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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Perry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Carniolans question.

    Having never dealt with anything but Italians I have a Carni question. I have three splits I made in July and August with Carni queens. They were given two frames of brood and one of honey and two empty frames. They still only have just those three frames drawn and havent worked on the emptys at all. They produce only just enough brood to not die out but havent increased the population at all. My question is, is this normal for Carni's or not. We still have about two months of golden rod to go. Will they boom up suddenly, or just hoang on till the spring flow. My Italians are booming with brood hatching three of four days a week still.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Bartow,FL<USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    You are a little north of me so conditions may be different but , That is generally a time of dearth so unless you fed them they were not going to build up. Being carniolans ,handicaps them even more as they will slow down in hot summer dearth. Brazialan pepper is starting its flow. If you have any of that up there ,that will help them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    My Carnolians went gang busters building comb and such, then they shut down. They dont seem to produce brood like Italians, but this is my first year and I have not been able to see how good they build up in the spring. I also have a nuc with carnies and they are doing alright, but my other nucs of Italians are booming now. Must be the preparing for winter thing, from what I have read they winter in smaller numbers than Italians there for requiring less honey to get them through winter.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    All 8 of my hives are carnis and I have the exact same issue. I thought part of the problem was that I only use foundationless frames but I don't think it is. All hives have (almost) completely drawn out comb in all the frames in the brood box, but thats it. People can say they are in a dearth or whatever but the dearth here is from late winter to mid - late spring until the alfalfa blooms for the second time (first bloom gets cut immediately for first cutting). The thing is that in every direction from my apiary there is, at minimum, a 40 acre alfalfa field. Since the people who farm 2 of the 80 acre plots of alfalfa cant cut it where the wheels of the rotating irrigation system travel there is always large swaths that stay in bloom. My point is that there is no dearth for me once the first fields bloom. But with such an abundance of available food they haven't 'gone nuts' hoarding honey. I put supers beneath the brood box (they were building down not up) and have swapped frames of brood, or drawn comb with honey/pollen in them into the lower box and they just draw out new comb on the empty frame in the brood box then move their stores up. But the frames don't go unused, the bees will come back and use them for storing pollen.

    When I check to see whats coming into the hive in the morning, almost every forager is coming back fully loaded with pollen (90% of them easily) with the number of foragers returning with pollen dropping slowly during the course of the day to about 5% at dusk. And it has been that way all season. Their population explosion happened when our weather started hitting high 90's to the mid 100's in mid June but they have never gone nuts filling supers even though they have plenty of forage. There is honey stored in the brood box and just recently all my drones (hundreds of dead drones on the ground) got evicted so I'm pretty sure they know winter is coming. You see people post this over and over again... "The bees know what's best for them (the bees)" soooooo, keeping that in mind, my winter prep is underway. I'll keep reading the forums as I have for the past year and see how my first winter goes. Admittedly I am nervous about the same things you are nervous about but you can't make a carniolan do what mediterraneans do or what russians do... carnis do what carnis do. Best of luck

    I actually forgot to say that my carnis have only ever had at most 4 full frames of brood. I dont know if thats normal for carnis or not but even when they built up earlier in the year they seem to lay just enough to stay alive.
    Last edited by rwurster; 09-17-2011 at 01:05 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,859

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    That is not normal for Carni's. Suspect you have poor Queens.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Arcade,NY
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    I think my carni are done laying eggs for the season. its 39 degrees now. its time to kick out the drones and shrink the hive down to a small cluster for winter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    My carnis were a bit slow on the uptake, and the June dearth stopped the queen from laying for a while. In the end they had about 3-4 brood frames and about 3-4 honey frames - then the bear got them so I combined them with my feral hive.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,947

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    I had carnies this year and they are indeed much different than italians. I was worried all season about the slow buildup but somehow they seemed to produce more honey than bees. I got a fair crop and and they had to draw virtually all the comb. If your bees are just sitting like that, I assume you needed to feed more, and do now, to get their numbers up for winter. Now if they winter as advertized, I am going to really love them!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    I think the key is to feed them to prevent the queen from shutting down. Mine shut down and it took her about two weeks to start up again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Perry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    I have been feeding mine non-stop since I made the splits. They just seem to be maintaining. We dont have Brazilian pepper up here but golden rod is going gangbusters now. I guess I will see how they winter. I will have to give them some honey as they havent stored any surplus at all.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    My queens honestly lay fine. they lay in nice patterns with hardly any missed cells but when they had their dearth in the spring when i first installed them it took a lot of time for them to 'catch up' even with feeding. I think the guy at sam's club thought i was moonshining with all the sugar i was buying. Next year I'm going to try to capture some feral swarms and see how they do as opposed to the carnis.

    I read this right before I read the posts in this thread this morning http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/16...cks/?hpt=hp_t2 Even ahb hives arent much bigger than mine at 100 - 200 pounds. Sounded like theyre in a dearth to my novice ears lol

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bonn, Germany
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    Quote Originally Posted by psisk View Post
    I have been feeding mine non-stop since I made the splits. They just seem to be maintaining.
    It can be a manifestation of a heavy Varroa infestation.

    Good luck!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    Quote Originally Posted by rwurster View Post
    Next year I'm going to try to capture some feral swarms and see how they do as opposed to the carnis
    My feral bees (which is mostly what I have at this point) are a far cry different from the carnis. They look very similar, but they are very, very hard workers, and prolific brood layers. It only took about a month for them to fill up an 8 frame box, while it took the carnis a lot longer. The downside is they are a bit testy in attitude, and a little runny on the comb. My carnis were very well behaved, but the ferals can be a little scary. They could easily overwhelm you and they let you know it. I liken it to the difference in a domesticated cow and a wild elk. I am pretty sure mine are not an escaped swarm from someone.

    They are pretty heavy on the propolis too.

    I really like them though. They built up fast and are serious foragers - easily my best hive. Not sure what breed they come from. They are little dark bees with ruddy banding. Sort of remind me of a Beaweaver or some sort of Buckfast derivative.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    Bees will not draw out supers under the brood box, you have to put the supers on top. They only move down when they are storing up for winter and filling the brood nest from the top down.

    Put a super of foundation (or mixed foundation and foundationless frames) on top and see what they do.

    Peter

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    my supers had frames of drawn comb in them that i moved up from the brood box for most of the summer and the bees ignored it. Instead they built their comb down until it bulged the sbb down 2 inches. I switched the supers under the brood box and all the hives drew comb in them immediately. Just in time for them to stop drawing out comb for the winter lol

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Carniolans question.

    Sounds like they wanted to be in a Warre hive.

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