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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    141

    Default How many have switched to Carniolan?

    This year I am getting Carniolan instead of Italians. I was very frustrated when my strongest hives died early in winter. It appeared the Italians were still hatching brood in early December because we had -5? They were all clustered around the brood and starved. The more I researched Carniolan the more I think it is better suited for our environment. They over winter with less bees and honey use. Also they shut down production earlier and seem to shut down production in times of less nectar flow. That is good for me as I let them have honey for winter. The only down side is it seems the Italians build out comb more than the Carniolan.

    How many of you live in the cold and have switched? What have you experienced?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,728

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    As to the comb building, carniolans will build comb. But they don't do anything unless there's a flow. If you want bees building comb etc with a patchy flow, italians may be best. That's how carniolans are more economical the flow stops so do they.

    For me though I'm using a hybrid around 3/4 carniolan 1/4 italian. A nice bee and to some extent the best of both worlds. Swarm prone would be the only draw back.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Killingworth, CT
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    This being my first year, I don't know much. But I have carniolans, and 5 of my 6 hives are alive so far. I had to dig out my hives three times this winter, so they had some rough weather. The one that died, I think it was from condensation. It is a double height 5 frame nuc. 4 frames of dead bees in the bottom, and 5 frames of store up top. The other nuc (same configuration) is sitting next to it and is doing great. So I don't think it was just the cold.

    Brendan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro,Ohio
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    I have switched about 40% of mine to Carnis with 20 nucs of them on order for this Spring. In the past, it has been Italian packages with some success but rolling the dice is getting expensive. I will have some open mated queens this year so maybe I will get a mix and get the better qualities of both into one.
    life is like a box of chocolates,you never know what you are gonna get

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Connersville Indiana USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    I am very impressed with my Russian's. I don't remember the Italians getting out of the hive with such low temp.
    And they are more resistant to verona mites.
    I think the carniolans are here to stay
    Jerry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lancaster, MA, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    When I started out beekeeping a few years ago I had Carnies. They died-- mostly because I didn't know what I was doing-- and I switched to Italians. I was pleased with their production, but disappointed by the winter losses. I'm going with a hybrid now.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Meeker County MN
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    has anyone used the MN Hygenics?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,819

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    I have always had Italians, this year I am getting all Carniolan packages to see how they compare. They say Carni's typically raise brood according to how the flow is going, I guess the brood rearing curve follows more closely the flow intensity than do Italians. Some also have stated that comb building is more linked to the flows than Italians also, although I would say that any bee probably won't draw comb well unless a good flow is in progress.
    I'm just curious with this question, would feeding 1:1 syrup during a dearth to a Carniolan colony induce them to continue brood rearing and comb building at a normal pace, or would they still slow down because of less nectar and pollen coming in? John

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Belfield, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    605

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerJ View Post
    has anyone used the MN Hygenics?
    I do not, BUT - I have a friend who is a monk at the nearby Abbey. He is the Abbey beekeeper. He has MN hygenics from B&B honey farm (6 of the Abbey's 7 hives I think).

    In the three ND winters that I have known him - he has not lost even 1 hive. I am thinking about getting a couple from B&B for my spring nucs!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    473

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    I have 3 Italian hives currently that have wintered well so far but man they are pigs. They have gone through their stores and as of a couple weeks ago I have been emergency feeding. They have been great in other regards though. I have purchased 6 packages of Carnies. I intend to run both for a couple seasons to give a good comparison.

    Mike
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Meeker County MN
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    this is my first year with bees. I had read a lot of different things on carlonian, italian and russians as well.

    I opted to go with this out of the fact that the instructor that is teaching my bee class next weekend is also the one who worked on developing the bee line.

    Most interested in seeing how they work out. My mentor had been using italians and he lost both his hives this year.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    no more itall for me hello,the 4th winter 1 carnolian, 2 new world carnolian ,1 russian carnolian they call "yugo".....my thoughts so far is these breeds are comparable as far as winter stores.The populaton of the nwc's is much greater at this time,has drones still. started these 2 hives with queens last spring 2010 gave two drawn capped honey comb with bees.very good queens wintered in two deeps only open fed 25lbs of sugar no treatments of any kind on all hives.The hives started with 2 3# packages carnolian one frame drawn out little honey 1 drifted over after 1 queen failed,combined nucs population volley ball size last to exit hive for forage, uses mass numbers all day,wintered over in 2 deeps..1 started yugo hive with queen april 7 had queen shipped as soon as possibe two frames of capped honey with itall bees donor hive died 3 weeks into nector flow.some kind of sickness burnt hive small numbers but emerge far earlier to forage stay's out later population surpasses all by late spring.tried 2 years with itall starved early winter. only removed honey from second year survivor hive...im going to breed queens off 2 winter survivor this year...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,792

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    To answer the original post. I have switched to all Carni or Carni hybrids. I have had terrible luck getting the Italians to survive here but am having 90% success with Carni's, including nucs I've taken through the winter.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,656

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    I started beekeeping in 1964 and through the years have had just about every breed of bees that came along. They all have good and bad points. For the last 10 years i have bought nothing but carniolan queens (10 to 20 per year) just to keep new blood,so they say. They are easier to work with and don't rob as bad as some of the other breeds,but are more prone to swarm if you don't work them in early spring and give them room.I have lots of swarm calls within a 30 mile radius in the summer,and raise most of my own queens from survivor hives,so i have mongrel bees with supposedly mostly carnional blood lines and have been happy with them. I have my doubt that the queens we buy are pure bred anymore. Jack

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    Quote Originally Posted by beginnerhives View Post
    This year I am getting Carniolan instead of Italians.
    So who are you getting them from? Lapps?
    Last edited by Barry; 03-05-2011 at 09:18 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,620

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    I have some of both. But, will be buying more Carney Queens this year than Italians. I really like the black bees. But, I have already lost one swarm this year. I knew I needed to split the hive two weeks ago but, have been too busy to get to that particulary yard. It looks like I missed splitting by just a couple days. They explode on our Maple blooms and then want to swarm right before the main flow. I have had good luck splitting these hives right before the flow and making honey from both splits. But, you have to stay ahead of them this time of year.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernIllinoisPlumber View Post
    So who are you getting them from? Lapps?
    Yes Lapps. I did try to order from Dadants in Watertown but they would not take credit card for the bees. They take it for everything else. Anyway it was going to be such a hassle to pay that I am going to Lapps. I get friendlier service and help at Lapps. The last time I called Lapps, Dean really went the extra mile when he did not have to. I am glad to give him my business.

    Thanks everyone for the posts. I feel like I am making a great decision with the carnies. I think they will be a much better breed above and beyond the fact they will over winter better in this climate. I just assumed everyone had figured it out and that is why everyone in this area uses Italians. Maybe for bigger operations it makes sense but for me I think I will be much better off with the carnies. I will let you know if it pans out.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,163

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    That would be an interesting study. How many people are using Italian bees and how many are using Carnis or someother pedigree.TK

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,792

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    I think more and more commercial beeks are using carni's or carni hybrids. I notice Andy Card has moved to a Carni-Italian cross using Latshaw's breeding.

  20. #20

    Default Re: How many have switched to Carniolan?

    As a first time beekeeper two years ago starting out with two Italian hives was very depressing. Heavy mite loads, had to treat like crazy and still lost both of them. They all died away from the honey stores. I went to Russians and VSH and have liked them.
    Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
    Thomas A. Edison

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