Beeweaver queens in the north - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Quote Originally Posted by summer1052 View Post
    I have used both Beeweaver and R Weaver bees and queens. I think they are great.
    Summer
    Me too. As I said before - 'Kinda more West than north, here, but...

    'Decades of success with them. Requeening a "hot one" has proved a dilemma for me - mess with outstanding production in a colony that is sometimes also reluctant to be re-queened? 'Probably the very few times I've ever had them fail...unfortunately, it makes some sense.

    My current two best survivors - one of each, an RW (currently hot) & a BW (currently some of the gentlest I've ever had) - produced ~300 lbs (combined) 1st year, almost 400 lbs in their second year, & still going strong into the 3rd.

    Anticipating BW's will take over the hot divides.

    4 2014 Pkgs of RWeavers doing great, as usual...they make it almost too easy.

    Thanks, y'all...

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Quote Originally Posted by Leather Jim View Post
    Thanks to everyone who offered imput on this thread. We are going forward with a 20 queen evaluation, if it goes very well or very bad I'll post it.

    Jim
    Jim, last year I requeened a BeeWeaver package; extremely mean. What worked great was a RWeaver package I bought, Buckfast bees. It was my best honey producer last year, from a new package no less, and made it through the winter up here in the Catskills in upstate NY, through a pretty brutal winter I might add, and was queenright. I just bought 2 more Buckfast queens from them last week. Deb

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    will they be able to overwinter in the north?
    I've attributed winter losses to the usual things. 'Same with mean hives. A shot of AHB drone seed, timed in the fall was something I hadn't considered.

    Overall, maybe 1 in 20 have ended up hotter than I care for. As for overwintering - 'really hard to say other than generally up in the past 10 years.

    Many consider our winters brutal. At times they are, but overall much dryer.

    My experience with them is likely not a fair comparison to "true north".

  5. #24
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    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    I can add that we had an unusually "cold" blustery winter this year. I am 75 miles SW of Navasota and the Weavers. I run single deeps through winter, and do NOT insulate. I use the small entrance reducer on the front, and remove the home made ventilators on top that I use. And I had a couple of ice storms. My hives sit in open pasture, away from shelter, to cut down on SHB.

    I don't think *cold* will be a problem, as much as cold + damp. Granted, we measure freezes in hours, maybe days. But that also means that SHB and wax moths don't go dormant, either. Yippee. I saw bees fly at 25 F and above. As long as it wasn't windy.

    I lost 6 hives this winter (of 22) and 4 of those were weak - ish going into fall. One hive got a new queen that they apparently rejected and killed. The other was knocked over by a buck rubbing his antlers (!) and absconded. So there. Didn't know deer were bee pests too.

    I am of the opinion that dry and cool is likely healthier than warm and damp without air circulation. I lived just north of Colebee for 40 years, and am *quite* familiar with his weather. When I was back east, 2 days in Philly was as far north as I got, so I dunno. But I'd love to hear. I'm in regular contact with the guys at R Weaver, and will pass it on.

    Good luck!
    Summer

  6. #25
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    new castle delaware usa
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    If a little AHB makes them healthier, stronger, mite resistant, and slows CCD, isn't it worth a veil and smoker?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,That might be all well and good if your bees are out on a farm somewhere. I live in a neighborhood with neighbors on both sides, in front and back. My neighbors little kids can play in their yards and have never been stung. You must be able to understand why us northerners really don`t want or need any hybrid AHBs in or around our hives. Thank Heavens they cant take the cold,,,Yet. People keep buying them to (try them) up here, their drones are mating with local virgins. It wont be long before they can adapt. Why hurry it along? And CCD, who`s hives are dieing that don`t know why ?,,,,,Pete

  7. #26
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    I just bought a couple of Beeweaver queens, because I was favorably impressed by the one I got last summer. They arrived on Saturday and today they're in a couple of new nucs (not yet released.). Last year I was really a novice, and didn't notice anything odd about the one I got, but this year it struck me how small they and their attendants were compared to the queens I've raised from local stock. It made me wonder if they were using small cell.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  8. #27
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    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Think it was said on organic bee list that weavers are using small cell. Given that there bees have some african blood would only make sense and would be working with there natural tendencies instead of against it.

    Clay

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton Huestis View Post
    Think it was said on organic bee list that weavers are using small cell.
    I do not believe this is correct. At least for B. Weaver - I don't have any experience with R.

