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Thread: Olivarez bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Highland, Michigan
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    146

    Default Olivarez bees

    I'm about to purchase 10 Italian packages from these guy and I need some advise about my decision. I live in southeast MI so we have long winters. Im doing some small scale honey production, I'd like some opinions on using Italians up north and there overwintering ability. I can adjust my order for carni's if there better suited for my neck of the woods. Also been thinking about getting at lest 1 package of minn hygenic to breed some queens maybe mid summer to replace the Italians. Am I making this to hard or could this be a good plan going into winter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
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    424

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    Carni's are supposed to be more frugal during the winter. I've kept Italians for the last few years, but am going to try some carni stock this year.
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    We have a large, local beekeeper in SE Missouri that orders several hundred queens from Olivarez every year. He thinks they make great honey producers and over-winter here just fine.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    I bought 10 packages of Italians from Olivarez in spring 2010, not a one of them is alive today, all were dead outs by the time December rolled in. I think the commercial Italian stock is weak nowadays, they can't make the northern winters, especially this one here in Michigan. Another thing Italians do that hurts their chances of surviving a Michigan winter is raising brood all the way into late November, using up their winter stores to raise more and more brood. When you do a late fall inspection they appear to have enough honey to make the winter, but what you don't know until it is too late is that they use up most of their honey raising more brood for another month or so after what was supposed to be your last inspection of the season. I think I would try Carni's before I would go with Italians here in Michigan. I had the choice of Italians or Carni's when I picked up my packages last spring also, I think I picked the wrong one. John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    Each one has their trade offs. Italians, as stated, are not frugal on their stores. Carnis can build up very quickly once the weather turns. We get some false springs here in the PNW. It can go from 50s and 60s one week to 30s and snow the next. In those cases, you end up feeding carnis an awful lot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    302

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    at our recent bee meeting one of the main speakers said to basically plan on requeening all your packages with another high quality queen as there has been trouble with package bees. another guy last year said to try and get local nucs in spring - people were reporting problems with packages to him in 2009

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,081

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    I bought a package of their NWC last year to try them out. Made 3 nucs with them, & they produced 100# of honey. All 4 made it through winter, & are building up like gangbusters.

    I intend to make a few more queens from her.
    Dan

  8. #8
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    I thought I told you once before that there are no winters in California. John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,617

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    Beeup - try al little bit of everything, see what works best for you. We got some very light Italians once, possibly Cordovans?, that where VERY good honey producers, and with above average feeding, made it through a Wiscsonsin winter. We also tried some Strachen NWC last year. We will know real soon how they did.


    Roland

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    I'm from the northwest where we get some cold winters too and I'm a Carniolan man all the way. Carniolans' native habitat is the Alps of eastern Europe. They've evolved to deal with cold weather and brutal winters, unlike their Mediterranean cousins who just want to sit around drinking wine and eating cheese in the sunshine. Go with the Carnies, man.

  11. #11
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    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    Yeah, those Italian's sure know how to live. John

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
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    1,303

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    I don't get it. Why would you order Italian queens if you want to replace them later with minnesota hygienic queens? If you want minn. hygienic queens , get them by all means, but it will be a lot easier if you got them from the start.

    I get a lot of their carniolan queens and they do well in our neck of the woods (PNW).

    Jean-Marc

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,238

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    Guys from Canada with French names will never understand Italians.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Los Gatos, California
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    29

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    We do so have winters here. Gee, San Francisco got 1/8 inch of snow last week. First time in 35 years. You shoulda heard the weather-weenies on the TV, prognoticating all manner of biblical doom.
    Learning to swim was pretty easy. The hard part was getting out of that burlap sack.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,238

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    I was there a few weeks ago and the weather was nothing short of spectacular, everybody walking around saying this just isnt normal. I told them don't worry in weather there are always "pay backs".

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    Forget breeds.

    Get a hold of local bees or bees north of your location if you're concerned about winter. Seeing as how you're in Michigan, that could be a little harder. Zia Queenbees sells some Northern Michigan stock.

    Olivarez is California. I wouldn't do it. I grew up in Southern Oregon, I own bees from Glenn CA. Those are pollination bees. They're not what you're looking for.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    The best overwintering bee as far as frugality of stores is the Mnt Gray Caucasian bee. Sadly, I do not think that there are any pure bloodlines of it left in the USA that are commercially available at the moment. In a year or two, Dr. Shepard will be releasing some lineages of these gentle bees. TK PS We use a Carniolian/Italian cross with a whiff of mnt gray and buckfast.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    706

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    If you want some good hardy bees.... Russian Bees are the way.... You just need to be more careful with the bees. (In Russia Bees take 7 months of snow and cold temp. with success)

    Italians are just not suitable for harsh winters. I never had Carnolians but from what I have been told

    -they handle winter better
    -faster spring buildup
    -build wax faster... Frames get drawn faster

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    So what are some drawbacks of Carniolans? Overall they sound like a better bee for me here in a northern climate. I heard they cut back on brood rearing better than Italians when nectar/pollen get scarce. But I also think I heard they generally are not as productive either as Italians. John

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Olivarez bees

    Just remember, dead bees are very unproductive.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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