Minnasota Hygienic's
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
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    332

    Default Minnasota Hygienic's

    Three members of our local Payne County Okla bee club bought 5 total Nuc's last year. All 5 of these Nuc's have died, we have not had a severe winter here, 1 colony died last summer in the heat. The 4 remaining colonies seemed to be OK until they were found dead on the winter inspections, they had all made stores and were still being fed syrup regulary.
    Have others had bad experiences with Minnatosa Hygienics?
    Myron Denny
    Glencoe Okla

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,604

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    I tried 2 Minn Hyg packages several years ago and I did not have much luck with them. One superceded the queen and the other swarmed before they finished drawing out comb in the first box. Their daughter queens were not very impressive, one survived the winter but fell short of my expectations. They were pretty feisty and not good producers.

    I've seen many positive comments about them, but my experience was not good. My mutts seem to be doing just fine, so I won't be trying MH again.
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,097

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    Several folks around here have been having success with the Minnesota Hs, though as I looked into the supplier they are actually "Minnesota Hygenic Hybrids". Since the hygenic behavior is strongly recessive [donning flamesuit, but it's true] it's clear that without a large, well-planned and robust breeding program this trait is quickly lost in an apiary leaving Italian-descended mutts. Nothing at all wrong with that, just note that hygenics are hard traits to keep around.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Russellville, AL
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    started 2 hives last year. they seem to of have built up really slow. So far they have made it through. will give them this year if they dont get to it i will replace them this fall.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,569

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    My understanding is it depends on the stock, not all are created equal. By explanation: At a Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Assn. meeting I remember Marla Spivak or Gary Reuter - I forget which - saying that they had collaborated with a Minnesota migratory beekeeper who had stock that was as hygienic as theirs. He was selling those queens last year from B&B Honey Farm www.bbhoneyfarms.com What Marla Spivak is saying now is that anyone can raise hygienic bees by selecting the most hygienic stock they have for breeding. If you don't keep selecting for that trait it will disappear as Ben says in post #3. The wisdom I remember was that if you are looking for MH stock quizzing the breeder how the stock is tested for hygienic behavior will give you a clue as to how serious the breeder is about that trait. The MH bee was bred to allow beekeepers to have more success and less chemical treatment with AFB. Gary Reuter told me that the stock had been successful in that regard - he hadn't had a case of AFB in his MH stock for years. The hygiene trait stops the infection taking the hive down.
    I have purchased MH stock from my local supplier who gets them from Koehnens (sp?) in CA. I have found them to be productive and easy enough to deal with.
    However, as I am trying to be more self-sustaining I only have 2 purchased queens in my 21 colonies; If I were closer to a queen breeder I might buy queens but it is a lot of fun to raise your own, and know that they have never been raised under conditions that have been as optimal as you can provide.
    I am not testing for hygienic behavior as I don't want to mess around with freezing bees with nitrogen; Lately though I have been wondering if pressing a patch of nails into a piece of the comb would be a good enough alternative method to test for hygienic behavior because hygienic behavior seems like a trait that has some inherent benefit to it.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    I have 4 Minnasota hygenic queens they have done great. I have seen the hygenic qualities in my bees the 1st yr. they were slow to build up but ever since they have done great. They are easy to work and last year it was nothing to open the hive and have 5 of 10 frames loaded with capped brood. I'm not saying people should go out buy this strain but I have had good luck. I don't treat my bees with chemicals or anything and they have done great. I have some friends wanting me to raise some queens for them cause they like what they have seen.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,711

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    It seems that the colonies were not yours. Can you find out more information about what the dead hives looked like inside? Anything that might reveal why the bees died? Were the colonies built up to full size, a two deep or so, going into winter? > It sounds like you're jumping to a quick conclusion; the bees were Minnesota hygienics,..they died,.therefore,.. it must be because they were MHy's. They might have died even if they were any other hybrid or race of bees.


    > ... they had all made stores and were still being fed syrup regulary.

    That statement puzzles me. If they were from nucs, they must have been able to build up sufficiently to over winter in good shape as far as population and stores. Why were they still being fed syrup? Not that, that was the reason but just curious.

