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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default New beek game plan

    Hello

    I've got my first two packages (carniolan) on their way from olivarez to be delivered some time at the end of this week. I was looking for some advice on how I should time things.

    If I notice that the package queen is doing poorly (spotty brood caps, lots of varroa on the sticky board, first year supersedure) when should I requeen? I know that there are many queen lines that I can order that would advance the genetics of my bees but I was wondering about how much of a chance I should give my package bees.

    However, I don't plan on just letting my hive die either. I'd use a soft treatment in order to keep the bees alive until I can transition them to better genetics. Also, when I do get better genetic footing I would probably use some of Michael Palmers suggestions on creating a sustainable apiary. I'm just not sure of how I transition to that point.

    What I'm unsure of in my game plan is how should I time things out? Should I expect a package to last one winter and then slowly start to collapse? Should I order a queen a month from now in the expectation that package queens are generally inferior?

    I could play it by ear and take pictures of what the hive looks like every month and post it to this topic to see what you guys think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Missouri USA
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: New beek game plan

    Playing it by ear sounds the best. There are too many variables that could happen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,929

    Default Re: New beek game plan

    If they die of mites, it's normally during the winter and at that time you probably cannot get a queen.

    Carniolans are great bees and your packages should grow explosively, long as there is nectar coming in, or you feed them. So to have a good shot at a nice honey crop this year, keep the carniolan queens.

    But if the ultimate plan is to requeen with (supposed) mite resistant bees, plan that for early fall.

    I suspect your plan is really to see how the existing bees handle mites on their own. To know that you'll need to test the bees for mite levels. However there are a number of traps for new players when doing this, and it is easy to be mislead by interpretation of results. My opinion, would be just go ahead & requeen at least one of them, with a resistant queen, you could leave the other hive as is, if you think they are tolerating mites, as an experiment.

    Course you have many options, those are just my thoughts, there will be other opinions equally useful.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,370

    Default Re: New beek game plan

    I left my package queens (caucasian) and one was the only colony to survive the winter. The rest bit it (5 supposed resistant) and 2 packages.

    My plan on rebuilding is 4 packages and 2 nucs from traditional sources 3 nucs from a tx free source and 3 queens from a no chemical (soft treatment only) source. I am going to requeen 3 of the traditional source hives with the "resistant" queens and split the remaining 3 into over winter nucs, allowing half to raise a queen using eggs from the tx free nuc hives. Ideally this will give me 7 hives and 6 nucs going into the winter all with a "resistant" queen on the daughter of one.
    Last edited by RiodeLobo; 04-08-2013 at 04:12 PM.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    eolia, lincoln county, mo.
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: New beek game plan

    being new I can't claim any experience or proven actions but common sense and the learning I've done so far leads me to agree with Whitetail. You have to observe and act according to what is happening. Too many variables and you can't reasonably cover all. Go with the knowledge you have and trust your instincts. That's the way I'm approaching it at this point and if I change my mind I'll let you know. Good luck Gus

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: New beek game plan

    Thanks for the advice everyone

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: New beek game plan

    Advice is one thing you'll get a plethora of on beesource. From pretty much every corner of the globe and every spectrum of beekeeping. It's pretty easy to tell someone the best way to ride a bike, explain balance and forward momentum to them; braking and safety precautions looking out for traffic etc... etc... With all the explanation and reading in the world you're still going to have to hop on a bike, fall down a lot, and scrape your knees a time or two before you start to get the hang of it. Few things in life are any different. Dive in. Learn, make mistakes, learn from your mistakes, make more mistakes, keep learning. Don't lose the passion for what you're doing and you'll be fine.

    Best of luck =)
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

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