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Thread: Monticola Bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    hamilton city, new zealand

    Default Monticola Bees

    Check the Video. It shows Brother Adam with monticola bees. It shows that not all african bees are aggressive and some are very gentle. Could be a good source of resistance to varroa.

    Anyone know of someone using the monticola bees? If you do, how do they perform with gentleness, varroa resistance and honey production?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA

    Default Re: Monticola Bees

    Michael Bush "Everything works if you let it." 42y 40h 39yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Glencoe, Okla USA

    Default Re: Monticola Bees

    Copied from the internet:

    I have worked Monticola in Africa and in Sweden and its crosses with
    Buckfast into a combination bee (new "race") the latest 11 years (new
    combination bee). I call the new combination Elgon from a mountain in East
    Africa with this bee. Two differents strains of Monticola are used, one
    from Mt Elgon (3500 m) (black bee) and one from Mt Kenya (2500 m)
    (black/brown bee). It is a much more gentle bee than Scutellata and much
    less prone to swarm. Actually the combinations which resulted are less
    swarmy then "pure" Buckfast. In Africa the mountain bee, as it is called,
    is known to be much more easy to handle than the lowland bee (Scutellata).
    Monticola is also know as one of the races in Africa that does not abscond,
    or leave a hive to move to another area when food is scarce. That is
    probably due to the fact the oftentimes there is a daily rain on these
    mountins, with no or little period of time without nectar available. The
    other strains without absconding traits are said to be Capensis in the
    south and Unicolor (mountain type) on island Madagaskar.
    Recently work is done concerning searching the differences in the DNA
    between Scutellata and Monticola and the variation inside the different
    groups. The DNA investigation, done by a Chinese Ph D student, Shi Wei, has
    shown that there is great difference between Monticola and Scutellata, but
    also that there is great difference in the Monticola group and in the
    Scutellata group. A Master of Science work done by a Swedish student during
    six months has shown a great variety among Monticola. They exist on many
    mountains and varies also in color, not only black varieties, but also
    brown and some lighter colored exist.
    On 3500 m (tree level) on Mt Elgon there is frost every night, afternoon
    rain every day. There are only a few hours available for getting nectar
    every day, when there are flowers blooming. The effect has become in the
    new bee that this bee is flying at lower temperatures. Also that the
    development time for the queen and the workers are generally one day
    shorter that with other bees. The pure Monticola and the first cross had
    difficulties lowering the temperature in the colony during winter and thus
    had a harder time. The queen layed eggs but they did not develop into brood
    without fresh pollen. Queen pheromones seems to be stronger than in
    European bees. If you move a colony inside an apiary, the bees tend to find
    the new site where their queen is. And they tend to abandon their site if
    they loose their queen, especially if all brood is gone, into nearby
    colonies with a queen. In crossings this trait is not spelled out so
    clearly. If the colony is queenless more than 14 days many start getting
    laying workers, first in drone cells and queen cell cups. It is still
    possible to give them a new laying queen. When they also lay in worker
    cells you can give them a ripe queen cell and they stop laying when the new
    queen is laying (bit by bit). The combination give very huge colonies in
    strenght with a rapid build up, but is a little sensitive to pollen
    availability for egglaying, like carniolans. They stop egglaying early in
    autumn and have a long period withouth brood in winter. They winter very
    The temper originally is not extremely gentle, but easy to handle with some
    smoke. First crosses varies a little more. In following generations it was
    quite easy to breed a very gentle bee.
    In Canada I know there are lines of Buckfast bees with Monticola heritage
    from Mt Kenya


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