I have some survivors, a couple top bar hives of Italians that have made two winters now (I know thats not alot, but its a start) with absolutely no treatments of any kind, no extra insulation, nothing. They have also been among the tops in production even compared to my Langs. They made this nasty winter, so they must have something going for them. John
Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline
I hear you, when I sit in my chair watching the bees, I get chiggers all over from the knees down. My chair sits in grass and weeds that get about a foot or so tall, a chigger heaven. I guess it must be worth it, I keep doing it every year. John
Picked up my 10 packages yesturday. Istalled them quickly due to cold weather. Queens look lively and healthy.
Getting some Olivarez Carni Queens and I am looking for an update on your performance with them I want diversity in my operation and these are the first Californian Queens NS are importing with our beekeeping association .
Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
Nova Scotia Canada
Trying to think inside the box...
I have been reading this post and can say that Olivarez Carniolans are a good choice bought 3 packages last year had tons of bees all summer long also had 2 hives that have made it the past 2 winters mostly look like mutts. Went into winter feeling like everything was as it should be tons of honey,feeding up until it got to cold to do so weight check 180+ all hives 2 deeps with full honey supers on first year packages as learned in class added candy boards just for a plus. Even had a bee inspector check my hives before winter good to go for the winter and after lost all 3 hives to cold bees just inches away from full frames of honey never made it up to candy boards. Also lost 1 of the mutt hives for the same thing.
So even very healthy hives can die out would like to think that this bee keeper did all he could have done to help them make it to spring.
I would buy Olivarez bees again but thinking on trying my hand at swarms and local bees and do a split or two off my last hive. Time will tell
As I replied in another post, make sure you're on top of your mites.. Carnie's or the Hyg.. They will make a lot of honey and will overwinter well with treatments, fwiw!