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  1. #21

    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by DRUR View Post
    However, that is not what this post is about. This is about the unsupported allegations concerning BeeWeaver's resistant stock being resistant because of AHB influence. There is absolutely no support for these slanderous statements.
    You can't possibly be referring to my post Danny. I only pointed out the two possible reasons why BWeaver's queens may have varroa tolerance. Like it or not, AHB genetics are a possibility.Nothing slanderous about that.
    If the bees you got from them aren't mean, that's not evidence of a lack of AHB genes. For those of us who are in non AHB areas....for the moment....it's something to consider.
    I didn't plan to post again on the topic until you 'stirred the pot'.
    Regards
    Dan Harris
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    You can't possibly be referring to my post Danny. I only pointed out the two possible reasons why BWeaver's queens may have varroa tolerance.
    Dan, here is what you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    On the other hand queen breeders and producers as well as the USDA and entomologists the world over have been trying, unsuccessfully, to produce a European bee that can tolerate varroa without treatment. So, either one of two things has occurred. BWeaver has stumbled upon the holy grail of beekeeping (a European honey bee that tolerates varroa without treatment) or their bees have a significant enough mix of AHB genetics confer that trait. Choose for yourself.
    First, your statement that queen breeders and producers have been unsuccessful in producing European bees that can tolerate varroa without treatment is incorrect.

    Additionally, to me, your implication [without support I might add] is that BeeWeaver's varroa tolerance bees is because "their bees have a significant enough mix of AHB genetices". There was/is a third choice which you failed to mention, that being, that through selection of tolerant colonies, this trait has become prominant in their bees. This has also occurred through 'natural selection' in feral colonies. And IMO to state or imply that BeeWeaver's queen trait of resistance to mites [without factual support] is because of AHB genetics is a slanderous implications/statement. Now, if you have factual support for this statement/implication, then I will certainly join you on your bandwagon, but until then, I will choose to stand with them, which is based upon my personal experiences with their bees.

    Kindest Regards
    Danny Unger
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  4. #23
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    You guys are getting awfully worked up over this. Realistically, I think we all need to admit that any bees that are open-mated in areas where AHB have been found have a possibility of carrying AHB genes and traits.

    Leaving names out of it, if that possibility concerns you to the point where you fear purchasing bees from suppliers in areas with AHB, simply don't. Queens are available from a wide array of suppliers, many in areas without any AHB.

    If queens from a supplier in an area with AHB present still appeal to you, buy some and try them, but bear in mind that they may carry some undesireable traits. They may also turn out to be some of the best queens around. You won't find out if you don't give them a try.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    I think we all need to admit that any bees that are open-mated in areas where AHB have been found have a possibility of carrying AHB genes and traits.
    Perchance you did not read my prior post, We are not in disagreement.

    Quote Originally Posted by DRUR View Post
    BeeWeaver floods their drone yards with their drones, reducing the chance that one of their queens will be bred by an AHB drone. Claressa, I would say if you purchased a queen, from them, there is the possibility that you could acquire a queen that has beed bred with a AHB drone, but the risk probaly is not very great. There is a good chance you will get a queen which is resistance to mites and can survive without treatments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    You guys are getting awfully worked up over this.
    Well, unfortunately Dan does get under my skin, because often his arguments are well supported and well made and often contrary to my viewpoint, and also we have personality clashes. However, don't mistake this for ill feelings that I have towards Dan. If I selected counsel regarding these issues, Dan would be one that I select, contrarian viewpoints, when adequately supported by the facts are held in high regard to me; and I have often found myself on the short end of the argument with Dan, but just not this time. I am not particularly fond of 'yes men'.

    Kindest Regards towards Kieck and Dan
    Danny Unger
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  6. #25

    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    I think neither Danny nor I can substantiate the source of BWeaver's claimed varroa tolerance. Is it the influence of AHB genes? Or is it a fortunate mix of EHB genes? I can't prove it either way and I don't think Danny can either.

    Danny and I disagree on a number of things. I learned long ago that adult differences of opinion are normal. Because someone doesn't embrace my opinions isn't cause for me to get angry or treat them with disrespect. I try to carry that philosophy with me...even to these online message boards.
    Best to ya
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  7. #26
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    From the BeeWeaver FAQs:

    Q. Is the BeeWeaver Breed Africanized?
    + A

    Our mating grounds are in an area where Africanized bees have been found. We feel it did effect our stock's temperament for the first 5-10 years, beginning in 1994. Most of those feral African colonies have been watered down by our stock (and other US beekeeper's stock) breeding with them and many of the colonies have died out. BeeWeaver floods its mating yards with high numbers of drones and selects breeders who are proven to be calm, workable colonies of bees. BeeWeaver offers a replacement policy for queens that produce mean bees (stinging without provocation, smoke does not calm them, stinging in high numbers)... the number of queens we must replace is minimal and decreases each year.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So, let's all agree that until about 2004 there was enough AHB genetics in the BeeWeaver line that the phenotype sometimes came through. However, let's see if we also agree that the company has a policy in place to replace a queen that customers feel has AHB-like traits and that they have striven to address the temperaments of their stock. If we take BeeWeaver's FAQ at face value, breeder queens' drones will have their mother's even temper though there is a chance that a superseded queen might have an AHB father. In which case, a diligent beekeeper (which I like to think I am) will notice it quickly and pinch that queen before damage is done by throwing a mean swarm or too many AHB drones. If you have more to say on the mating habits of bees and the likelihood of my missing the AHB phenotype before they spread and establish themselves in a naive area, then have at it. But I think it should probably be moved to separate thread.

    What I was really after was whether these are good queens for build up, production, and (yes) temperament - though EHBs can be pretty mean too. Also, whether the company is reputable, gives good value, and support to customers. So far, the consensus is that BeeWeaver queens make for good stock and the company is very helpful. If you have a dissenting opinion about those points I'd love to hear it.

  8. #27
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    You guys are getting awfully worked up over this. Realistically, I think we all need to admit that any bees that are open-mated in areas where AHB have been found have a possibility of carrying AHB genes and traits.
    I guess you better include in that any bees that are open-mated in an area known to have migratory beekeepers during the breeding season. That should pretty much cover everybody.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    How about Jennifer Berry? is that her name? Article about her and her queens in this months Bee Culture..and she's in Athens..just a hop skip and a jump from St. Mnt. Is she treatment free? IDK..just a thought
    Buffalo Lick Farm & Nursery
    http://www.buffalolick.com

  10. #29
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    OK I looked again at the article and she sells hers through Brushy Mountain and it says a long waiting list...
    Buffalo Lick Farm & Nursery
    http://www.buffalolick.com

  11. #30
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    I guess you better include in that any bees that are open-mated in an area known to have migratory beekeepers during the breeding season. That should pretty much cover everybody. -Ross
    Sure.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Claressa View Post
    So one question I'd really like answered in this post is if anyone has noticed that BeeWeavers are significantly more aggressive than others. The other really pressing question is are they truly more resistant to the pests in areas outside the south Texas microclimate?
    i resurrected this nine year old thread out of curiosity.

    anyone here on the forum having experience with beeweaver bees and if so how would you answer the op's questions?
    'no wise man has the power to reason away what a fool believes' - the doobies

  13. #32
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Claressa View Post
    I'm thinking of doing a small split in May from my overwintered hive and giving the nuc a BeeWeaver queen. Their description seems perfect for my area, riddled with SHBs and mites of all sorts. What has your experience been?

    If you know north Georgia climate feel free to comment on my timing too.

    Thanks!
    I used R Weaver Buckfast queens, which were nice bees, but when they crossed with other bees due to swarming or splits they got nasty; Ferguson Buckfast didn’t.
    Proverbs 16:24

  14. #33
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    I bought 2 BeeWeaver queens in May/June of 2017 to introduce to established hives. Only one was accepted and after a month, I pulled her over to a nuc so that the big hive would requeen with a locally mated daughter of the BeeWeaver queen. The original queen had workers that I would describe as "spicy". Not stinging, but certainly bumping off my veil in greater numbers than I am comfortable with. I don't use smoke and I'm in a populated neighborhood, so I can't afford the tick off the neighbors. Mama was sold to another beekeeper out in the country somewhere. I still have her original daughter (and I did make other daughters off the mama nuc that went into swarm mode in Aug, but none of those nucs made it through the winter of '17-'18).

    So this has been my second season with the daughter. Her colony has done fantastic in that I was constantly pulling brood and honey from it so they wouldn't swarm (mine are topbar hives). However, they are not oblivious to me being in the box like some of my other ones are. I've not done my standard monthly sugar dusting on each comb in this hive, since they let me know I am "unwelcome" as soon as I pop a bar. One honey pull of cross-combed bars in Aug revealed 4 mites just crawling around on the comb, so I know they have mites (like every other beehive). I'll try and remember to update the thread in late Jan/Feb of next year to let you know if they are still alive.

    If they are, I should really graft from them, as I could call them truly treatment free bees (some die-hards say my powdered sugar knock down is a treatment, but since they didn't get that this year, it is a good test case for the Beeweaver brand, even though she is a locally mated daughter.)

  15. #34
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    I replied to the original post and have used BeeWeaver queens, off and on, since. I've also bought from Rossman and Fat Bee Man here in GA (my favorite other than swarms). Until last year I would have said they were all about even in temperament. Last September I requeened with BeeWeaver's in two of my hives and both were testier than I like: head butting, stinging, a few even following me all the way to the back door. By spring, one was booming and one was drooping. I split the booming hive and her daughter has a very sweet temper. Neither made a ton of honey, but it was a rainy year. Monthly mite counts in the big hive by sugar shake hit my treatment threshold in August, but it was also in 4 full 8 frame mediums with a lot of brood. They don't seem to be quite as interested in me since the fall flow started, but some of the naughtiness happened during the flush of the spring flow. If it happens again this spring, I will definitely requeen them both.

    I've had perhaps 20 BeeWeaver queens; thus, about 10% of the BeeWeaver queens I've experienced so far could be described as seasonally aggressive. Maybe 2017 was a bad vintage. I have not noticed that they are any more mite tolerant than any of the purveyors I have used. My best hive so far was an immediate supersedure of a mail order package. It lived treatment free 8 years with nothing more than sugar shakes when I thought about it until some nocturnal mammal got it.
    Vita est quoque brevis essum nocens victus.

  16. #35

    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Claressa View Post
    I replied to the original post and have used BeeWeaver queens, off and on, since. I've also bought from Rossman and Fat Bee Man here in GA (my favorite other than swarms). Until last year I would have said they were all about even in temperament. Last September I requeened with BeeWeaver's in two of my hives and both were testier than I like: head butting, stinging, a few even following me all the way to the back door. By spring, one was booming and one was drooping. I split the booming hive and her daughter has a very sweet temper. Neither made a ton of honey, but it was a rainy year. Monthly mite counts in the big hive by sugar shake hit my treatment threshold in August, but it was also in 4 full 8 frame mediums with a lot of brood. They don't seem to be quite as interested in me since the fall flow started, but some of the naughtiness happened during the flush of the spring flow. If it happens again this spring, I will definitely requeen them both.

    I've had perhaps 20 BeeWeaver queens; thus, about 10% of the BeeWeaver queens I've experienced so far could be described as seasonally aggressive. Maybe 2017 was a bad vintage. I have not noticed that they are any more mite tolerant than any of the purveyors I have used. My best hive so far was an immediate supersedure of a mail order package. It lived treatment free 8 years with nothing more than sugar shakes when I thought about it until some nocturnal mammal got it.
    Very interesting report, thanks!

    Some comments:
    - I have experienced similar (5-10 years ago) with my stock that hives get aggressive in late spring /early summer and then cool down towards autumn. I think it is a reaction against higher mite levels, which are then sorted out somehow.

    - You write "nothing more than sugar shakes". Does that mean you have tested mite infestation with 300 bees, or does it mean dusting the whole colony? If you are treating all of your bees with sugar dusting, how can you say the BeeWeawer bees are not "any more mite tolerant"? There might be a reason for you to say so, just wanted to hear some more argumentation.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    I purchased 4 BWeaver queens. I have 1 daughter and 5 grandaughters left. The original queens superceeded, absconded or swarmed within 2 months. That was a very expensive daughter queen at that point of the experiment.

    On a 1 to 10 scale with 1 being calm and 10 full AHB nasty, what I have seem to run 3 to 4. My remaining 12 cutout and local mutt hives run from 2 to 6. I have been actively culling / requeening hotter hives; the 4-6 get it next Spring.

    The Weavers brood more like Carnolian than Italian. They love propolis. They make lots of honey, if the flow is long enough or I feed at just the right time to kick start them.

    I was recently given another hive by a friend because he developed bad sting reactions. It supposedly had a marked BWeaver queen, but it was clearly not marked when I looked. They were a 6 or 7 on my first inspection, but calmed to 4 after I moved them into the sun (which reduces SHB), removed the flow frames, and gave them more room. I'm watching them because they are brooding like my mutts, not the Weavers. I suspect they had requeened multiple times and she was just starting to lay again when I got them. They are on deep frames and my others are mediums, so it will be interesting to compare a Spring buildup.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    Regarding RWeaver: The folks there are nice. If you call on the wrong day, you won’t get an answer because the receptionist is out in the field working the bees. At lunch time, she may be attending to her elderly mom.

    If you go to RWeaver and turn right, you will drive right by BeeWeaver’s apiary and store. It is around the curve and just a short walk. I suspect RWeaver’s All American bees share some genetics with BeeWeaver’s.

    I replaced the queens in my 3 hives this past summer with BeeWeavers. One of my hives was struck with chronic Bee paralysis. They had become extremely aggressive and I had to move them out of my backyard quickly for safety reasons. I moved them onto a friend’s property and gave them the BeeWeavers. Despite having been decimated by the virus, the hive recovered with the new queen and is thriving.

    Frequent rains snce August and health problems have limited my access to the hives, and I’ve been negligent in doing might checks, so I can’t address might counts, or resistance.

    SHB seems to be less of a problem. The bees are currently coping with ants, wasps, and spiders. We get a few headbutts from one hive. The other two are pretty gentle.
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people!
    Life Lessons with Dogs, Bees, and Others

  19. #38
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Very interesting report, thanks!

    Some comments:
    - I have experienced similar (5-10 years ago) with my stock that hives get aggressive in late spring /early summer and then cool down towards autumn. I think it is a reaction against higher mite levels, which are then sorted out somehow.

    - You write "nothing more than sugar shakes". Does that mean you have tested mite infestation with 300 bees, or does it mean dusting the whole colony? If you are treating all of your bees with sugar dusting, how can you say the BeeWeawer bees are not "any more mite tolerant"? There might be a reason for you to say so, just wanted to hear some more argumentation.
    Hi Juhani,
    I do sugar shakes on the whole hive and count the mites on my sticky board a full 24 hours later. Before anyone chimes in, I know that this is not the most accurate method. However, I've been doing it for 10 years now and it seems to work for me. I have kept records of every mite count I've ever done, along with lineages, honey harvests, etc. This is what I have semi-scientifically observed:

    My only apiary is in my back yard, 2-8 hives at any given time. My mite load before the buildup is typically less than 5 and during our summer dearth, hopefully less than 50. I treat with ApiLifeVar at 80; I've only had to do this 4 times (BeeWeaver, 2 swarms, Rossman.) This year's not so successful BeeWeaver topped out at 25 during the dearth and has since gone back down to only one or two without treatment. In contrast, the swarm I caught in April topped at 18 and the split I made from the booming Beeweaver at about the same time topped out at 54. They were none and 6, respectively, at last count. My average mite load for all my hives in August, reliably my peak month, for the past 3 years is 42 (n=12). In 2016 all my hives were overwintered and comprised: 2 Fat Bee Man derived, a swarm, and a Rossman derived that all made it to 2017. One of the FBMs & the swarm collapsed during the 2017 dearth with loads never topping 30 (SHB got them before I learned about Swiffer cloths). I requeened the two remaining hives with the BeeWeavers because both brood patterns seemed to be declining and it was too late in the year to breed my own. I bought BeeWeavers after the original post (2), in 2012 (2), and 2015 (2). Sorry, I overestimated that a bit. I've bought 27 queens total, including 2 nucs from FBM and 2 Rossman packages among the current sample. Hope that helps!

    Thanks for the insight into why they might get testy during the spring. I'd only experienced that sort of behavior when they lost their queen. I'll have to start keeping more detailed notes on temperament now to test that hypothesis.
    Vita est quoque brevis essum nocens victus.

  20. #39
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    Cheaper is not always better, and once you start treating any colony, rest assured you most likely will not be stopping. My experience with Bweaver queens has been great. Their daughters are some of my longest living hives. Typically, one expects the daughters to have more aggression than their mothers, but in my operation it has been the opposite. Granted sometimes than can be Very irritable, but what colony can't? Small price to pay for the need not to treat them & the genetics in the operation. Just be prepared if they are not as "friendly" as your other colonies, and I would never manage them in shorts, t-shirt, or no veil However, I wouldn't do that with any colony
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  21. #40
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    Default Re: BeeWeaver Queens

    Maybe these BWeaver bees are just asking to be kept in TBH-style equipment.

    I was scoffed at in the past for suggesting TBHs to help with defensive bees.
    Well, I stand my ground anyway and use TBH-style frame myself.

    Here from a guy who knows a couple of things about defensive bees as he runs,......... well, AHBs (highly recommend his blog):
    The top bar hive is much more suitable for dealing with defensive bees.
    http://musingsonbeekeeping.blogspot....ping-with.html
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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