Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30

Thread: Caucasian

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Valdosta, Ga USA
    Posts
    62

    Default Caucasian

    I read some old threads on caucasians. Has anyone had any recent experience with them? I have a friend that wants me to pollinate his blueberries. Sounds like these might do well at that because their tongue is longer. My concern is they are slow to build up in the spring and blueberries are early bloomers. Any info would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Caucasian

    I am interested in them too for another reason, I read where they forage in cooler and wetter weather than Italians do. I could surely appreciate a bee like that, with the weather we have up here in Michigan.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-13-2014 at 05:15 AM. Reason: language

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Caucasian

    I too am interested in caucasians, and will probably end up ordering some of the old world stock imported through the WSU breeding program in the coming years.

    However, as noljohn stated, they are reputed to build up slowly, which is far from ideal for blueberry pollination.

    Secondly, I suspect that a lot of the studies cited that compare the different species are probably old and probably used either feral or otherwise old world strains, in other words, bees that were not submitted to heavy selection pressure by commercial breeders in North-America. Caucasica probably is more winter-hardy than italian ligustica. Is it more winter-hardy than the ligustica mutts bred in northern North-America, though? I'm not convinced. I'm sure the caucasica has a lot of potential, but I also suspect that it will take a proper breeding program to make it an interesting commercial strain.
    www.apisrustica.com (French-only website) Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens
    www.facebook.com/Apis.rustica

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bloomfield,KY
    Posts
    284

    Default Re: Caucasian

    Caucasian do have longer tongues, they are huge propolis gatherers. They will actually build their own entrance reducers with propolis. That's why they are very seldom used by most beekeepers.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,232

    Default Re: Caucasian

    I won't touch them with a 20 ft pole. Had them years ago and found all the good and all the bad about them. The excessive propolis collection is by far the worst trait I have ever seen in a bee. They do not make a honey crop in area with spring flows. They are not adapted to my area.
    DarJones - 45 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Default Re: Caucasian

    They are hard to find these days. It's a bit frustrating when you try to let go of a frame and it won't come out of your hand beause it's stuck...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Caucasian

    There's good money in propolis.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,626

    Default Re: Caucasian

    We used to run lots of them purchased from Howard Weavers down in Texas years ago but havent seen anyone marketing them in quite some time. I felt they were pretty good bees just loved to propolize. There was always this story that they could work red clover because of a longer probiscus. I had whole yards of them next to such fields in Minnesota and never saw a bee on one or anything which I felt was a flow from it. While there may well be something to their having longer "tongues" I put the notion that they are uniquely suited to working red clover as nothing more than a beekeeping myth.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Default Re: Caucasian

    In general I like bees to propolize. I'd put up with Caucasians if I had them partly because I think it's good for the bees to propolize, but it is frustrating when you can't let go of things because of that "flypaper" propolis the put on everything...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    404

    Default Re: Caucasian

    Don't know where you'd get the Caucasian strain. York bee company in Jesup Ga. ( twenty five miles from me ) had Midnites that were Caucasian/Carniolan crosses, so they must have kept pure Caucasians, they changed to H&R bee company in 2005, I don't think they carry those anymore.
    Someone did keep about a hundred hives of Midnites about a mile from where I live. When I moved here and captured ferals to start my present strain, most had the coloring of midnites. Some of the colonies propolized like crazy. Some colonies exploded in the spring and some didn't build up until mid summer. I sure wouldn't want pure Caucasians, but the Midnite ferals sure added some good traits to my bees ( JMO ) like MB I like a bee that propolizs readily, just don't want to use a crowbar to remove the frames.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Caucasian

    Quote Originally Posted by noljohn View Post
    I read some old threads on caucasians. Has anyone had any recent experience with them? I have a friend that wants me to pollinate his blueberries. Sounds like these might do well at that because their tongue is longer. My concern is they are slow to build up in the spring and blueberries are early bloomers. Any info would be appreciated.
    I'm sorry, I have having a hard time stifling the juvenile giggling over this.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,048

    Default Re: Caucasian

    I don't believe their tongues are that much longer to make much of a difference. That being said, I made a sort of a statement that I would lay out for a WSU Caucasian breeder queen next year if I landed a job soon and it seems I have.... She'll be shipped to another Beesource member for daughter queen production but if there's a fair amount of interest I could do it this year if people want to try queens. The only issue is, WSU doesn't ship out until July or even August, but now that I'm saying that it would make sense to get her sooner to have queens available next spring. If you're really interested in trying some daughter queens, send me a pm or post in this thread and it'll happen this year for sure.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Caucasian

    Would the tongue length make a difference? Hard to say. Bee size might make even more of a difference, if a smaller head allows them to stick it deeper within the flower. A longer tongue probably doesn't hurt, though.

