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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    80

    Default Best variety for northern climates.

    Have Italian's now but have been looking at other varieties. Looking for info from other beeks on varieties with traits that would increase surviveability in Michigan's climate. Also, would it be better to start with a package of said variety or just introduce a queen into a split from my existing hives? Leaning toward the Buckfast but open to other options. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: Best variety for northern climates.

    Catch swarms from your area they are adapted to your climate. Sorry forgot to add they are called MUTTS.
    Last edited by wadehump; 02-16-2017 at 04:15 PM. Reason: MORE INFO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    HOPKINTON, MA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Best variety for northern climates.

    Any truth to the thought that swarms give you swarmy bees?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Best variety for northern climates.

    NWC are good. Some of the Perdue ankle biters should be good. If you can get lucky Michael Palmer Is great. The last two have a lot of NWC in them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Keosauqua, IA, USA
    Posts
    233

    Default Re: Best variety for northern climates.

    Quote Originally Posted by MiBees View Post
    Have Italian's now but have been looking at other varieties. Looking for info from other beeks on varieties with traits that would increase surviveability in Michigan's climate. Also, would it be better to start with a package of said variety or just introduce a queen into a split from my existing hives? Leaning toward the Buckfast but open to other options. Thanks!
    I have amazing luck with mutts. I have bought Kona Carniolan/Russian hybrids, but over the past two years of splits its a mutt with carniolan traits. I love them. Super fast build up, adapted, and are over all great.

    My favorite bees come from swarms though. Although so do some of this biggest duds. Sometimes you'll get a hive that has had the ever-living crap treated out of it and will never make it without chemicals. Doesn't work for me--- I'm treatment free. Drone combs, dusting, IPM.
    "In all honesty, I don't think any of us know what were doing. Just what we've done."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,330

    Default Re: Best variety for northern climates.

    In some areas a caught swarm might be a good proposition; in others, not so much. I have no known ferals around and anything I caught would be almost guaranteed my own. In my case these are well adapted for this climate but where a lot of the swarms might be from purchased nucs of Italian genetics which I dont think make the simplest bees to keep in the north. Not much use getting early brood up when dandelions are middle to late May!

    No personal experience with Buckfast but quite a few of them are being brought up this way from Ferguson's. I am not certain of the genetic history of my Szabo bees but their characteristics seem to fit Carni with some russian and caucasian thrown in. They winter easy, no tendency to rob and very docile. They suit my zone 4 a/b climate.
    Frank

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Penobscot County, ME, USA
    Posts
    1,083

    Default Re: Best variety for northern climates.

    Carniolan (originally) and Russian hybrids have worked better for me here in Maine, than Italians...but part of that could be my bad beekeeping. I'm making mutts, I'll probably bring in some more Italians this year, to get some more of their line in.

    The only swarms I get are my own. The old-timer down the road told me that bees hadn't been seen around here for a long time before I brought them in.
    If you want to be successful, study successful people and do what they do.
    Zone 4a/b

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    NE PA
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Best variety for northern climates.

    If your over wintering italians successfully. Odds are most other races could do it also . You might ask yoursely what traits are you intrested in then move in that direction by finding a northern breeder who has those traits to offer, hint many states have queen breeder associations. You may wish to try raising a few of your owne queens and see what the local population has to offer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Port Angeles, WA, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Best variety for northern climates.

    I can vouch for Dan's line from http://www.wildernessbees.com/

    Worst winter we have had in a decade up here in Washington, while everyone else I know is complaining about losses, mine are going strong, got some pictures of the girls with pollen the other day... at 45f.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Best variety for northern climates.

    Buckfast had the best overwintering success in a study made by the Finnish beekeepers association, maybe 15 years ago.

    Races: Italian, Carnica, Buckfast

    The result was, partly, due because "beekeepers having buckfast are more educated than beekeepers in average", with these words was this somewhat surprising result interpetrated by the officials. (buckfast was very long a rare race in Finland)
    TF since 2008, max 1 nuc/hive, no swarm collecting, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html, YouTube juhanilunden

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