Thinking about trying some if there not sold out
Thinking about trying some if there not sold out
I have a package coming from RWeaver ... a bit expensive, but I wanted to try their version of Buckfasts (besides, my wife bought them for me as a Christmas present!). Let me know how BeeWeaver works out for you.
I have two nucs ordered and since I can pick them up here in Austin for free, the price aint that bad. There is a topic about them in the Consumer Reports Forum at http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=246731
Folks remember that B Weaver and R Weaver are two different companies. I have personally tried the Buckfast R Weaver has to offer in the past and will never buy bees from them again. They were the nastiest hottest bees I ever worked. I would smoke them and the second I pick off the lid my veil was covered with miserable bees.
Not sure how factual it is but my understanding the only true Buckfast in North America is a guy in Canada.
I bought a "nuc" from them last year.......I thought a nuc was supposed to have some brood, all I got was a package with three empty frames and a caged queen. they were nasty hot, got stung every single time I lifted the lid. they never really built up and I am sure glad they didnt make it through the winter cause I like to work my bees in shorts and a T shirt.
I've been working my B. Weaver (B. Weaver, not R. Weaver) bees for 5 years now. One hive was hot, daughter hive a tad hot, but no hotter than my MnHyg. hive was. Other Weaver hives rather gentle. I continue to use them, and have 20 queens on order for April delivery. And no, I don't work any of my bees in shorts and t shirt... jeans and ls white shirt with veil. No gloves, generally. If a hive is having a hot day, gloves. But when summer got underway, my hot hives had cooled off, and I didn't need to wear gloves with them.
"If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow
I wonder if the ban on Aussie bees will have much affect on there business or breeding program? As one of the major importers of the Australian bees, this must have been a game changer.
John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com
I started last year with one hive of Italians, and several months later split a couple of frames off with a BeeWeaver queen. The BeeWeaver hive never got all that strong last fall- not unexpected really, but this spring it has put my first hive to shame. I'm still new to beekeeping, but I don't see a big temperament difference between the two hives.
I have used B WEAVER, since I moved out west. Some hotter than others, but great producers. Not using any treatments. Good results so far. I believe strong hives will fight off almost anything. As Grant says; you got to keep em strong!
Some daughters have been hot, some not so, but none of my yards have been managed in shorts and a tee shirt. Sometimes you just use some smoke. Had to in Dec when I put on some pollen patties. One of the hives boiled out at me, "gear is a good thing"!
I ordered 10 queens last fall, and all took but one, and that was my fault. I would not hesitate ordering again if needed. There are two more excellent keeps in TX who also have good stock, but you may have to pick up, they don't ship. I will ask them before I put their names out.
Good luck with your new stock, and manage well!
I tried a few B Weaver queens last year and those that didnt get superceded right away turned hot after a few generations of brood....I wasnt fond of those queens. Just my personal experience.
I have three B weaver Queens. They are very good bees. I have not treated these hives. But! They are also hotter than the rest of my hives. So I guess it is somewhat of a trade off. They are workable. I just do not do check on them unless there is something specific I am looking for. I use my other hives to tell me if there is a flow on and what not.
Check out this latest USDA map of africanized counties. Are the queens with your nucs and packages open mated?
The Weavers are very good beekeepers. They are in africanized territory. They do practice DRONE SATURATION of their nuc mating areas with drones from European colonies. While you can not ever be for certain that a particular queen will not stray outside the saturated area and breed with something undesirable. You should be getting good quality bees from the Weavers known honeybee stocklines. I have some Weaver stock in my bees bloodlines. The seem like normal bees to me, except those hives, I do not have to treat for varroa. When the Weavers were breeding for Varroa resistance, they lost a lot of bees. I mean thousands of colonies. Sometimes the survivors were not the gentlest of European bees. Sometimes they were gentle European bees. All in all, as time went on, they have produced a good honey producing bee that is tough as a nail when it comes to mite resistance. I will be buying queens from them again in the future. TK PS, something you all should remember, the Buckfast bee has Apis Monticola bloodlines in it. Apis Monticola is the Dark Bee of the Mountains of Tanzania and is a race of African honey bees. So they will be a little hotter in attitude than some of the Wimpy Italians I or you keep.
I too wondered about the Africanization of the bees I was ordering, so I wrote and asked. Below is the response from Laura Weaver....of course, she is in sales.
Q. Is the BeeWeaver Breed Africanized?
Our mating grounds are in an area where Africanized bees have been found. We feel it did effect our stock's temperament for the first 5-10 years, beginning in 1994. Most of those feral African colonies have been watered down by our stock (and other US beekeeper's stock) breeding with them and many of the colonies have died out. BeeWeaver floods its mating yards with high numbers of drones and selects breeders who are proven to be calm, workable colonies of bees. BeeWeaver offers a replacement policy for queens that produce mean bees (stinging without provocation, smoke does not calm them, stinging in high numbers)... the number of queens we must replace is minimal and decreases each year.
She also added this note..."this past season I replaced fewer then 10 queens for defensiveness."
Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
8fr medium equipment
Sounds like pretty honest answer to me. I'm going to give them a try. BTW, they are sold out of pkgs and nucs, for 2011.
I certainly appreciate the honesty that Laura Weaver expressed in her note, and sympathize with the plight of all southern breeders. Further, I would probably encourage anyone currently africanized territory to buy their queens. However, those of us who are still in africanized-free regions I urge you to NOT import these bees northward. There are so many breeders in africanized-free regions that the potential benefit of importing these bees that are bred in known AHB regions is not worth the risk to yourself and others.
After reading the response it made me curious.
I just attended a class on AHB. In this class they instructed that once a line was altered by the AHB that you could not breed it out that either you worked the bees or destroyed the colonies infected. They also said once your lines are cross that over a period of time that the colony will become AHB would become pure. Normal bee breeding does not work to saturate the genes while breeding thus all affected lines will become pure AHB in time unless the line is ended.
I myself do not live in an AHB area so I have no experiance other than what is taught. The person who taught this class is well known around the world for beekeeping and helped in the publishing of XYZ 123.
She also stated that the only thing that seems to affect the temper of the AHB is altitude. The higher you go, I believe 5000+ feet the more calm the bees become.
Any input would be great.
So anyone that lives in an AHB zone is doomed to have AHB bees, because the queens will inevitably breed with AHB drones, from the surrounding area?