    I'm seriously considering going out with a vernier scale in blueberry fields to look up flower sizes, and try to determine if flower size impacts foraging behavior.

    It's a hypothesis worth testing. Longer tongues for the sake of longer tongues probably isn't worth it, but if blueberry pollination is important to a beekeeper, it'd probably be good to know if tongue length affects that activity.
    www.apisrustica.com (French-only website) Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens
    www.facebook.com/Apis.rustica

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Caucasian

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I don't believe their tongues are that much longer to make much of a difference. That being said, I made a sort of a statement that I would lay out for a WSU Caucasian breeder queen next year if I landed a job soon and it seems I have.... She'll be shipped to another Beesource member for daughter queen production but if there's a fair amount of interest I could do it this year if people want to try queens. The only issue is, WSU doesn't ship out until July or even August, but now that I'm saying that it would make sense to get her sooner to have queens available next spring. If you're really interested in trying some daughter queens, send me a pm or post in this thread and it'll happen this year for sure.
    If anyone buys these queens and exports queens to Canada, send me a private message. Some daughter queens would interest me.
    www.apisrustica.com (French-only website) Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens
    www.facebook.com/Apis.rustica

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Valdosta, Ga USA
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Caucasian

    Dominic
    From what I've read Caucasian bees have the longest probiscus of any honeybee. I've also read that bumblebees are better pollinators of blueberries than honeybees are because they have longer probiscus. Thats the reason why I'm interested in Caucasians to begin with. I was hoping that some commercial beeks or some of the old timers on here might have some experience with this already. Being a first year beek I can use the help.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    buffalo junction, virginia
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Caucasian

    Hello jrg13 just sent you a pm on your queens very interested.


    Thomas Yancey

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Accomac, Virginia
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Caucasian

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpbees View Post
    Caucasian do have longer tongues, they are huge propolis gatherers. They will actually build their own entrance reducers with propolis. That's why they are very seldom used by most beekeepers.
    Sharp, you are quite correct in that they will reduce their own entrances. One of ours compared to one of our Italians TBHs entrances.



    Ed

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Caucasian

    Quote Originally Posted by noljohn View Post
    Dominic
    From what I've read Caucasian bees have the longest probiscus of any honeybee. I've also read that bumblebees are better pollinators of blueberries than honeybees are because they have longer probiscus. Thats the reason why I'm interested in Caucasians to begin with. I was hoping that some commercial beeks or some of the old timers on here might have some experience with this already. Being a first year beek I can use the help.
    Bumblebees, as individuals, are better pollinators for a number of reasons. The proboscis length is but one factor out of many. However, bumblebee colonies top at about 500 individuals, and only forage out for about 500m I believe. I've also had some mitigated blueberry grower feedback on their worth, due to the fact that they are not managed. If I were a blueberry producer, I would absolutely put a few bumblebee colonies in my production, but just as a failsafe, because honeybees are way more cost-effective. Heck, down the road, I'm considering raising bumblebees myself to stack on as a package bonus for hive rentals.

    Quote Originally Posted by treeWinder View Post
    Sharp, you are quite correct in that they will reduce their own entrances. One of ours compared to one of our Italians TBHs entrances.
    Free mouse guard! That's amazing. The more time passes, the more I'm inclined to believe that some of our practices are more of a stress to our colonies than a boon, and that extra-wide bottom entrance is one of them.

    Also read an article recently in Apidologie about how propolis use increased brood viability and worker lifespan, while lines bred for low propolis use had more brood mortality and lower lifespans. Sure, gummy is messy, but if it makes the colony more productive...? And with the price of propolis on the markets...
    www.apisrustica.com (French-only website) Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens
    www.facebook.com/Apis.rustica

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Accomac, Virginia
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Caucasian

    [QUOTE=Dominic;1060636,Free mouse guard! That's amazing. The more time passes, the more I'm inclined to believe that some of our practices are more of a stress to our colonies than a boon, and that extra-wide bottom entrance is one of them.

    Also read an article recently in Apidologie about how propolis use increased brood viability and worker lifespan, while lines bred for low propolis use had more brood mortality and lower lifespans. Sure, gummy is messy, but if it makes the colony more productive...? And with the price of propolis on the markets...[/QUOTE]

    Dominic,
    With them it sure seems they don't need much entrance space or additional ventilation holes we think they need.. Here is the same TBH and they blocked the holes.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Ed

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Caucasian

    Quote Originally Posted by treeWinder View Post
    Dominic,
    With them it sure seems they don't need much entrance space or additional ventilation holes we think they need.. Here is the same TBH and they blocked the holes.
    Have you noticed them unplugging the holes or the entrance at certain times in the year, when the weather justifies it, or do they permanently keep it all to a strict minimum no matter what?
    www.apisrustica.com (French-only website) Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens
    www.facebook.com/Apis.rustica

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads