Requeening package bees - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    >“No need to pinch the purchased queens, just put her on Craig’s list for $20 and she’ll be gone the first day.”
    Really? How low can you go?

    I have done the same when I have gotten packages. I sell off all the queens at $10 each to get rid of them to friends who are going to spend $30 each to buy the same kind of queens otherwise. Seems to me I'm doing them a favor... and they know what I think of those queens, and they know what they are getting, so I don't think I'm defrauding them...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    >Makes me hesitate to write anything unless I have time to scrutinize my words so no one can turn them around.

    They can ALWAYS turn them around. They just have to take them out of context. Just look at the news everyday... but of course you should do your best to not be misunderstood... but in this case I don't see it that way.

    While on the topic of selling things that may not be the absolute best, when you are a breeder there is always the issue that if you produce any kind of livestock you NEED to keep the best ones and not sell them. Otherwise you don't have the stock to raise more good ones. So, of course you cull the bad ones, sell the good ones and keep the excellent ones. Sometimes it's tempting to sell the excellent ones because you are wanting to give your customers the best possible stock, I often find myself tempted in that way because I always want to please my customers. But if you do you're short changing your future customers, not to mention yourself. Once I started looking at selling the best ones as short changing my future customers it was much easier for me to conscientiously keep the really excellent ones. I don't sell my best queens, I breed from them. I don't sell my best horses, I breed from them...

    Now someone will take this out of context and say I'm selling poor queens...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #63
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    I just wonder why this person didn't talk to me if she had such a problem with my posts. A short conversation would have been all that was necessary to show her she was incorrect in my meaning. Instead she had to publicly post this warning?
    Lauri, you still need to grow thicker skin. The beauty of these forums is that no one can get away with misrepresenting someone. Thanks for taking the time to lay it all out there so the whole issue is clear. Rusty Burlew, from HoneyBeeSuite should have included a link to your site so everyone could see the 'facts' for themselves.
    Last edited by Barry; 03-04-2014 at 10:46 AM.
    Regards, Barry

  5. #64
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Lauri, you still need to grow thicker skin. The beauty of these forums is that no one can get away with misrepresenting someone. Thanks for taking the time to lay it all out there so the whole issue is clear. Rusty should have included a link to your site so everyone could see the 'facts' for themselves.
    Please note that the aforementioned "Rusty" is not ME.


    Rusty

    edited to add: Thanks for the update, Barry!
    Last edited by Rusty Hills Farm; 03-04-2014 at 11:16 AM.
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  6. #65
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    When someone becomes "known" there is always someone else who takes offence and spreads about trash remarks.
    Take it as the compliment it is....you have become "known"

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    She is talking about me. The web site post is her interpretation of my postings here on Beesource
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  7. #66
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    I left a comment about this on the honeybeesuite site. It's awaiting moderation, however, so I thought I'd post it here as well--just for the record.

    My comment:
    I have to say I deeply disagree with your post on queens. When you need a queen you need a queen! Sometimes there isn’t much time to find one and the one on Craigslist actually buys you time–time to shop for the queen you really want. To suggest that someone is fobbing off a lousy queen just because it’s from a package is just not true. She’s just an extra queen. Period. Personally when I buy packages, I replace those queens with homegrown VSH Cordovan queens. Those package queens are perfectly good queens, just not what I want. So why squish a nice Italian queen when she might be exactly what someone else needs?!?

    Personally I think you owe a certain local queen producer an apology because she is only being sensible and offering a queen she doesn’t need to someone who may actually need her right that minute. In my book, that’s a good deed, not a bad one!

    JMO

    Rusty from Alabama
    I really hate waste. I hate killing stuff--even bugs--if I don't have to. I'd much rather see a queen get used than squished any day!

    JMO

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  8. #67
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    Hmmm. The "Rusty" at Honey Bee Suite needs to get her facts straight. Lauri is not a mod here.

    This advice seems especially out of place coming from a moderator on Beesource. Like many other beekeepers, I expect advice coming from such a public, honored, and trusted position to be exemplary.
    Rusty
    HoneyBeeSuite
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  9. #68
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    > It's awaiting moderation

    It's on the honeybeesuite site now.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  10. #69
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    ****
    Last edited by Lauri; 03-04-2014 at 07:38 PM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  11. #70
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    I'm not sure why the topic of re-queening package bees is such a big deal. You can order them without a queen and use a different queen source. If there is a problem with the queen, a replacement isn't difficult to get from the package producer within reason, and you could always replace that later in the season if that's your preference.

    If I were Lauri, I wouldn't worry too much about cross posting from other forums.

    Who cares?

  12. #71
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    Getting a little defensive here.. She posted her thoughts on her site without naming names. Sorry, I think she had some offense to the idea "if it wasn't good enough for the seller, it might not be good enough for the buyer". A heads up for others.

    Everyone here is talking about poor quality packages and queens, your own thoughts... The package producers might have a few comments. They put there all into trying to produce a product but fail and succeed just like the rest of us.. A heads up also... Without them, where do you suppose new beekeeps get their bees?

    Just seems ironic that it's OK to voice displeasure on some topics but it's not OK for others to do the same...

  13. #72
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    It's true our threads focus on potential Southern queen failures when brought up North. The same could be held true for Northern queens taken down south.
    I've heard comments that Northern bred queens, unaccustomed to the Continual warm climate brood rearing and pressure from mites resulting from that would likely produce a similar result with a study, possibly showing Northern queens to be inferior over southern's. Due to weather conditions, Northern queens are not reared early and have the luxury of premium mating exposure and conditions. As I said in my OP, I don't believe this study was a fair -all things equal-assessment of queen quality simply due to geographical differences. Although I am in a Northern State, less than three hours from the Canadian border, My climate is quite mild near the coast. My Carnie hybrids do well here with several months of broodless winter period. Temps below 0 here with wind chill, but nothing like the temps and extended freezing/snow they have suffered in the central Northern states and Canada.

    The conclusion being, Local is usually best. Which many have said here a time or two. What to do with the queens that come out of packages bred out of state, is up to the buyer.

    Like Rusty Hills Farm said, Those package queens are perfectly good queens, just not what I want. So why squish a nice Italian queen when she might be exactly what someone else needs?

    So kill them, keep them, sell them or give them away. All we are doing here is trying to help folks overwinter more successfully. No harsh opinions, no agenda. Just our experiences and thoughts towards building and maintaining better, more sustainable colonies. Keeping folks from quitting after they have suffered losses too many years in a row.
    Last edited by Lauri; 03-05-2014 at 09:25 AM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  14. #73
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    'Local is best' is O.K. as a generalization. However, if you look at hardiness zone maps, they show that large swaths of the Eastern U.S., all the way into Texas, probably have bees that can do well where I am locally.

    There's something else that I think that's missing in that kind of a generalization: genetics.

    Open mating in some areas of the South can introduce some desirable 'unmanaged' genetics into the resulting colony.

    I can't get that here locally.

    There is also evidence that those 'unmanaged' genetics tend to be introduced earlier since drones from those colonies fly earlier than domestic drones do.

    So, don't assume that there isn't an advantage in obtaining early queens from some areas.

  15. #74
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    There is absolutely no legitimate scientific research that "southern bees" are inferior. 100% of my stocks are derived from southern bees currently, they produce well and have no problems wintering here in New England. Failures of "southern bees" is with rare exception a failure on the part of the beekeeper, not the bees.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  16. #75
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    Northern bred queens, unaccustomed to the Continual warm climate brood rearing and pressure from mites resulting from that would likely produce a similar result with a study, showing Northern queens to be inferior over southern's. Due to weather conditions, Northern queens are not reared early and have the luxury of premium mating exposure and conditions. As I said in my OP, this study is not a fair -all things equal-assessment of queen quality simply due to geographical differences.

    The conclusion being, Local is usually best. Which many have said here a time or two. What to do with the queens that come out of packages bred out of state, is up to the buyer.
    Lauri, in this case, I have to take exception to the above statements. These are opinions, not facts.

    1. Northern bred queens are not necessarily inferior in a southern climate. I've had excellent success using Northern bred Buckfast queens from Canada to produce honey in Alabama. This was over a period of years, not just once or twice. The genetics are more important than the locale they are raised in.

    2. Southern bred queens are not necessarily inferior in a northern climate. I've seen southern bred queens produce better crops and overwinter better in northern climates. That they are from the south is not important, what matters is whether they have the genetics to winter successfully.

    3. Local is not necessarily best, in fact, modern beekeeping is based on using non-local bees for the very good reason that they are often more productive and better adapted than local strains. This is why local honeybees throughout most of the world have been displaced by more productive strains from elsewhere.

