German Black Bees; any left in the USA? - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    May 2016
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    A whole country working on selecting for varroa-resistant colonies? Makes perfect sense to me. But I think some of our friends on this forum will have no hesitation to shun not only the TF beekeepers on this forum, but an entire NATION practicing that method!

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  3. #62
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    Oct 2010
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    Saguache,Colorado,usa
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    I don't think anyone is against varroa resistant bees, and nobody that I know is against Treatment Free. However all too often people jump on a band wagon for an ideology without understanding the entirety of the issue. We are a long way from varroa resistant breeding that is sustainable in commercial operations. Without a significant financial advantage to being treatment free the simple savings in medications is not enough when your very living is at stake. Without organic crops being worth 3x the value of a standard crop then you would not have farmers shifting toward organic practices. There are a large number of beekeepers who's living comes almost solely from almond pollination. So without the insentive of high pollination prices for TF or major price differences in honey prices why would take a chance on loosing half of your income for years on end to develop higher resistant bees. It is easy to go out and give extra time to a few hives by requeening them until you get a good queen and cutting out all the drone comb every couple of weeks. It is entirely different when you are dealing with 500-50,000 hives.

    That being said, if you have somehow developed a strain of resistant bees that you feel will maintain a high level of resistant across many different sisters and following generations I would be glad to try them out for you free of charge, just send 50-100 queens at a time. I have seen Bulls, that are virtual clones of one another, bred and developed to live at high elevations that 2 out of four will die of altitude sickness. These are $10,000+ animals with a vastly greater amount of time, research, development and most importantly financing behind them and they can not achieve a higher success rate than that. Do not be too fooled that varroa is a simple problem and that viable treatment free breeding on a massive scale is close at hand.

  4. #63
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cryberg View Post
    The solution is not to allow the hive to die. The solution is to treat the problem and requeen with good genetics.
    Agreed! You get the same effect as the bond method without having all your bees die and replacing them with something just as bad as what you let die off. It also helps to stop buying queens from just anywhere and to also raise your own queens from those queens that do well.

  5. #64
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    Jan 2005
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    Hamilton, Alabama
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    Funny how many different ways this thread has drifted. A comment for Sqkcrk, Germany went on a racial cleansing binge about 80 years ago where they tried to wipe out the black bees and replace them with Carniolans. This is why the original black bee is hard to find in most of Europe.

    Several comments say that mite tolerant bees either don't exist or are nowhere near being developed. Tom Rinderer disagrees with you. As director of the Baton Rouge Bee Lab (now retired), he probably knows a bit more about bees than you or I. His specific statement is that bees can be kept fully treatment free and still be productive. He was discussing the Russian lines. My bees have not been treated in 11 years. They are not up to snuff with commercial requirements. Give me a few years and I hope to change that.
    Last edited by Fusion_power; 06-22-2016 at 07:54 AM.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  6. #65
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    Oct 2010
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    Saguache,Colorado,usa
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    I am not saying that it not possible, but speaking from a little bit of experiance and from what I have observed. First of all, having tried commercially available queens as well observing some hives that I purchased, that I was told were Black Bees.

    I lost nearly half my hives this winter as well as a good number of other beekeepers. Of the survivors that I have been observing, I am seeing some mite problems in some of the hives, I am seeing very little in others. Yet between trying to make splits, put in purchased queens, move bees, find new locations to make up for some I lost, constantly check the bees to ensure they are queen right, keep my forklift running, get my bee truck serviced and inspected I find myself wondering where I find the time to graft? Where do I make the time to do the due diligence in testing that needs done to select the proper stock. See this is what I mean by entirety. Of all my bees from last year I would say the black bees did the best but they had a lot of chalk brood. My Minnesota hygenics did the worse, and I don't know about the VSH. I am not saying it is impossible but there are so many factors above and beyond just the genetics of the bees themselves that can influence it. Also I do know a guy that went to Russians and now he mostly has an mutt bee with a great deal of Africanized mixed in. I certainly don't know even 1% of the commercial beekeepers in the United States but I have not heard of anyone saying they have found a breed of bee or a source with reliable results. One guy had good results with MH for about 2 years. So this TF ideology has been going on for at least 5 years and I have yet to see a significant change in things. So I have no doubt he knows more about bees than I do, but I have seen people that know more about electricity than I do who could not wire a three way switch setup.

    I am not too arrogant to admit if I am wrong and more than willing to try and different line of queens, so if you know of this magic varroa resistant bee that I don't have to treat and will be a minimum of 10 frames of strength by February 1st. Let me know and if they work out I will apologize.

  7. #66
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    I would gladly accept a treatment free queen survivor and I'll place her in a hive treatment free - if that hive lasts three years without treatment, then I would consider that a successful treatment free hive.

    I'm wondering why all these treatment free beekeepers aren't selling their queens, creating more treatment free beekeepers with their treatment free queens.

  8. #67
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    May 2016
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    Catskills, NY
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    Treating the commercial pollinator bees is more justifiable in my mind. Firstly, since the bees are merely used as transporters for pollen, and secondly since a commercial beekeeper's life DOES depend on them staying alive.

    Hobbyists can afford to let their bees die through several seasons before they end up with a strain that survives with no treatments.

    Now if everyone who has had colonies survive through 5-10+ years treatment-free got their bees together and put those through different climatic conditions, it would be interesting to see if they are still the survivors that they were in their original areas.