    I don't have a lot of colonies, but did a have a few MHy. and they did OK.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,114

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    I personally have not had luck with MH queens (tried twice during re-queening) but I've never taken an entire colony and worked with it. I'm still intrigued by the strain and I'd be willing to try again. I'm pretty sure that my experience had more to do with the re-queening process than with the type of queen.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,569

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    Ravenseye, forgive me if I am telling you what you already know, I see by your join date that you have been keeping bees longer than I, but this is the way that I was taught to requeen a split and it works. If you already know this it might benefit someone else. I don't know the best way to requeen a whole colony.
    Step 1. When there are 8-10 frames of brood in a colony divide the brood between two boxes with an excluder. Wait 4 days to a week.
    Step 2. See which box doesn't have eggs, and remove that as the split to a new location within the same apiary.
    Step 3. 24 hours later add a pail of syrup and the new caged queen. Allow the bees to release the queen, make a tiny hole through the candy to give them a start.
    Step 4. Do not disturb them for a week.

    Source: "Beekeeping in Northern Climates" by Furgala,Spivk, and Reuter. Published by University of Minnesota Extension Services.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    The MH were not mine, they were purchased in 2011 from Kansas as 5 frame Nuc's. We were in our 2nd year of below normal rainfall, we had extreme heat during the summer, we have supplemented all our colonies since Sept 2011. I have asked the guy that had the last colony to respond to your questions. It is my understanding the dead bees were still in the box. If you have more questions it might help us to find the reason the bees died.

    My concern is I am going to buy queens for this spring, right now MH are not very high on my list.
    Myron Denny
    Glencoe Okla
    Last edited by Myron Denny; 02-25-2012 at 11:31 AM.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    1,796

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Allow the bees to release the queen, make a tiny hole through the candy to give them a start.
    Step 4. Do not disturb them for a week.
    Here's an addendum to Adrian's listed procedure:
    DON'T poke a hole in the candy plug.
    Step 4. Place the cage inbetween frames of mixed brood.
    Step 5. Do not disturb them for ten days.

    Your acceptance will be greatly improved.
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bloomington, IN
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    I got a package of MH last year. THey were incredibly slow to build up, produced no surplus and were more testy than my other hive I started later. However, on a 24 hour mite count, they had only 6 compared to 36 for my regular Italians. For me, russian mutts have been the best.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
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    2,309

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    I tried MnHyg a couple years back. They just didn't work out...weak colonies, ended up cutting my losses the second year and requeening.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,114

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    My first time trying a MH was re-queening a laying worker hive and that's never a blast to begin with. I had gone through weeks of adding green brood before I re-queened. She was accepted for a while and started laying. Actually, she was a great layer in terms of brood pattern but they superseded her towards the end of the season and the colony just barely made it into March before it died out. The other was re-queening a hot hive. Roughly the same result although earlier in the season. When the second MH was superseded, it was a great colony but definitely did NOT display the traits of a MH. That second queen was superseded quite quickly. Again, I don't think my experience has a lot to do with the type of bee and that's why I'm still pretty interested in what a solid colony would be like over a longish period of time.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Mountain Home,Arkansas
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    I bought 2 packages of MH's a few years ago and wasn't impressed with them at all. It was most likely just the ones I got but they were easily the meanest bees I've ever had.

    They built up very slowly compared to my Italian, mutts and Carnis and both colonies died the first winter.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    721

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    A few of my hives are Mn Hyg queens. They've been good queens. I don't know if I'd say they were some super queen and the answer to varroa, though. But still good queens. The one definite negative I can say, though, is this: 1 of every 3 or 4 is HOT HOT HOT. I open the hive and they come out for a fight. A couple of times, I have just switched them out with a nuc's queen. A hot nuc is alot easier to work with than a hot hive!!!

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Rock Hill, SC
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Minnasota Hygienic's

    I got my MH bees from a 90 year old beekeeper who couldn't keep bees anymore and sold out. I started with one hive. Its been several years now. I didn't start with queens as some do. I have 6 hives from the same stock and haven't treated for mites at all during this time. They are thriving. Today I saw one of my bees removing a pupa from the hive. They have maintained their qualities even though I'm sure they have all re-queened. I posted another thread on them here.

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?342006-My-experience-with-Minnesota-Hygienic-bees

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