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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default What kind of Queen? Florida

    I'm thinking of getting some different queens to try out.
    Add a little diversity to my Italian bees.
    What does everyone suggest?
    Sunkist ? Hawaiian ? Cordovan ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: What kind of Queen? Florida

    How about Russell's Sunkist Cordovan?
    Does anyone have any experience with them in Florida?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,104

    Default Re: What kind of Queen? Florida

    Give Miksa a call East of you in Groveland. I think he has 7 or 9 choices for you -- Russian, Buckfast, Belgian Buckfast, Carnolian VSH, Aurea (Cordovan), Italian and Karnica.
    Miksa Honey Farms, 13404 Honeycomb Rd, Groveland, FL 34736, (352) 429-3447, Miksahf@aol.com
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: What kind of Queen? Florida

    What are your thoughts on the Aurea?
    A quick search suggest they are gentle, quick building with large brood nest and heavy store consumers.
    Do you think they are a good match for our environment?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: What kind of Queen? Florida

    Firstly; Cordovan is not a species or subspecies. It's only a color variation. See Glenn Apiaries website for an explanation. You can have Cordovan Italians, Cordovan Buckfast, Cordovan Anything. I've used Italians from GA, HI, FL, CA, MS, TX with good results in our climate. Russians did not work out for me. Carniolans are cold country bees. I believe the Aureas are also Italians. I've bought a bunch of cells from Dave Miksa; good bees, good people to deal with. Bob Harvey has some excellent queens and cells also and advertises on this site. Kevin Jester, Jester Bee Co.; last year had some awesome performing Cordovan Italians. I have maybe 20-30 hives with Sunkist queens, no complaints and will order a couple of their breeders this year! Most of mine are queens we raised from Glenn Apiaries breeders, specifically Hygenic Italians. I buy cells from other breeders to keep good diversity in our drone supply. Italian bees come closest to being from a climate similar to ours in FL and have always worked best for me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,104

    Default Re: What kind of Queen? Florida

    Latshaw and Douglas are Cordovan breeders/rearers.
    http://www.douglasfarm.com/honeybeebreeds.htm
    Cordovan is a recessive trait. Aurea are the Italian Cordovan.
    The Cordovan genetic trait was used to study AHB at USDA ARS. The picture of the dark bee next to the light bee are Cordovan Italian and Africanized.
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2007/070209.htm
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: What kind of Queen? Florida

    Thank you guys very much for your replies.

    I'm getting into an area where I'm in need of education and need to proceed with caution.
    I'm not unhappy with the queens I have but dont really have enough experience to judge thier performance. Much of the banter on the internet about specific queen line performance needs to be qualified and is in some ways not objective. Assessments from a keeper 3 states away that tried a few of one type of queen for one year isn't as helpful as your input.

    I'm interested in the Cordovan trait as a tool to help me measure my success in introducing them. My plan is to use 2 small yards of 10 hives each ( about 1 mile apart) and requeen 5 hives each. The old hives will have all capped drone brood destroyed as they produce it. Once I have drones from the new queens I'll graft and open mate new queens. I don't want to requeen everything with something different it kind of feels like "throwing the baby out with the bath water". I like to keep my mistakes small at the risk of smaller improvements.

    What do you think of my plans?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: What kind of Queen? Florida

    Thanks for the photos.
    I know the official line is " you can't tell AHB by looking at them"
    That said having a Cordovan trait in my bees would give me a good idea
    where my queens are mating and how much feral or outside breeding is
    going on.

    I have hives that have requeened themselves three times in a year and who really
    know what drones they mated with? They still act like my bees but of course some
    throw different colored bees.

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