That would be our local mutts.
That would be our local mutts.
I'd be happy to.
I have one colony continuously occupying the same hive for 8 years. I'm going to raise some queens from them this year, perhaps you'd like to buy a few. I have another colony continuously occupying the same hive for four years. Neither of these have been requeened.
Don "fatbeeman" Kuchenmeister would be happy to sell you queens, but you probably won't be able to get on the list this year.
Zia Queenbees claims their breeders are two years old.
I'm looking forward to getting a hold of some of Michael Bush's bees next year when he produces again.
I'm going to stand by what I said to you before, which is you really need to go back and read what I said in my initial post, why I said it, and who I was directing my response to. Did you happen to read the original poster's question? Let me take you by the hand and walk you through it. The person stated they were going to purchase 10 packages from Olivarez Bees and were debating on whether to go with Italians or Carni's and which would be better for their climate. I simply stated that I had purchased the same number of packages of Italians from Olivarez last spring and that they were now deceased as of December. Then I proceded to make a general statement that the commercial Italian stock is weak nowadays, which doesn't help matters when it comes to wintering in a tough climate. I certainly wasn't picking on Olivarez in particular like you are assuming. Now, you may disagree with what I said about Italian stock, and you may want to heap all the blame on me for my losses, and for being a lazy beekeeper, that's fine, you are entitled to your opinion, but please do not put words in my mouth. I would be curious to know how many other readers here interpreted what I said the same as you, yes, I surely would.
And as for my Italian hives that have survived a couple winters in a row, well, they didn't come from Olivarez. John
For my self i have VSH a dark bee,also raise queens.You ask about what would be the best for you,Carni's for all the reasons listed.Dark bees usely do better with the cold.
Good bee keeping
I should have titled the post Olivarez has great bees, because in no way was I blaming them for poor stock. My problems were operator error and weather. Just asking for advise on breeds and thanks to all who responded. P.S. Many folks here in Michigan have had high losses from what I've heard.
So why do Russian bees and Carnolians survive harsh winters??
Well the queen decreases laying (in my area October when the mint fields gets cut). If you have to many bees they could starve...
I got an Italian hive and we had temperatures drop -20C frequently. Recently I checked them on a sunny day and they are doing good. I got them from a local keeper who has really healthy Italians.
All my other hives went in the winter with less bees but are doing better than Italians.
Bees should have honey in their brood chamber. I find feeding necessary because it gets very cold.
>I am going to stick to my guns in saying that for a Michigan beekeeper to allow bees to starve by December is ONLY caused by inattention on the beekeepers part.
I'm sorry, but I just can't ignore this statement. So, ANY Michigan beekeeper who has ever had a colony die by December is at fault for not giving their bees enough attention, that's ridiculous. Yes, some probably deserve a degree of blame, but your comments are in reality directed at me without knowing all the facts my situation, and you somehow feel inclined to heap 99% of the blame for my losses on me, I just don't get it. John
I guess what bothers me the most about this whole thing is that in two years of being a member on Beesource forums, I have yet to run into someone, that being Honey-4-All, who is so openly critical of someone who for whatever reason had the misfortune of losing 10 of 10 colonies established from packages last season. The tone of Honey-4-All's comments towards me went beyond what was appropriate especially since all the facts of my situation could not have even been known, it was pure speculation and nothing else. Furthermore, the mere fact that I mentioned the Olivarez name in my original post was evidently enough for Honey-4-All to jump to their defense, thinking I guess that I was on a personal mission to defile the Olivarez name because I had some deadout hives and I needed to blame someone for it. For everyone reading this, be careful what you say around some people. John
Exactly, no more, no less. Bullseye Beelee is how you are now known in Honey -4-All land. Thanks. And if I may say so. Thanks again.
It would be my hope that jgmi and anyone else who has found themselves in a similar situation as he shared would by willing to reevaluate their protocols.
My advice is not from a new-bee oozing with a well intentioned but not thought out dream of how I want beekeeping to be.
