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  1. #1
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    Default Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    http://www.beeweaver.com/Videos.html

    Interesting videos.

    Daniel Weaver admits having some scutellata genes in his bees. So I guess Weavers are somewhat Africanized. However as he explains, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

    I did notice that some of the traits he found among resistant bees are similar to mine, primarily the small population in winter. However, in my case at least, the ones that survive the winter and go on to prove they can year after year are very frugal with their stores. I have not experienced late build up or increased defensiveness in my own bees, though some that I purchased have been a little hot.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Any old beek that has ever encountered german black bees knows that hot bees are nothing new. Small populations are ok if you have a nice Texas winter (it is 73 degrees here right now) but I would be doubling them up if I was surrounded by the snow. They will have a hard time keeping warm. Used Weavers for a few years now and they are not very hot. Worst bees I ever had were from Florida, or wild off the branch. Some of the swarms I get called on down here are insane. I never owned a decent bee suit till I hit 40. This seems now like youthful madness. Weavers prices were high a few years ago and they continue to rise. After the year we had down here (10 months of ZERO rain) I am surprised they have any stock left. They have shortened their delivery window by a few months. Its good stock though, and half my hives still run with weaver queens. Friends in NY say they use them too, which surprised me, but I guess it shouldn't have, with guys like Kirk Webster up north losing most of their stock every year. Not that the weather hasn't kicked me in the punchbowl the last few years...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by mythomane View Post
    guys like Kirk Webster up north losing most of their stock every year.
    Can you provide some details?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Like what? About Kirks operations? He will be the first to tell you that his program of splitting nucs in the winter every year is necessary to cover his losses. Last time I looked (3 years ago) it was over 40% per year (sometimes more) and had been that way for awhile. He will also be the first to tell you (inexplicably) that Northern Queens are superior to those in the South. I think deknow probably knows better than I do about the situation on the ground there (I am 2000 miles away), but he has been fighting uphill for awhile...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    What you are.perhaps missing is that most years Kirk sells bees. His operation has been profitable every single.year. for my taste he relies.a bit heavier on splits than I would like, but I wont argue with his success.

    Deknow

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Ok. He is a great beekeeper. I think he is profitable too if he says so, but I wouldn't want his queens, nor all the work that his splits entail.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Can you provide some details?
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Kirk Webster has a major crash about every other year, and rebuilds his apiary from what is left of his production hives and nucleus colonies.
    This isn’t a commentary on Kirk Webster, his queens or beekeeping practices. But, Sol, it does support your suggestion on another thread that if you plan to be treatment free, you should have enough colonies to replace your losses via splits each season.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Treatment free or not, you should be doing that anyway. This is not a criticism of anybody. Kirk probably forgot more about bees than I know. It was about Weaver and his queens. I am making comparisons. He is about as far north of a beekeeper as I know that generates from his own stock, so I used Kirk as an example. Bees are hotter down here generally, and I think it helps them. My mean bees are a pain to work, but they seem to stay alive longer. A Caucasian beekeeper would look at my operation and say that my stock was out of control and that I was crazy. Weaver queens are of a fairly gentle stock, but that is in relation to what we have around here and speaking historically. Solomon wanted specific details, but I do not think going down that road is important. I was answering the first post of this thread about Weaver queens and his mentioning that they have "african" genes which I think people might misunderstand and then jump to conclusions that are false. When major pests have arisen (like the tracheal mite) in the early twentieth century, a shift of stock was needed. I am not just speaking about bees. Add to this that Kirks stock has a lot of Russian in them (from a beekeeper down here) and the picture is more complex than it looks. My purpose was to stop anyone from drawing any quick conclusions about Weaver stock. I haven't treated my bees since 1997. I mostly capture swarms/do cut outs to fill up the gap. That said I have lost 40% last year and in 2009, but it either rained and did not stop or never came at all. 2010 was ok and was a more manageable 15%. You are going to lose bees no matter what you do.
    Last edited by mythomane; 02-02-2012 at 07:08 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Good video Sol. Weaver continues to produce some great stock. I have experience with their stock and it's great anywhere in the country. Yes, have had some mean bees, but no issue working them. Great producers for me in the past. Weaver was the answer when the trachael mite hit. Saved a bunch of yards. I would recommend them to anyone.

    KW and MP are a different story. Both very sucessful and excellent keeps. They do what they do for their reasons(breeding northern survivor stock). I continue to gleen from their operations, and hope for the same results. Always have losses, weak colonies for one reason or another. Still trying to wrap my head around the genitic aspect of queen breeding. How far does mother/daughter, with isolated drone stock go? Do we not have to bring in fresh genitic stock every few years?

    Kind regards
    Stonefly7

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    I only ask because all I hear is anecdotal evidence (often a bit negative in tone like that Michael Palmer quote) about Kirk Webster. I'd just really like some objective facts on the man because many comments I've read about him don't seem to match what he's written. However, there are few like me who will actually cite you exact numbers every year. I give everbody the facts so they can make their own conclusions. I'd like to be able to do the same.

    Back to Weavers. Like varroa, scutellata is a fact of life, maybe not for NZ or Australia, but I don't want bees that are not yet capable of dealing with varroa anyway. Weaver has done good work in continuing to breed bees despite the Africanized bee pressure. Continuing to select for gentle and productive bees will continue to yield fruit no matter the genes present. It's a similar situation to when varroa arrived and beekeepers were required to kill thousands of colonies. The genocide had zero effect. The solution was always to push through it and breed bees that through whatever mechanism, survive and are useful to humans.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    nor all the work that his splits entail
    Once you are setup to raise the queens, how much work is it to split your underperforming colonies into nucs? Is it really more work than feeding and medicating underperforming colonies? Mike Palmer splits similarly (the biggest difference being that Mike treats for mites, Kirk does not....not a judgement, just a fact).

    Of course if your management can reliably get you through the winter without losses, there is no reason to do so.

    deknow

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonefly7 View Post
    Weaver was the answer when the trachael mite hit.


    Kind regards
    Think you have your mites confused...Pick up a Larry Connor book if you are interested in getting started with queen rearing. It is more complicated than you think.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    often a bit negative in tone like that Michael Palmer quote
    Only to correct this....I've only heard (read) Michael Palmer speak highly of KW. My earlier quote wasn't, in my opinion, expressed by MP in any negative context but simply a statement.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Only to correct this....I've only heard (read) Michael Palmer speak highly of KW. My earlier quote wasn't, in my opinion, expressed by MP in any negative context but simply a statement.
    I don't see many people being negative. He is a well respected beekeeper. The reason we know he is losing bees is because he is honest and tells people this. He makes up for it in the spring. You have to make up losses somehow -- through splits, cutouts, acquisition, etc.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by mythomane View Post
    He makes up for it in the spring.
    ...but this is EXACTLY what Kirk and Mike have been so vocal about saying the DON'T do.

    Conventional wisdom is to split your good bees in the spring to make up losses. This splits your good hives that will produce honey for you.

    You split your non-productive colonies through the summer...the ones that would need feeding, special attention...the ones that just aren't thriving. ...raise queens in the summer when conditions are favorable, and overwinter the nucs.

    This is not making up for losses in the spring, it is preparing for next season's losses the summer before.

    deknow

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Bingo! MP is very sucessful working that process. Overwinter nucs, yes, yes, yes.

    Myth; I am getting older and may be confused, but I thought Binford Weaver brought in some ARC-Y1 stock released through the USDA and crossed with Buckfast brought in from Ontario at that time to produce a strain able to withstand the onslought of the T-mite? Was it the V-mite?

    Kind regards
    Stonefly7

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    ...but this is EXACTLY what Kirk and Mike have been so vocal about saying the DON'T do.


    deknow
    I am very aware of what they do. This is semantics. You don't really know what you have until the next spring after they overwinter is my point. They may not make it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonefly7 View Post
    but I thought Binford Weaver brought in some ARC-Y1 stock released through the USDA and crossed with Buckfast brought in from Ontario at that time to produce a strain able to withstand the onslought of the T-mite? Was it the V-mite?

    Kind regards
    I don't know about that. The tracheal mite problem is kind of a non-issue down here in Texas, at least in my operation. The t-mite onslaught you speak of in Texas somehow eluded me. When was this? I was referring to the acarine invasion of 1904+ in the british isles. Buckfast (orig. italian crosses) were/are resistant to t-mites, yes.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    ...but come spring, if you are NOT splitting up your best hives to make up your losses because you overwintered a ton of nucs, you are not "making up in the spring"...."making it up in the spring" implies that you are splitting your hives somehow....it is much more than a semantic difference if you are making up the losses from nucs that you made up the summer before....and then selling the surplus....while your strongest hives are not being split so they can produce a crop.

    I think Michael Palmer just needs to TALK LOUDER so people will understand better

    deknow

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Some Bee Weaver Questions Answered

    Deknow, hopefully by EAS he will have his book in print! Hoping! I know he is working on it now. I am working on the third arm, queen production, which is not as hard as folks make it. I am studing his calendar now, and trying to apply his concepts to my operation. He used KW's calendar and made some changes to adapt to his operation, along with Brother Adams processe's. The production arm and the nuc arm are very simple.

    Hope to see ya at EAS.

    Kind regards
    Stonefly7

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