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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    I purchased some Bee Weaver queens for 2013. I was wondering if anyone has had any trouble with them being mean. Also any bees that you may have bred from their queens. Or have they all been nice bees. Thanks Steve.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,463

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    After reading numerous posts at beesource and based on my own very limited experience, I think that mite-resistance somehow linked to more protective behavior of the bees. I do not know if there is anything real behind such observation. I was thinking another day and it makes sense: if bees are capable to protect their home from intruders and chase me in the house - they probably could do the same for mites and other "visitors". In this sense, mite-resistance may be actually connected to protective behavior (sort of the part of it). Bee Weaver bees are known to be mite resistant. It would be interesting to hear if anybody observed the link between mite-resistance and protective behavior? Under "protective behavior" I do not mean something extreme like AHB; everybody hopefully would agree that there is a difference between bees: some may be worked in T-shirt, some - in beesuit. Mine bees required fancy vented beesuit... they are not Bee Weaver bees.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    I figured the same thing also Sergey, I just want to know what to expect when I get them. I know that Bee Weaver has said that they have bred that trait out of them, but I would like to hear some first hand accounts on what people with there queens have to say about it.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    I have two BWeaver colonies. Mostly calm but if worked roughly can get a bit testy.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Newport News, Va
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    Quote Originally Posted by julysun View Post
    I have two BWeaver colonies. Mostly calm but if worked roughly can get a bit testy.
    I also have 2 Beaweaver colonies and that is exactly how I would describe them. I think they should be testy if needed to keep beetle and mites at bay, and robbing if it should happen. Overall I am happy with them

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    I love my B Weavers, and have purchased two more packages for Spring. The only time they got super-pissy was when I opened up the hive on a hot, cloudy and humid day.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    Indeed, love my B Weaver bees. I started with one package in April 2012. They built up so quick that I split to 4 nucs, and then built back up to 4 full hives. They are very gentle, and I only get stung when I deserve it. Up until September I was able to mow around and under the TBH's with no issues. But then one hive got knocked down and sits on bricks. When I got close to the entrance a month or so ago (mower exhaust at entrance level), they came out hot! No big deal though, I suited up and finished the work with little disturbance.

    I am 100% satisfied with me B Weaver bees. I have seen no mites, and have observed (filmed) them harassing/removing SHB from the hives. I intend to get 10-20 more packages from B Weaver in spring 2013 to greatly up my herd!
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    I did a similar thread, link below, and am very pleased with my BeeWeaver bees. I have ordered two packages for 6 April pick up in their Navasota site and one for a friend. Riding with me is a another friend picking up a package for his second TBH hive. My history is about half way down in the attached thread link but I consider the bees very peaceful. I sit within 10 feet of the hives watching them periodically and have only gotten the buzz/bump warning a couple of times. I check my FBM feeders daily in my work clothes light or dark clothes with no suit or veil and RARELY have issues. I can do inspections in a short sleeve T shirt with a veil and vinyl gloves with only occasional stings, usually on fingers. I have only had two incidences where they got cranky. The first was when I did a split and inadvertently removed the queen from the donor hive for 2 days, all was peaceful again after the queen was returned for 2 days. My second incident was when I was doing hive stand modifications and all three hives got dumped forward on the ground. They were peaceful again the next day. I have been feeding them, see timeline, this year as a start up and split, but will not feed next year except in dearth periods. I have not seen any mites and they seem to keep the SHB under control. I did put SHB specific nematodes in the ground around the hive that seems to help with the reduction. I am also well pleased with their production, but next year will be my first harvesting. Yes I highly recommend them and will use BeeWeaver as my sole purchase vendor, I could capture some swarms and I would probably re-queen with a BeeWeaver queen.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ight=mmmooretx
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    After reading numerous posts at beesource and based on my own very limited experience, I think that mite-resistance somehow linked to more protective behavior of the bees. I do not know if there is anything real behind such observation.
    I've heard of no research that supports this conjecture. Not saying there is none, I've just not seen it. I've got VSH bees (and other hygienic bees) that are very gentle and also very mite resistant. On the surface there doesn't seem to be a correlation between protective behavior and mite resistance. Any references to the contrary would be appreciated.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,236

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    I've heard of no research that supports this conjecture. Not saying there is none, I've just not seen it. I've got VSH bees (and other hygienic bees) that are very gentle and also very mite resistant. On the surface there doesn't seem to be a correlation between protective behavior and mite resistance. Any references to the contrary would be appreciated.
    Well yes....and no. African bees (scuteletta) which can be, of course, extremely aggressive have a natural advantage in their battle against varroa because the gestation of the worker is 1 to 2 days less than other domestic bees. A pet theory of mine is that there is more hybridization going on than many realize in these transitional areas where almost mysteriously African bees have never moved into (which is where Weavers are located). The result could well be a slightly more aggressive bee that has some natural mite tolerant advantages without the many disadvantages that the African bee presents. Again it is only a theory but it is of a lot of interest to me personally as we purchased a lot of bees from Weavers many years ago and now we raise our own bees in a similar area. Perhaps it is only my imagination but it seems like in the past decade bees are slightly more aggressive and also considerable more mite tolerant. Weavers are very reputable producers, nice to see they are finally getting recognized by so many people on here.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    BWeaver Bees are hybrids of 4 kinds of bees, the smallest part being intentionally AHB.