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Quote Originally Posted by oldiron56 View Post
    If a little AHB makes them healthier, stronger, mite resistant, and slows CCD, isn't it worth a veil and smoker?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,That might be all well and good if your bees are out on a farm somewhere. I live in a neighborhood with neighbors on both sides, in front and back. My neighbors little kids can play in their yards and have never been stung. You must be able to understand why us northerners really don`t want or need any hybrid AHBs in or around our hives. Thank Heavens they cant take the cold,,,Yet. People keep buying them to (try them) up here, their drones are mating with local virgins. It wont be long before they can adapt. Why hurry it along? And CCD, who`s hives are dieing that don`t know why ?,,,,,Pete
    I agree with Oldiron. I'd rather treat for mites, then have bees that sting the neighbors, and me. Mean bees get re-queened, and I don't want to read any stories about human, or animal, deaths up here from bees. If you want AHB genes in your bees up north, buy your honey, and get out of the hobby (or business). It's just plainly not responsible behavior. We are already fighting local governments that want to ban beekeeping. All we need is an AHB attack to end our success.
    Dan Boylan, When in doubt "It's mites".

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Lol OldIron must have run out of popcorn, and decided to go off topic and stir the pot with the afb , we where talking about BeeWeaver queens not pure Afb. Trust me there are plenty of other strains cable of being mean, in fact IMO any good strong hive that's busting at the seams tends to be a little defensive, they have the population to spare for guards.

    Anyway I'd like to thank everyone with experiences using BWeaver queens for sharing.

    Jim

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Quote Originally Posted by Leather Jim View Post
    Lol OldIron must have run out of popcorn, and decided to go off topic and stir the pot with the afb , we where talking about BeeWeaver queens not pure Afb. Trust me there are plenty of other strains cable of being mean, in fact IMO any good strong hive that's busting at the seams tends to be a little defensive, they have the population to spare for guards.

    Anyway I'd like to thank everyone with experiences using BWeaver queens for sharing.

    Jim
    I've been at this more than a little while, so I know what defensive bees are about. Maybe you should learn more about gene movement over the years. There are many plants here that have arrived from other places, as well as insects.
    Dan Boylan, When in doubt "It's mites".

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Quote Originally Posted by DPBsbees View Post
    If you want AHB genes in your bees up north, buy your honey, and get out of the hobby (or business). .
    That seems a tad judgmental. Unless you never buy bees or queens from the South or California, unless you buy only II breeder queens, then you too might have AHB genetics, and should probably get out of the hobby and buy your honey. AHB colonies have been found in the major bee producing regions. Any open mated queen could and in many cases does carry those genes.

    The difference between Beeweaver and other queen producers is that Beeweaver is honest enough to admit that their breeding stock carries those genes. Unlike other breeders, they offer to replace any excessively hot queens. If you get such a queen from anyone else, which does happen, you're probably on your own.

    Also, your proclamation regarding who deserves to keep bees ignores the fact that there are other mean bees besides AHB, and those are more likely to be found north of the Mason-Dixon line than AHB.

    The Beeweaver queen I bought last year produced a very gentle colony. A package from a GA producer ended up mean as a snake.

    Finally, I will point out that if Beeweaver were to unleash a plague of AHB killings on the north, they would be sued into oblivion pretty quickly. I'm pretty sure they've thought about this.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    I think people need to understand that Beeweaver queens account for a tiny sliver of the total of open mated queens produced in that area of Texas each year.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Isn't it great that we have so many choices of where to purchase bees and queens that fits our own environment....and yes, AHB and varroa and the nosemas and a bunch of other things will happen to our bees...this is a great forum for learning and gathering opinions of others that are more experienced... I believe from what I have read that both the Weavers have good bees.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Thanks LeatherJim, rhaldridge, jimlyon, and cloverdale! Yes, that was my point. There is a very large, very pronounced difference between genuinely HOT, MEAN, CRANKY AHBs and bees that may have SOME hot blood in them.

    If your experience with bees is such that you can stroll out to the hive naked, and roll in the frames, and not get stung (exaggeration font) you are going to be sadly disappointed with Buckfast, German Blacks, Weavers, or any bees that have some AHB in them. Bees that you can roll naked in are going to be harder and harder to find as time goes on. My local mentor, a man working with bees all his life, 101 this July, says the old German Black bees were as hot, or hotter than the AHB. Every year, I am asked to exterminate at least one wild hive of really sweet bees because someone is afraid they just might possibly be AHB. I remove them when I can, and take the time to educate people. If you're standing here 5 feet away, looking at them, and they don't care, they aren't AHB. If they are 100 feet away, and they, and all their friends are making you back away, and not letting up, I'd be concerned.

    Bees with some AHB are strong, healthy, great producers, hygienic, and require a veil and smoker to work. They are rebuilding the wild populations, and are probably going to help CCD in the long run. WE NEED TO LEARN FROM THEM AND ADAPT *TO* THEM, rather than breed out what we think we don't like.

    Genuinely HOT bees, that are hyper defensive, hyper sensitive to mowers/tractors/vibrations, and will not accept new queens are dangerous, and may need to be destroyed. Sad, but true. I get several calls per year like that, and I advise exterminators regularly for sincerely HOT bees. One hive in my yard got cross bred, and became super hot. I took them down. They were awesome producers, but they would not accept a new queen, being split, or anything else. They went away. They were NOT Weavers.

