Re: Requeening package bees
I decided to go back to this comment because it deserves a counter. If someone said to go east from Jasper on hwy 78 about 40 miles and you would be in Mississippi, would you look at them funny? Would you ask them if they know what they are talking about? East on hwy 78 puts you in Birmingham which is the opposite direction of Mississippi. So I am not taking potshots at Laurie. I'm stating that something has been posted that is wrong. The reason I posted is because way too many beginning beekeepers will read what is posted here and will think what they read is correct. You CAN go east from Jasper and get to Mississippi... in about 24,000 miles when you finally get all the way around the world. Wouldn't it be simpler if someone just said "go West".
What is this--free potshot at Lauri day?
Most queens produced in the U.S. today are modestly improved, and I am being very kind with that statement. They are nowhere near what they could be if we had a consistent approach to bee breeding. Re Buckfast bees, they were highly tolerant to tracheal mites but totally susceptible to varroa. They are not a significant force in the world of beekeeping here in the U.S. except that some remnant populations are still around.
I woud like to see the list of criteria you posted previous to that applied to all queen producers. I wonder how well they would measure up. I am not sure much of what is on your list is any more actually current fact than the idea that queens produced 20 years ago are relevant. You may not be aware of this. but the nature of beekeeping has changed just a bit in the last 20 years. I do wonder how those outstanding buckfast queens would measure up today? Oh yeah they didn't make it this far. maybe they did not have what it takes to live in the world the queens of today live in. So much for 70 years of breeding. tell me again why that is such an important requirement for selling queens.
Now I get to whack your caustic comment. "tell me again why that is such an important requirement for selling queens." It is important because even moderate amounts of selection applied over a period of years will significantly improve performance of a given strain of bees. Killion proved this by selecting a superb comb honey producing bee. Hastings proved this by selecting a superb strain of Carniolan for Canadian conditions. Brother Adam proved this in spades with Buckfast bees. What about Minnesota hygienics? or New World Carniolans? or the VSH lines that Harbo has been working on so many years? It is important because beekeeping can be significantly easier and more productive just because someone took time to choose the genetics they are breeding from. You are welcome to buy all the "local" queens you like for any price you choose to pay. I choose to put my time, money, and energy into bees that make honey for less of my time and money.
Figure this one out: Cheap queens can be expensive, expensive queens can be cheap, and queens that produce the most honey are cheap for the price.
NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest