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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    3,843

    Default Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    I was very interested in Bee Weaver queens until I learned that they had a measure of AHB genetics. It is my understanding and experience that this does not lead to bees that winter well. Could I hear from some people with cold country experience with Bee Weaver queens? I am not trying to slander them, just trying to see people have found. PM me if uncomfortable putting your response on the forum please.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Boalsburg, PA
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    68

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    They put up quiet a bit of honey from my expirence. And appear to be taking central PA winters quiet well. We have what I would say is an average NE winter....cold....snow...rain...wind....
    Green Mountain Apiary
    www.greenmountainapiary.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    I started with a Weaver 3lb package, they put up a full super of honey there first year and they wintered very well.The only reason I stopped using there queens was replacement cost was getting pretty high.Five years ago a shipped gueen was $56.00.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,464

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    I had Weaver Buckfasts from the early 70s to about 2001. They were Weaver's at first then B. Weaver's. They always wintered fine in my experience. I figured it was the Buckfast genes. Weaver always gave great service as well. That's not why I quit using them... but maybe they have improved in temperament since the last time I had some...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater,TN
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    I ordered two buckfast queens from R weaver not the same company as bee weaver but I think they started out as one. They where really nice people to work with and kept me up to date even though I had such a small order. They built up very fast and draw really beautiful white comb much like the AMM black bee. They are a bit testy as Michael has said and it could be from the fact that there are ahb in the area they come from or just the plain fact that they are a hybrid not a race of bee. Offspring of any hive can sometimes lose the original qualities of the original race when open bred to managed and feral drones. I don't like mean bees and don't typically keep those queens around long but I have a few that produce too much to rid of and I have noticed that they can survive winter really well. I don't know if it's just that they are too mean and ornery to die or if they just deal with disease and pests better.
    Major

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    DesAllemands, Lousiana
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    I bought some queens from them last year just to try them out and so far i'm pleased with them. We don't have too much of a winter in Louisiana so i cant say how good they will winter up north but they are keeping up with my other hives down here. I was kind off skeptical to try them out after reading some post about how they were on the aggressive side but i don't have a problem with the ones i got. I normally work all my hives in shorts and a tee shirt and the bee weaver bees never gave me a problem.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Symco, WI
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    I currently have 4 BeeWeaver nucs from splits I made last year. From purchased queens. They are doing well. I did have another in a 10 frame double box that was a nuc made last summer. It had built up so fast i had to move it from the double 5 frame nuc to a double 10 frame. Unfortunately I lost it this winter after a couple of weeks of below zero weather. My fault though they did not have enough ventilation, got wet and froze. Kind of makes me mad. I cleaned the hive out and there was a large population in there. The other 4 nucs though have survived -20 degree days, and -30 degree wind chills. I also found them to not be aggressive like people have claimed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,464

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    > I also found them to not be aggressive like people have claimed.

    My guess is that you are not just claiming yours are nice, nor are others just claiming that theirs weren't. My guess is yours ARE nice and my last ones were decidedly NOT nice. Maybe they have improved. I hope so. They were good people to do business with and I'd like to see them continue. I only know they were SO mean that I won't take the chance to find out.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Symco, WI
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    You are right the Weavers are good people to do business with.

    As far as my statement about them being aggressive I am basing this off of some of the Carnis I have. I can say the Italians I had were the most gentle bees, but I just dont feel they fit my area and treatment program. Just my opinion. As for the BeeWeavers I work them in just a veil. I have had more head butts and stings from the Carnis. This is just my experiance. I know Michael you have had other experiances with them. Last year was my first year using BeeWeavers also, so far so good. Maybe I shoudnt comment until I get another year working them. I do hope to split the nucs this spring and queen the splits with more BeeWeavers at that time. We can see how this plays out then over the summer. Maybe my opinion will change. If you would like to know my experiance after this summer I would be happy to share it, and we can discuss any pros and cons. I am also going to add somemore Carnis so I can have a more even comparison. I do like the Carnis also, and they will be coming from a differnet supplier this year to try these queens out. I already have packages for these ordered. Maybe someday you will give just one a try again. Murphy's law though you would probably end up with a mean one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,843

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    My concern is only on wintering. They admit to having a percentage of AHB genetics. Because of this I am wondering about their winter clustering ability. Thirty years ago I purchased 25 queens from an outfit that went broke shortly after because their bees just did not winter because they had bred some ahb into their bees. Not one of the 25 colonies made the winter with lots of honey and well wrapped. That is why I am concerned and wanting cold country experience.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Symco, WI
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    Vance

    Like I stated I have four nucs doing well yet and have survived -20 degree winter weather. I only have the nucs wrapped in tar paper. I hope this helps.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    Vance,

    My beeyards are in the twin cities metro area.