    I get the feeling that one of the reasons my BWeavers are so resistant to mites is because the hive is just so damned strong. It has tripled in size since April, 2012. Another poster today---also a BWeaver believer---said he can't even find mites on his, and has seen his girls "wrestle" SHB.

    Yes, the Weavers are great to deal with.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    The phrase "protective behavior of the bees" is what I was responding to, which of course may have nothing to do with AHB. AHB is, of course, very protective, but as you pointed out has other traits that may help it against varroa.

    And your comment: "...transitional areas where almost mysteriously African bees have never moved into..." Didn't you hear that they have perfected invisible biosphere technology...nothing unwanted can penetrate it. I'll send you a link if you want....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,236

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    The phrase "protective behavior of the bees" is what I was responding to, which of course may have nothing to do with AHB. .
    Agree completely
    Invisible biosphere? I'm afraid to ask but I think I might have seen something about it at the checkout counter the other day, the story about Bigfoot being alive caught my eye and...
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    I have one Beeweaver yard with probably 15 hives in it. Some are swarm cell splits from my BW queens. The queens definately hold their own, build large colonies and have overwintered well. I think I lost one colony in that yard last winter. They just up and left with 2 shallows full of honey. I have not seen that happen often though. I will say that I do notice a difference working this yard especially in the spring if the weather happens to be cold and windy. I found that out the hard way a couple years ago. Other than that I have no problems working them as I do my other yards. Just a veil, no gloves etc. My wife calls them 'crazy bees".
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,372

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    A pet theory of mine is that there is more hybridization going on than many realize in these transitional areas where almost mysteriously African bees have never moved into (which is where Weavers are located). The result could well be a slightly more aggressive bee that has some natural mite tolerant advantages without the many disadvantages that the African bee presents.
    I agree with you totally. I too live in a transition area. I also deal with lot's of feral bees. I know what I see - most of my wild bees don't need treatment and are only slightly more aggressive than "regular" bees. I have also had totally domestic bees that would allow yellow-jackets and other pests to enter their hive and steal while the wild bees would kill them. I have also watched my wild bees groom mites off each other. I don't think they would tolerate mites. I really hate to see people automatically re-queen or destroy swarms and hives because they are wild. I think most people would be shocked at the results of a DNA test on their darling sweet little bees. There is a lot more African out there than just the Brazilian kind.

    Now I do have some mountain bees I suspect to be an AMM/AMI type of bee. Those little girls can be downright ugly, but they can crank out some honey!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,463

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    ... I have also watched my wild bees groom mites off each other. I don't think they would tolerate mites. I really hate to see people automatically re-queen or destroy swarms and hives because they are wild. I think most people would be shocked at the results of a DNA test on their darling sweet little bees. There is a lot more African out there than just the Brazilian kind...
    Yes, my girls do the same - they have a dedicated area at the landing board and they have "quality control girls" who check every bee before entering into the hive. The difference is that we are 100% AHB area (SoCal) and my feral/survival bees supposed to be 100% AHB. Nevertheless, they let me to sit next to the hive and have tea-party 5-10 feet away from the hive. My house - in 10-20 feet from this "AHB" in very urban area! But, yes, they are protective of the hive - clumsy inspection will agitate them. It seems to me that my bees behaved similarly to Weaver bees, how come?
    Серёжа, Sergey

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,372

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    'Weavers have a little African in them, due to the Buckfast breed - and probably more so because they came from Texas. A lot of our ferals act very similar IMHO. I have several friends with Beeweavers and can't tell much difference only that the wild bees are a bit swarmier. The truly African traits of runny nervous bees, swarminess, excess defensiveness, and lack of honey - gets my girls a new queen.

    One of my friends had a hive of them that he started in May and it swarmed several times this year, so yeah, I guess they can be swarmy too.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,014

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    I have 6 hives today. One Rweaver Buckfast and two BeeWeaver queens. Those three are not as protective as my Carniolan/Italian queens mated with my local drones. All keepers, no more defensive than my first Italian hive in 1977. I've heard anecdotal reports, but my experience is negative for defensive bees from the Weavers.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,372

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    People worry too much about African heritage in my opinion. If you don't like the way they behave, re-queen them. There's worse stuff out there to deal with.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,014

    Default Re: Bee Weaver bees/calmness

    Brother Adam concluded ALL Apis Mellifera bees came from Africa.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

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