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  1. #1
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    Jan 2005
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    Southern Oregon
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    Thumbs Up Breeder queens to play with

    Occasionally we like to bring in some breeder stock from outside sources. This year we went with 3 more VSH from Harbo and 2 Caucasians from Cobey. These should complement what we have going nicely and keep genetic diversity up. The "Caucasica" from Sue should be particularly interesting.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    salisbury, wiltshire, united kingdom
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    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    Occasionally we like to bring in some breeder stock from outside sources. This year we went with 3 more VSH from Harbo and 2 Caucasians from Cobey. These should complement what we have going nicely and keep genetic diversity up. The "Caucasica" from Sue should be particularly interesting.
    Is this with a plan to get treatment free stock or just stock improvement and genetic diversity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Molalla, Oregon, USA
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    19

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    If I order queens from you can I specify what breeder queen they come from?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,695

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Do you have the info on the Caucasians or are they the ones out of the wsu old world germplasm.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Quote Originally Posted by beebreeder View Post
    Is this with a plan to get treatment free stock or just stock improvement and genetic diversity
    These two goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Any stock we work with will be evaluated for mite tolerance.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    The Caucasica stock is derived from the germplasm importation program that WSU initiated 2 or 3 years ago. From what I gather there should be more propolis and longer tongues.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  7. #7
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    "If I order queens from you can I specify what breeder queen they come from?" ptmerrill

    Yes we color code every breeder and actually mark her daughter cells before they are placed. We have some clients who require sister queens for research purposes like at OSU. We usually have a 12-15 or so selected breeders we graft from in a season so an individual grafting session may typically only contain 3 or 4 mothers. It would be a matter of specifying in advance which one you are interested in and lining up your order with the appropriate graft cycle.
    Last edited by JBJ; 01-08-2014 at 05:21 AM. Reason: left out quote
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
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    1,793

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    The Caucasica stock is derived from the germplasm importation program that WSU initiated 2 or 3 years ago. From what I gather there should be more propolis and longer tongues.
    I got some F1 queens from this stock. Propolis was no heavier than my Carni hives. Don't know about the longer tongues.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
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    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I got some F1 queens from this stock. Propolis was no heavier than my Carni hives. Don't know about the longer tongues.
    Do your Carnis collect much propolis? Where did you get them?

    The bee industry has been selecting away from heavy propolis gathering for a very long time since it can make have manipulations quite sticky. This may have been a mistake in light of the general usefulness of propolis in sealing, its antimicrobial nature, and helpfulness to the bees in building SHB prisons. I have heard that some lines of pure Caucasians can collect 30+ oz propolis a year as compared to 4-8 oz in other lines of bees.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
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    1,793

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Hi John,

    I got the queens from Full Bloom Apiaries in CT. http://www.fullbloomapiaries.com/

    My Carni's vary. Some have heavy propolis but most are not that much more than some of my Pol-Line's. I agree that heavy propolis is a pain and I don't collect it for sale, so I wouldn't propagate a queen that does. That said the queens I got from Alan @ Full Bloom were not an problem in that regard. Good queens too with nice patterns.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    2,475

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    I heard from Sue Cobey that the Caucasians she is working with are higher than average in propolis production.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    I believe Sue got Caucasian semen from Turkey. They couldn't get into Georgia to get semen due to the war. Hopefully Sue got semen from the mountain Caucasians not from the yellow Caucasian. My folks remember the yellow for the poor winter ability. The Mountain is a whole different bee however.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    Occasionally we like to bring in some breeder stock from outside sources. This year we went with 3 more VSH from Harbo and 2 Caucasians from Cobey. These should complement what we have going nicely and keep genetic diversity up. The "Caucasica" from Sue should be particularly interesting.
    Hmmm.... :-(

    First of all the harbo queens don't interest me in the least.
    And "interesting" un proven stock doesn't either.
    It is always a gamble when we buy queens fron a new source...
    ...but just willy / nilly falling through outerspace with no vector is just a no no.
    :-/
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
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    518

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Why not the Harbo Harry??

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
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    940

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Brandy, i will soon be picking out my breeders from hives that stand out, head and shoulders, THE BEST of our outfit, based on honey production from 2012, , excellent patterns / populations and otherwise no obvious problems. And of course, gentlness.
    We will get a good look at these queens in almonds and then again in March and then comes first graft.

