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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Rutherfordton, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Carnolian Bee Reviews

    What do people think about the Carnolian Bee? Are they better than Italian bees? How do you remedy the swarming tendency?
    "May your honey be plentiful and stings be minimal."-Mr. Beeman

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Corsock, United Kingdom
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    I always think Carnolian should be called swarmolian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,264

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Carniolans are wonderful little gentle kittens with wings. They winter in a small winter cluster and build up explosively in the spring. If people only have bees and don't KEEP them, this explosive growth can result in population pressure. If you are actively keeping track of your bees, there reproductive urge is quite controllable by making sure they don't run out or room or complete that dome of honey over the cluster that is the key precursor to swarming. They are not better or worse than Italians just different.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Carniolans (and Caucasians and Russians) build up very suddenly in the spring where the Italains start earlier and are not so explosive. This suddenness means that if you manage them like Italians you are likely to miss the signs that they are getting ready to swarm or the signs that you need to do something to head it off.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Benton county, Arkansas
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Mr Bush, Can you elaborate on the signs for us newbies?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    The most obvious sign is that the hive is overflowing with bees... and there are a lot of drones suddenly, but other signs are things like backfilling of the brood nest and just noticing that all of a sudden there is a lot of brood.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Benton county, Arkansas
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Keeping the brood nest open would be the best way to go?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    It's probably the best way to go with any bees. It requires more vigilance with the ones that build up explosively...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,269

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Pay close attention to the frames of sealed brood. Visualize how much space the emerging brood will occupy and make sure there is enough room the bees before they become overly congested.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Benton county, Arkansas
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Interestingly enough my only hive, Carnis, that was basically a five medium frames nuc when cold weather started, have doubled in size during the cold days and filled up the entire 10 frames medium box they are in. Is that normal Carnis behaviour?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Carniolans tend to be (tendencies are not guarantees) frugal. When they build up they tend to build up very rapidly. But then tend to stop brood rearing during dearths and cold. So the explosive growth is normal for Carnis. but raising brood really late is not. Perhaps they sensed a lack of "winter" bees and decided it was time to make some...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    thomasville, north carolina USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    I had a hard time keeping mine from swarming, they had room and food but poof gone 2 times then went with another type

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,866

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    I love my Carni Hybrids. The Carnies I have now that is.
    Heavy on the word Hybrid. I feel like I have the best traits of several strains.









    Nice in the mating nucs



    Nice in a larger colony



    Overwinter in my area in the smallest of nucs



    Tidy comb building, even with areas of foundationless.









    I find they are neat and organized. Respond to even invasive manipulation very well, rebounding with strength instead of being depressed by changes.





    I have no issues with swarming. Even though my hives are highly populated early summer. They bring an amazing amount of honey, considering how many hives I have in one area.

    I do most of my work during the hot summer months in shorts and a light veil. I probably have 10 hives out of 200 that I'd rather wear jeans and a veiled jacket to work.


    Now I had some carnies in my original package bees when I started a few years ago. I hated the testy, swarmy buggers. Just because they are black or dark and are called carnies, doesn't mean much. You can have very different behaviors & breeding programs and they are all called the same thing. No way to judge them until you experience them first hand, unless someone is willing to disclose details about them.
    Last edited by Lauri; 12-04-2014 at 08:23 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,812

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Listen to Adrian.

    A diligent beekeeper will not have troubles with Carniolan bees. Good "Italian" swarm prevention works on them dark bees too.

    Crazy Roland

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Skagit, WA, USA
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Weird, I've only been keeping bees three seasons, but the only hive I've had swarm was the only Italian colony I've had (one hive of Italians, ten of Carniolan so far). I watch for backfilling with the Carniolans. My bigger problem is they shut down during the month long dearth a month before the main flow. I have to feed to keep them laying to get population growth for the June blackberry nectar flow.
    I don't keep bees, I tend bees. Does this make me a beet?
    Sea level, Puget Sound, USDA 7a-7b

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    364

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Love Carnis! I used to live up north and they faired better than the others. I didn't mind the rapid buildup. They're my first choice.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,866

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Thing is, I learned beekeeipng on mostly Carnie strains, so my management methods reflect their behavior. If I got straight Italians now, it would probably throw me for a bit of a loop.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,927

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    Get some of Velbert's VSH dark queens. Great bees, hope they winter well.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    976

    Default Re: Carnolian Bee Reviews

    In my dozen-odd hive apiary, I have Italians, Carnies, and survivor (i.e. local mutts) strains. I gotta say, I don't see a marked difference between the strains.

    I think a beek would have to be running a large number of hives before the difference between strains would start to show up over the background noise of differences between individual queens.

    JMHO
    Last edited by shinbone; 12-08-2014 at 02:21 PM.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 12 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

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