    I wintered two queens that I bought from beeweaver last summer and four daughter nucs. All made it through the mild winter in good shape, built up very quickly and produced good crops.

    My observation through the winter was that they did keep slightly looser clusters than my other hives and chewed through stores a little quicker.

    For me the verdict is out on their wintering ability but I have seen enough potential to try more colonies headed by bee weaver queens and see how it turns out.

    On a side note one of the original queens and her daughthers were very sensitive to smoke. I discovered that these colonies were easier to work without smoke than with. I later read that it is a common trait in AHB to react strongly to smoke. Overall I found their level of aggression to be much less than I expected due to posts I have read on here.

    best of luck let me know how it goes for you if you try.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Deming, NM
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    Quote Originally Posted by northbee View Post

    On a side note one of the original queens and her daughthers were very sensitive to smoke. I discovered that these colonies were easier to work without smoke than with. I later read that it is a common trait in AHB to react strongly to smoke. Overall I found their level of aggression to be much less than I expected due to posts I have read on here.

    best of luck let me know how it goes for you if you try.

    From my limited experience with AHB hives, I can agree with this. Smoke seems to have little, if any, effect on AHBs. OTOH, I know that in Latin America, they work AHBs with really huge smokers, so maybe it's a question of amount and type of smoke.

    I have 2 Beeweaver nucs on order, and hope they will do well in my area, where AHBs are common.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    There are some that don't want any queens from the south because they aren't supposed to winter well up north, I think they should read this thread
    Quote Originally Posted by SamG347 View Post
    They put up quiet a bit of honey from my expirence. And appear to be taking central PA winters quiet well. We have what I would say is an average NE winter....cold....snow...rain...wind....

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,464

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    I don't know how closely the Weaver bees resemble the Buckfasts at this point, but Buckfasts were BRED to be good northern bees by Brother Adam. I think that's why they did well. He was looking for specific traits that made them good at wintering. On the other hand, most southern bees I get do NOT winter well here in the north, and my guess is they have NOT been selected for wintering in the north.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Somis, Ventura, California
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    I've been using bweaver queens for two years now and they survive quite well here in Southern california, it can be dry, or wet......but mostly dry, they have a good deal of tolerance to varroa mite, But I wouldn't call it resistance because they can still be overwhelmed by mites specially if you have 1 bad hive(Mite load too high)on a pallet, it will just get the other 3 if no action is done to stop the spread..... then you got drifters and robbers during dearths...I did have a few problems with wintering them in North side hills/shady and cool...those didn't do well compared to those out in winter sun, my carniolans did well in those shady spots but did poorly in winter sun yards.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    > Maybe they have improved. I hope so. They were good people to do business with and I'd like to see them continue.
    I have had quite a few queens from BeeWeavers over the last several years and have had little trouble. They did send me a repalcement queen once to a hive that was a little mean spirited. I have not seen any of my colonies led by BeeWeaver queens die over the winter. I really don't think we have to worry much about BeeWeaver continuing their operations as they have been selling bees and queens for over 120 years !
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Do Bee Weaver bees winter well

    well my first year as a bee keeper i tried weavers bees here in colorado they wintered over but shortly died after winter as they got deformed wing virus.also they didn't fly on cooler days so for me that wasn't the bee for me since i live at 6000' and the mornings are always cold in the summer the morning temps are around 40 so my russian/carnolian mix,carnolian,and new world carnolians works for me there always out when temps are 36 and when its drizzling the also fly.i also use no treatment or feed them.ill be raising some queens this year from my three year survivor hive. russian/carnolian mix since this is her 3rd winter ill need to replace her these are the breeds i want too keep.

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