Well we'll just have to change that perception, won't we.

    tecumseh writes:
    this is call eduation but don't expect consumer preference to be an easy thing to alter. so expect this 'reeducation' to take a while.

    sierrabee writes:
    In my lifetime I have seen the German Shephard dog go from a medium sized

    tecumseh replies:
    exactly... I look at this as when fashion over rules all your good senses. what was that old line? "it' better to look good, than to feel good." anyway you point is well taken that maintaining some diversity in stock is not easy for a large queen breeder and is likely to be even more difficult for the small producer. from my prospective (my problem) I find (as a fairly small producer just identifying 'the very best' is not so simple. expanding on this to 'maintaining genetic diversity' is even more mind boggling.

    and thanks for the list Bee4u. there is an lot of information in that one post. I personally enjoyed your list of nectar/pollen sources and sequence. as I have suggest before I suspect that my fairly famous neighbors just down the road are not there simply because of their name. or to put it in real estate term... location, location, location.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    tecumseh replies:
    most southern queen/package producers* were designed around the idea of taking off surplus bees and weight before the bees are moved back north. when most of these operations were first put together and everything was about collecting a honey crop (in tems of profit) the really huge potential honey crops were always northward. so the idea was to skim off the excess bees (into packages) and honey (into split)... generate a bit of cash flow and then move north.
    Why is the original intent important? Or was that just an attempt to educate us (me)? It did add unnecessarily to the length of your lecture. Actually I expect that the origins you suggest are probably true for Texas producers but less likely for most of those in the southeast.

    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    I would suggest to you that one of the evolving niche in the queen rearing market is the trend towards some big time 'southern' queen producers not producing queen much beyond very early summer. I do see this niche evolving here in that the small hive beetle is making it increasingly difficult to produce queens without significant 'personal attention' as we drift into the summer months. for the large operation this path may becomes more necessary since by late spring/early fall most of the labor force has move back north with the bees so 'personal attention' becomes almost impossible.
    I find it interesting that you would readily accept shb as a problem but quickly reject ahb.
    You and I clearly have a different idea of what constitutes a niche market. If ‘big time southern queen producers stop producing queens beyond early summer’ I would qualify the resulting market as somewhat bigger than a niche.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  18. #38
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    beemandan ask (I think?):
    Why is the original intent important? Or was that just an attempt to educate us (me)? It did add unnecessarily to the length of your lecture. Actually I expect that the origins you suggest are probably true for Texas producers but less likely for most of those in the southeast.

    tecumseh replies:
    well when migratory beekeeping first started it was based on several reason that now may have evolved into something as much habitual as anything else (there are still some good economic reasons for the movement) . I would suspect that my 'take' on the families involved in queen rearing is pretty much the same in the southeastern us of a and california. the places those families originated from would be somewhat different. my point being that although some may tag these folks as southern queen breeder their origins are not typically southern.

    then beemandan writes:
    I find it interesting that you would readily accept shb as a problem but quickly reject ahb.
    You and I clearly have a different idea of what constitutes a niche market. If ‘big time southern queen producers stop producing queens beyond early summer’ I would qualify the resulting market as somewhat bigger than a niche.

    tecumseh suggest:
    well as to the first sentence.... how did you get there?

    certainly both the shb and ahb are problems. the two may be of greater or lesser problems depending on geographical location. depending on the degree of the problem, producers (of honey or bees) just has to learn to adapt to these changes (or just give it up).

    as to your question in regards to niche... certainly our definitions are different. mine has been derived from three degrees out of business schools.... and yours?

    a niche is any subset of an existing market. it does not have to necessarily be extreme (micro) small to be defined as a niche. a person that can take advantage of a niche (for god abhors a vacume) usually does so first because they recognize that some (typically larger) competitor has abdonded the niche and they are in a place or time to service this little corner of the market (and make a profit in the bargain).

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    michael palmer writes:
    Well we'll just have to change that perception, won't we.

    tecumseh writes:
    this is call eduation but don't expect consumer preference to be an easy thing to alter. so expect this 'reeducation' to take a while.
    I've always felt that trying to change popular opinion isn't done by telling folks, "Your wrong, do it my way." Rather, the best way to to change things is to follow your own path, and show by example. Over the last 3 years, I have been giving talks all over the Northeast. The focus of my presentations is the need to raise our own stocks from the bees that perform best in our own area, under our own management plans. I began this crusade, and that's what it is to me, because my good buddy Kirk Webster kept telling me that no one was listening to him. Now, I know the benefits to my operation in following the plan the he started years ago. My apiaries improved to the extent that I became a passionate proponent of the management scheme. Now, they're listening!

    I've seen more and more beekeepers take up the challenge, and become more successful and better beekeepers. I could give you examples from all over North America of those that have seen the wisdom in this plan, and relate stories of their success. Beekeepers from Maine to North Carolina, and from the mid-west to Alaska have had the same results.

    The idea starts to spread slowly, but has snowballed in the last year. I can hardly keep up with all the clubs who want to hear the presentation. And as those who have adopted the plan begin to relate their success to others, everyone wants to get on board, and so many want stock raised in the north that it is a bit overwhelming.

    I think a part of this re-thinking by the beekeeping population is the fact that Africans, and SHB are spreading across the traditional southern queen rearing areas.

    It's too bad that we didn't listen to the bee masters of the last generation sooner. Masters like Charles Mraz of Middlebury Vermont, and Karl Showler of the UK. They tried to tell us that our best bees were raised from our own best stocks. But, popular belief, fostered by faulty education, pushed beekeepers to jump on the southern queen/package bandwagon. We've spent generations on that bandwagon.

    Hopefully, over the next few years, through regional bee breeding groups, we can teach more beekeepers how to raise quality stock from what they already have. I can't hardly wait to see how the health of our bees improves.
    Mike

  20. #40
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    well mr palmer don't get me wrong I do aggree with your efforts and (at every opportunity) encourage the very thing you promote. I have always though that much of the incidental benefits, like making better beekeepers, are quite evident from setting yourself on the path to learning (actually any body of knowledge) that make you dig a bit deeper.

    then mr palmer writes:
    It's too bad that we didn't listen to the bee masters of the last generation sooner. Masters like Charles Mraz of Middlebury Vermont, and Karl Showler of the UK. They tried to tell us that our best bees were raised from our own best stocks. But, popular belief, fostered by faulty education, pushed beekeepers to jump on the southern queen/package bandwagon. We've spent generations on that bandwagon.

    tecumseh replies:
    well I always enjoyed mr mraz writing in the journal and agreed with much of what he proposed.... but evidence does suggest that mr mraz queens were (how to say this politely) less that average (I think it was Eisenhower who said that half the world was less than average). actually (referencing mental notes only) in a blind test of a half dozen us queen breeders mr mraz queens were dead last (or to put it more in the mode of the test 100% of his queen were superseceded within 60 days of being installed).

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