I have lost a lot of hives in the past 6 years. Probably close to 600K worth of dead-outs. No small chump change, As one who refuses to use illegal chemicals in my hives I have paid dearly.
Thank God that each year we have reduced that number through breeding and "being on time " with the items I listed in my first post in this string.
If you were to check with beekeepers who have a very high survival rate.... lets say above 85% I would bet most follow the steps I listed and most will likely include other steps. You may not like it..... and I am sure with you.......... the old paradigm of throwing bees in a box and walking away are LO--------------NG gone. Get used to the new ways or find something else to do.
You may not believe it now but you will someday.
I agree with Honey-4-you that the days of absentee beekeeping are rapidly on the way out, if not already gone. It has come down to getting out of your bees what you put in. Yes, I believe any of our hives that died before December are my fault. I missed something in the preceding months. I will also admit that it is not profitable to save every hive.
On the issue of queen failure, prompt and regular inspections ussually will catch any problems right away, and remedial action can be taken to correct, and overcome, any problems with the queens ability to support the hive. We also say, that "Nothing straightens out queen problems like a good honey flow". It has been awhile since we have had a steady honey flow.(Wild cherry trees, 2009)
85% doesn't seem to me like a "very high survival rate." High, yes. Very high, no.
Now I know that being a northern state beekeeper you have seen cold related starvation in hives before and what it looks like when you open up a deadout from that cause. After keeping bees on and off for over 35 years here in Michigan, I know what it looks like too, and can recognize it when I see it. Those 10 hives started as packages last year were all deadouts sometime in December due to cold/starvation. Hives (3 medium depth boxes each) were all fed 2:1 syrup from October till the snow was flying in November to boost their stores because our fall goldenrod, aster flow was nothing to write home about, usual thing for our area. Besides the syrup feeding, the hives had very ample food stores of capped honey, pollen in all boxes, and queenright clusters of sufficient size. Most hives still had brood present on my last inspection sometime in late October/early November believe it or not. As hard as it may be for some to believe, these hives all died from starvation due to harsh unrelenting cold of long duration. All hives had plenty of stores just inches from the cluster, but they couldn't move to get to it. I don't know of any beekeeper in my area who routinely inspects their hives in December, so there is nothing that could have been done differently by me that would have produced a different outcome, nothing I could have done to save them, they were on their own at that point, and what happened, happened. John
85% from date of split. "Day one" to "Day dead" annualized. Thats queen acceptance. One month failures. Swarms, Supercedures, Queens knocked off in moves, Queens knocked off in treatments. Bees dieing of disease. Bees dieing of mites, Bees dieing of "whatever." Two framers at almonds are considered dead. BTW: No requeening or late splits cheating included.
Give my a commercial beekeeper who has this rate on a thousand hives or more and I will most likely be able to introduce you to someone happy and rich enough to buy you a drink, in Hawaii, on his one week annual vacation.
85% from late August till almond bloom would be ok although not superb.
85% from day one would make me more than pleased as punch.
Here's to shooting for 90%.
I might buy 95% as very high, even 90. But not 85.
I would consider 95% unheard of today. I've kept both of my colonies alive two seasons, so I guess I'm at 100%... but I hardly think that counts
...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.
If I had an 85% survival rate a year after I made my splits I would be spending more that 1 week a year in Hawaii.
Bees may be bees but beekeepers aren't all cut from the same cloth.
If nothing else is apparent from this discussion it is becoming apparent to me that how you hold your hive tool makes a difference as to how you view the bees inside the box.
If you hold your hive tool close you look at bees one way and if you hold your hive tool at the far end of the lever you look at bees another way.
The disparity between a commercial outlook on a hive and a hobbyist view is somewhat divergent.
When you dump your spare time into a hive any ensuing hive collapse doesn't look the same as when the same impending collapse is about to take away you bread and butter for the next day if not more.
To be continued..............
More later. Time for bed. Need to sleep on this one. (with my hive tool at my side)