Help with Bee Species for My Area
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    1

    Default Help with Bee Species for My Area

    Hey Folks,

    I am looking to begin beekeeping starting next spring. I have decided to take a minimalist/organic approach to keeping, and will be building a top-bar hive. I have been reading a lot of information from Michael Bush, and would like to avoid using chemicals in my hive. I'm planning on using a screened bottom for IPM. I am also interested in possibly using a more parasite/disease resistant species of bee than Italians. I have been searching for a while, and can't seem to find an answer on what species of bee would do best in my area specifically. I live in central Florida, on the west coast (gulf side). I have been interested in Carniolan bees since they seem to be more resistant to nosema and mites. I've read that they overwinter well in colder areas, but wasn't sure how they would do down here in hot/humid Florida. I was also reading that they tend to swarm more than Italians which has me a bit worried since a TBH has a set volume and I only plan on having one (though it will be about 48").

    I'm open to any suggestions for species as I am all on my own here. Would the Carniolans' boasted resistances be worth taking over the Italians since I'm not using chemicals? Or should I just go with the standard Italian? Would some other bee do better for me? I appreciate any advice.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Ottertail Minnesota USA
    Posts
    410

    Default Re: Help with Bee Species for My Area

    Did you check out the Minnesota hygienic?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,761

    Default Re: Help with Bee Species for My Area

    For future clarification of terminology:

    Genus: Apis
    Species: mellifera
    Varieties (commonly called "race" by beekeepers):

    ligustica (Italian)
    caucasica (Caucasian)
    carnica (Carniolan)
    mellifera (German black bees, native English bees etc.)
    scutelata (African bees, usually in the form of a hybrid with Italians in the Americas)

    Russians may be a sub variety of caucasia or it could be a carpathia. I have not been able to find a definitive answer to that.
    Buckfasts are a mixture of several.

    There are many others that have been brought to the US but are not currently available, e.g. intermesia, iberica, liguria, cypria, lamarckii etc.

    I find the Carniolans to be pretty useful for my purposes. The Italians are ok, but are not as frugal and don't winter quite as well. They are all mutts anyway...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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