    These second type ARE NOT NOW, and NEVER WERE what the Weavers (both) sell. They might make you think so, if you haven't experienced REAL AHB, but they are not. To assume that because Weavers bees are hotter than you are used to, therefore must be predominantly AHB, is wrong. Please don't make that assumption. They won't go sting neighbors just because they are there, nor cause deaths in animals or people just because they are Weavers. Weaver does not equal hot.

    In every case, those deaths you mention are caused by FERAL hives, that were disturbed by tractors, or mowers, or animals physically mowing over, cutting down, stepping in, or otherwise suddenly physically disrupting the hive. Animals penned in place cannot leave the perimeter of defense, and are stung too many times to withstand. In the cases here in TX in the last few years (ALL of which I have personally followed closely, including one in my own county 18 months ago) the human who died was over age 60, and had other underlying health issues that made withstanding multiple stings too much for the body to handle. Heart issues, hypertension issues, and so on, cause problems. Healthy people without other issues can, and do, withstand multiple stings. I removed a colony from the wall of an old barn last year for a man who was "shredding" a pasture with his elderly uncle. They knocked over a "snag", old dead tree, that had a hive of hot bees they were unaware of. Both were stung over 1000 times. The uncle, 81, passed. I, myself, have been stung over 60 times working to remove a hot cut out. Not fun.

    THIS IS NOT THE TYPE OF BEE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT WITH THE WEAVERS. Please do not confuse the two types. There's already lots of ignorance about bees out there -- we beeks don't need to add to it! (Anyone still get questions based on the "Bee Movie"? Grrr.)

    But, yes, you won't be able to work them barefoot, in a tank top, and short-shorts. You'll want sleeves, pants, shoes, a veil, and a puffing smoker. So what? That doesn't make them bad. It makes you smart. And you'll need less sunscreen, too.

    If you are sincerely interested in seeing some genuine hot bees, PM me, and I'll arrange a field trip. In their own way, they are really awesome and fascinating. Like rattlesnakes. I wouldn't keep them around, either. But I don't assume garden snakes, prairie racers and rat snakes are just as cranky, by virtue of coming from the same place.

    Pax,
    Summer

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Here's my experience.

    I bought and requeened two hives with beeweavers last year. I also made up six nucs with them. All the nucs died, but like because I don't know what I'm doing rather then any fault of the bees themselves. The Beeweaver hives are clearly more aggressive then any other hives or breed I've had, Italian or Carnies. However I did not find them so aggressive that you could not deal with it. They came at you harder then the other hives, were set off easier etc but didn't come after you unless you were messing around in the hive

    While supposedly more genetically aggressive toward mites I found their end of year mite counts to be just as high as all my other hives and breeds. One of the two hives did not make it thru winter but the fact that one out of two DID make it thru winter is a good thing considering the winter we had.

    we ordered about 10 queens and the first order I only think three survived. No fault of Beeweavers as they appeared to have been run over by a fork lift or something during shipping. Beeweaver replaced them no charge so, IMO, excellent customer service.

    I will be ordering more from them to attempt some more nucs and requeen one of my hives. I did split the surviving hive and hopefully will have it survive as well.

    My opinion is that they may not be the "Magic bullet" for mites that I had hoped but good company, good product and if you can get them to survive the winter appear to have a decent spring buildup.

    That being said I have way to small of a sample to say they are all this way. About the only thing I would say is that for the most part they appear to be slightly more aggressive then Italians or carnies as that was the case with all the hives we had which ended up in three different locations with three different keepers.

    ~Matt

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    Seems as though I've read that aggression is one of the traits that is most easily bred out of a stock. If that's so, maybe the mite resistance can be preserved, while working toward gentler bees.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    This is a great thread to dig back up! I am considering Texas buckfast, and yes I understand the chance of getting some hot ones. After reading bee weaver and r weaver website they seem to be actively trying to get back to a less aggressive bee. Are there any more recent stories of either company and their bees??

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    I would be interested to hear what people think of the R Weaver Buckfast. My understanding from our former state apiarist was that once upon a time R Weaver imported some Buckfast semen, and that current regs make it hard if not impossible for them to keep what they have as Buckfast. I lack specific knowledge and hope there may be some here who can enlighten me. Importing from Canada is expensive, though if I can do it, I see no reason why Weaver can't.
    Last edited by Andrew Dewey; 02-16-2017 at 03:04 PM.

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Beeweaver queens in the north

    My experience with them about 4 years ago or so was they were gentle and good producers. Back then I did not pay much attention to mites, just used a sticky board. When they requeened themselves, they were very aggressive and I had to kill the queens ( unnerving for me). I have small future beekeepers around so I didn't want them to get stung and scare them from beekeeping. Last year someone local took an order and bought some Furguson buckfast; very gentle and so far wintering good. Peter Borst had them also (R Weaver) and complained of the same thing.
    Proverbs 16:24

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