    Why would we assume that sending a big fat check for a breeder queen will produce anything better than that which I just decribed?
    What could possibly be better in production than the best, based on track record?
    Sorry, I just don't get it.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  16. #16
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    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    2,475

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Harry,

    No question that the classic approach that you reference is an excellent path forward to improving stock. In your case I suspect that you have a pretty large and robust population to select from, which helps with continued vigor and performance. However, if one doesn't have a large population to select from then that approach may not produce competitive results, true? If indeed true, then I see the only path forward is to selectively import stock. Even Sue Cobey who has been working with and improving the NWC for decades, recently felt the need to bring in Caucasian stock to further improve her stock. Seems to me that in the hands of the right breeder new stock is an extremely valuable asset. Of course good breeders will continue improvements and not be misled by temporary vigor resulting from out crosses. Breeding is a lifelong endeavor and sometimes new blood needs to be brought in. Seems to have worked before with Buckfast, right?

    I seem to recall some old posts that you were not so thrilled with VSH bees. Is that recollection true? Personally, having worked with VSH for several years, my perspective is that the VSH stock has improved dramatically in the past couple years. Although Glenn provided an incredibly great service to beekeeping, some of the early pure VSH Glenn stock (in my, and perhaps, isolated experience) was marginal. They would basically cannibalize themselves to death. I believe that others saw this same hyper-VSH behavior. Other sources of VSH now claim to have significantly improved the brood variability problem that was observed in early versions of the VSH stock. I'm not a commercial beekeeper, but some of the recent VSH stock is equal to any bee I've seen over the past 12 years. I am very hopeful that over time VSH will offer at least a partial solution to varroa.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Harry,

    Your approach is tried and true. Do you mark all of your queens to track them?

    To me, the value of a breeder queen is in the performance of her daughters. The best way to ensure a better than average return from daughters is to control the pedigree using insemination and evaluate the lines over time. When sister queens and progeny can be evaluated over multiple seasons, say 2, 3, 4 production years for the same queen/queens it gives a better idea of how the subsequent generations will perform. And by evaluating inseminated breeders into their third and fourth seasons I also have the opportunity to evaluate some of their daughters alongside them too.

    Genetics are not absolute, but it is nice to stack the odds in your favor.

    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
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    940

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Thanks, Joe.
    Here's what I'm griping about:
    Several years ago we had a certain researcher / queen breeder speak at the Oregon Conference about SMR or VHS or whatever mite resistant queen of the day.
    He made no bones about it, that in order to arrive at their goal, they STRICTLY FOCUSED ON THE SINGLE TRAIT.
    Many of us worry that such efforts are turning back all of the hard work that has been done in the past to arrive at very good workable, productive and gentle stock.
    If given a wish-list of traits that I want in my queens, mite resistance places DEAD LAST.
    1) Good laying / pattern
    2) Overwintering
    3) Honey production
    4) Gentlness
    5) Not overly swarmy
    6) No chalk, disease prone etc
    7) Mite resistant.
    Theres my list.
    How does a Harbo queen do in light of that list?
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    Harry,

    Seems to me that in the hands of the right breeder new stock is an extremely valuable asset. Of course good breeders will continue improvements and not be misled by temporary vigor resulting from out crosses. Breeding is a lifelong endeavor and sometimes new blood needs to be brought in. Seems to have worked before with Buckfast, right?

    .......some of the early pure VSH Glenn stock (in my, and perhaps, isolated experience) was marginal. They would basically cannibalize themselves to death.
    Astro, two points:
    One, when I hear that someone that I purchace queens from is going down that road I have to wonder, "Am I going to be buying direct daughters of this junk?"
    The worst thing that can happen to a regular customer of a queen producer is to have everything change in a direction that is objectional.
    Since my policy is never to bad-mouth queen producers, I won't mention names, but I have DROPPED two very well known producers because their stock went down the drain after years of excellent queens. Many of my peers dropped them at the same approximate time.
    I have no proof, but I'm quite sure that they jumped on the banwagon and took their eyes off of good bees.

    The second point is that if I can get bees that DO THEIR JOB as bees, I will DO MY JOB as a beekeeper and take care of the mites.
    It is just not that hard to do.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    340

    Default Re: Breeder queens to play with

    Harry,

    I hear your very sentiments repeatedly from "commercial beekeepers". They want stock that will produce! If I can sneak a little mite resistance/tolerance in there too that is fine, BUT don't sacrifice performance characteristics.

    However, I hear a very different story from the "hobbyist" crowd. They want bees that are bullet proof and if they produce that is good too. It is a real challenge to please all beekeepers.

    Joe
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

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