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Thread: Carniolan Bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Milwaukee, WI, USA
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    Default Carniolan Bees

    My first two packages are coming from the milwaukee-wauwatosa beekeeping association. They are getting the carniolan packages from Ray Olivarez. Should I be worried about having Carniolans as a beginning beekeeper?

    I had figured as long as I did some amateurish checkerboarding in early spring the next year it wouldn't be too big a deal- but I've read stories of multiple swarms in a year. I suppose I could always really enjoy the splits and then requeen them with italians...but it sounds kind of dissapointing to me. Is this race really that hard the manage with swarming?

    What I don't understand about honey bee genetics is why the big breeders haven't been able to remove the genetic likelyhood of traits like swarming. Why don't we have gentle african honey bees, non-swarmy carniolans, honey making caucasians and morally upstanding italians?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,240

    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    Gus, the best prevention for swarms is drawn empty comb above the broodnest and new beekeepers don't usually have any. I would not be overworried about one strain of bees swarming versus another I have had Minnesota Hygienics swarm and Carniolans swarm. Swarming is a natural way for a colony to reproduce itself, and new packages will swarm especially if they are overfed. If your bees swarm don't be hard on yourself, just learn from it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,721

    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    Carnis are going to be just fine.

    You have plenty of time to avoid an " amateurish checkerboarding".

    There's time to learn a lot.... Read read read....!
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
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    1,242

    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    gus
    carniolan bees are great bees. just do good basic beekeepng and skip the checkerboarding. a new queen will not swarm so why screw up the hive. good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
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    660

    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    I have Carniolan's. I have stopped them from swarming by keeping them busy making wax, they are very good at it! Don't feed once they have more than 4 frames drawn.

    Have a look at:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...arm-Prevention

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...fferent-breeds

    Matthew Davey

  6. #6
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    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    No. I started with them and they are good hardy bees; easy to keep up with.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    Olivarez has great Carnies. They build fast so keep the brood nest open and split if you have to.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
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    56

    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    This is my third year with carni's. I have not had a swarm leave yet. I keep up with them and do splits frequently.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
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    1,960

    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    I don't think that mine swarm more than my Italians. The issue is that they go through the winter as a smaller cluster. It's easy to not worry about them swarming because the last time you looked they had plenty of room. Carni's can go from small cluster to swarm size pretty quickly, so you just need to remember to check on them regularly. Mine get to swarm size the same time as my Italians, but start much smaller at the end of winter.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Skagit, WA, USA
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    235

    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    I am first year that started with one Carni package and added one Carni nuc this year. I overfed the nuc using the "feed them 'til they won't take it" method, and had to fight swarm cells/swarm prep due to brood comb backfilled with syrup. I opened up brood space, cut cells and they didn't swarm.

    I think you'll like your Carnies, they fly and work at lower air temps around here, in wetter weather, and use less in stores(or so I'm told by local beeks-I haven't made it through the first winter, so don't know first hand).

    Good luck in your beekeeping and with your Carnies, and welcome.
    I don't keep bees, I tend bees. Does this make me a beet?
    Sea level, Puget Sound, USDA 7a-7b

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Milwaukee, WI, USA
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    91

    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    Thanks everyone for the replies- I'm feeling a lot less uncertain about everything
    You have plenty of time to avoid an " amateurish checkerboarding
    What I meant by that is whenever I read about checkerboarding they reference certain bloom times as timing for CBing- I have no idea about the bloom times in my area,never paid attention before so I figured I would just CB early before the bees get a head start on me

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus979 View Post
    I had figured as long as I did some amateurish checkerboarding in early spring the next year it wouldn't be too big a deal- but I've read stories of multiple swarms in a year.
    You might find this paper on checkerboarding useful:
    http://www.beesource.com/point-of-vi...d-conclusions/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  13. #13
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    Dec 2011
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    Victoria, Australia
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    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    Checkerboarding doesn't work real well with foundation. You really need to use drawn comb and you'll need at least 2 boxes of drawn comb to do it properly.