    As a broad generalization, bees adapt to an area based on season cycle, season length, and type food sources available. This occurs over a period of many years. This is why we have Italians that produce huge colonies at all seasons of the year, Carniolans that thrive in areas with a large spring flow, and Caucasians that thrive in areas with a large fall flow. Here in my climate, we have a strong spring flow followed by a mid-summer dearth and then a strong fall flow from goldenrod and aster. The best bees for my climate are Apis Mellifera Mellifera because they fit the pattern of spring and fall flows, cut back brood rearing in the mid-summer dearth, and winter more thriftily than any other bee. Unfortunately, AMM have several overwhelming problems such as excessive swarming, make very dark honey, sting excessively, are generally susceptible to brood disease, etc.

    There are some legitimate issues that support your statement that requeening southern packages makes sense. In particular, if you want to change from Italian to Carniolan genetics or something similar, it makes sense to get a new queen. But if you are doing this, then you probably ordered the wrong queen to start with! There is a good case to be made that requeening in late summer or early fall is good bee business. The colony goes into winter with a young queen that is in the best possible condition for spring brood rearing.

    I would not hesitate to offer a queen for sale that has been removed from a package, but I would be very clear to the buyer the reason you replaced it in your colony. I would not under any conditions offer a queen for sale that has given sub par performance in one of my colonies. Poor queens don't generally improve with time. Why would I want to foist off a poor queen to someone else? Note that this is not pointed at you, this is just me expressing what I think about selling package queens.

    Using your example, why on earth would anyone pay $40 for a queen when you can buy all the queens you want for $20? Why would anyone buy a package queen for $20 when you can order fresh queens for $20?

    I know that you are trying hard to establish a business producing and selling bees and queens. I would not buy bees from you, even if I lived next door to you because your bees have no major differentiator to make them more valuable than bees I can raise myself. Your claim to have local adapted genetics is valid but not enough to justify the price differential you are trying to charge. You have not put in the years of work required to select and improve your bees to the point that they outperform all others in your climate. What I would really enjoy would be to see you go on a serious binge of improving your bees. Then you would have something to justify the higher prices.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  17. #76
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    Points taken Fusion. As always, beesource posters give you something to think about.

    Ya, In my area near Seattle, Wa, they recently approved $15.00 minimum wage for some. Prices here are different than your area I assume.
    My prices are in line with the area and include more personal customer service than queens that are shipped through the mail. And my genetics? I am tickled with my Glenn II stock and collected genetics. Improvement is always formost. That's why I am here. Reading, learning. Gets better every year. My comments are directed towards the discussion of the SARE study, which I found accurate considering my experiences. Others may have a differrent opinion.
    Last edited by Lauri; 03-05-2014 at 10:37 AM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  18. #77
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    You can order them without a queen and use a different queen source.
    Not always. Last season when I ordered packages from Kelley's I had a choice of queens but they did not offer the option of no queen. This is why I had a couple of queens available. I offered them locally and someone wanted them. To me that was win-win and not the handing off some inferior queen!

    Nice to see my post survived moderation and even rated a comment!



    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  19. #78
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    A cpl of comments from a small southern queen producer.

    I sell a lot of queens to northern beeks. They are mostly from breeders I buy each year from Adam Fienklestein of VP Queens in Maryland. They are bred in the north for the northern environment. The queens I sell are raised in MS but I don't see where they would be any better if they were raised in the North.

    It has been a cold winter here for us as well. I was scheduled to start grafting last Friday but didn't because I didn't have drones ready. After checking my drone colonies this weekend I should be in good shape to graft this comming Friday. I could have grafted last week and took a chance but I try to produce a queen I would like to buy.

    The reason so many packages have queens that are possibly substandard is because so many people want these early packages, even in the north. I have seen numerous post on beesource about shaking packages in snow and freezing temps. If northern beeks demand these early packages don't complain about what you get.

    I will get off my soapbox now, Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  20. #79
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    If northern beeks demand these early packages don't complain about what you get.


    package producer..

    Just where they belong!!!!

  21. #80
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    Default Re: Requeening package bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    The reason so many packages have queens that are possibly substandard is because so many people want these early packages, even in the north. I have seen numerous post on beesource about shaking packages in snow and freezing temps. If northern beeks demand these early packages don't complain about what you get.

    I will get off my soapbox now, Johnny
    I pickup and deliver packages in May every year, and every year I get countless calls about people asking if I can get any in March or April. The answer is yes, but I am not going to. I also have a late run on packages where I am selling to people who bought early packages and need to replace them.

    That being said I think that some of the early package demand is from commercial operations trying to fill hives for pollination contracts.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

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