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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    dallas, tx, usa
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    523

    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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    Dec 2002
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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
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    dallas, tx, usa
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    523

    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
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,740

    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    dallas, tx, usa
    Posts
    523

    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    dallas, tx, usa
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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 08:08 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Cullman Co., AL
    Posts
    196

    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
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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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

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