    It also needs to be done real early, at the end of winter when the plum trees are blossoming (in my area anyway.)

    I think first and even second year beekeepers will be more successful with "Opening the broodnest". I've got a modification on that which I call "Maintaining a hole beside the broodnest". You need to use foundationless frames for this (although you can use a short strip of foundation as a guide if you wish.)

    Matthew Davey

  14. #14
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    I use foundation with good results, I just stick it in there, not right in the middle of the brood nest but they will draw it out quick, at least my bees did, less than a week and start to lay in it.

  15. #15
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    Dec 2011
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    Victoria, Australia
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    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    I'm saying checkerboarding (as in late winter and early spring) with foundation doesn't work real well in terms of swarm prevention. Once there is a flow on they will draw foundation well.

    Matthew Davey

  16. #16
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    Oct 2012
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    Milwaukee, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    Could you elaborate on these two techniques? From what I understand opening the brood nest is simply when you just jam an new box with new foundation in between the 2 brood boxes.

    Do you always have a hole in your brood nest?

  18. #18
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    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    I see what you're saying now Davey. I did do one manipulation in late middle of fall without a flow and they pulled it quite well, but the other time was just before peak flow so obviously they pulled it quickly then as well. The only other thing is when I do open up the brood nest, I give them about 1/2 liter of 1:1 sugar syrup ever 2-3 days for the week just to provide a minor flow stimulus. They usually take it all down in a day and then I let the feeder sit empty for a day or 2 before refilling just so they don't backfill a huge amount of brood space with it.

    Gus, I don't jam a box inbetween, I take any frames of mostly honey, typically the 2 on each end and move them up and out of the brood area. I then put in new foundation, typically not right in the middle, leave the middle 2-3 frames together, then alternate new foundation with the existing frames to refill the box. I've had good results and found once I reconfigure the brood areas that way, they keep the brood there and store the nectar with the honey frames that have been moved up. A good time to do it is when you add a new box, only thing is you need to be using all the same sized equipment. My philosophy is that moving the honey up, you also create the honey barrier to keep the queen out of the top boxes and it also puts it right above the broodnest if they need it.
    Last edited by JRG13; 12-18-2012 at 01:36 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    JRG13 is onto it.

    In detail, this is what I am saying:
    1. Move an outside frame, that has no brood on it, up into a new box (this goes directly above the brood nest.) You could start doing this when plum trees are well into blossom in very early spring.

    2. Then find the frame on the edge of the brood nest and place the foundationless frame next to that. This is "the hole beside the brood nest."

    3. 2 or 3 weeks later (or when the frame is more than 3/4 drawn) do the same on the other side.

    4. Keep doing this every few weeks alternating sides. Once there is brood on the side frames of the box, place the frame with brood in the center of the box above (above the brood nest).

    5. Do the same as 4. after another few weeks on the other side.

    6. You can now do this process to two boxes if you like.

    7. Once the main swarm season is over, you can just concentrate on getting them to work on drawing out honey frames.

    I haven't fed when doing this. Making wax uses nectar, so this also helps reduce backfilling, whilst giving the queen more space to lay in.

    Frames that are moved are always directly above the brood nest, so if there is a cold snap, the bees can still get to that frame.

    It may seem a bit much to go in every 2 or 3 weeks, but a new bee keeper would want to be in there that often anyway. You should now have a good amount of drawn comb, maybe enough to try other techniques next season.

    Matthew Davey

  20. #20
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    Jun 2011
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    brownwood, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Carniolan Bees

    Is the Carniolan bee just a cold weather bee? My real question is: would they survive, or better said, would they prosper in West Texas? My bees are in a zone 8 freeze hardness. It is in an arid, low humidity environment, but when we have rain there are a huge amount of blooms for a couple of weeks. After that, it may be dry again. My flows come and go with the rains, and I need a bee that is a hustler and will get after the nectar when it's there, and not pull too hard on their stores in dry times.

    After stating the above, I realize that I described the bee that we all want. I am still interested in your opinions.

    Lazy

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