  9. #68
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    Jan 2005
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    Hamilton, Alabama
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    I'm wondering why all these treatment free beekeepers aren't selling their queens, creating more treatment free beekeepers with their treatment free queens.
    I am. SquarePeg is. I can't do it on a commercial scale, but at a local level, there are now 7 beekeepers in this area with my stock. There are 7 queens in California to be evaluated and see how they fare against mitageddon. No, I don't have any more queens available at this time, I'm busy requeening all of my colonies.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  10. #69
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    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by bendriftin View Post
    ... if you know of this magic varroa resistant bee that I don't have to treat and will be a minimum of 10 frames of strength by February 1st. Let me know and if they work out I will apologize.
    This is exact problem - there is no magical bee. In order to achieve the goal, one need to change the whole practice of keeping bees. Different goals = different practice. Re-queening is useless because you still have drones around. In many cases, selection is working the way, that improving one quality, breeder can compromise another quality. You may have ideal varroa-resistant bee, but soon discover that it is prone to other disease ... so, entire culture needs to be changed. European countries, normally have small apiaries of 30-100 beehives - it is much easier to find a solution for small local business. In US, in my opinion, it is practically impossible to have large varroa-resistant business due to common practices directed against the bee's well-being.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  11. #70
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by rniles View Post
    I would gladly accept a treatment free queen survivor and I'll place her in a hive treatment free - if that hive lasts three years without treatment, then I would consider that a successful treatment free hive...
    It does not work this way - other bees, which are not varroa-tolerant/resistant will spoil your single "treatment-free" (not really) beehive. In our small community, we have 3 beekeepers, who has treatment-free bees. Our approach is to flood the area with our drones. If another beekeeper come to our area with his chemically treated bees and loads of varroa - it is possible that our bees will not tolerate excess of varroa. From another hand, if they replace the queen on inseminated by our drones - there is a hope, that our genes prevail!
    Серёжа, Sergey

  12. #71
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    i have a neighbor who still keeps a few hives that was big time into package production and sales back in the 70's. he had experience catching swarms of those very dark bees back in those days, and found them to be extremely defensive yet excellent honey producers.

    after several decades of influx of commercially produced (and somewhat genetically bottlenecked) packages we don't see or hear about these so called 'german black bees' around here anymore.

    they were most likely apis mellifera mellifera. a couple of research teams have found feral surviors in this part of the country whose mitochondrial dna linked them back to a.m.m.

    i've sent samples of my bees for mdna testing and they came back c1, which means they derive from an italian or carniolan queenline. phenotypically mine (and darrel's) bees are more darkly colored than yellow, with a few black ones here and there in the mix.

    as far as how our current stock would do in other regions of the country or if employed in a commercial setting? i would say that if being able to enjoy both a winter as well as a summer brood break and if not being exposed to large holding yards are big parts of why my bees are having success off treatments, then i wouldn't give them much of a chance in those other venues.

    as far as not being able to make a living with them? i think i have satisfied myself that my loss rate, productivity, and annual income per hive is comparable to most of those utilizing more conventional methods. not treating really doesn't appear to be a limiting factor in this regard. with enough yards, 200 hives, and decent marketing savey i'm convinced one could support a household with these bees.

    like dar i'm too small scale to be shipping large quantities of queens around the country. also like dar i've managed to get my queens into the hands of 8 additional beekeepers so far, most of which plan to propagate more from in the upcoming seasons. so between dar's group and mine that puts the number at about 20 (that we know of) in our general area working with what is proving itself to be productive and resistant survivor stock.

    so we're off to a modest start here trying to propagate and spread what we think are desirable genetics. the treatment free member listing thread has demonstrated that there others achieving similar successes in other parts of the country as well. my advice has consistently been to try and get bees from those getting good results in your neck of the woods.

    to be clear, i'm not trying to convert the whole universe of beekeepers to treatment free. as far as i'm concerned what you do with your bees is your business. a pertinent randy oliver quote:

    "I’ve been encouraged in recent years by the number of beekeepers who appear to be successfully keeping locally-adapted stocks of bees without treatment for varroa. I am a strong supporter of their efforts, and see them as the wave of the future."

    from: http://scientificbeekeeping.com/queens-for-pennies/

    i guess only time will tell. i really do appreciate how the tone on the forum has improved with respect to treatment free beekeeping, many thanks ya'll.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #72
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Isle of Wight, VA
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    I was just on facebook and someone was asking whether they should start beekeeping with German or Italian bees. I asked where she was going to get German bees, as I understood they were not available in the US. She responded that her friend in upstate NY (near Liberty, NY) has 25 hives of German bees and that they sting him through his suit all the time. Still don't understand why a newbee would even consider starting with German bees if they are that mean.

  14. #73
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    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    Don't worry about the meanness just do so I.I. to calm them down. It is doable through selection as the U.K. are
    doing it too. Wonder what the mutt bees will look like when I.I. with the Russians. Or will they do better I.I. with the
    Cordovan here? The Cordovan is as gentle as little kitty. Every since I got my ventilated (net) bee suit no more sting for me.
    The bees simply landed on the suit and never sting. Something to do with the fabric that will calm them down.
    Last edited by beepro; 03-04-2017 at 12:37 AM.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  15. #74

    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    In Germany there are some people breeding them again from northern stock, in middle europe they are extinct.

    In former times the black bees were selected for gentleness too, so people had no problem working them.
    They were a little more mean than the average but people were used to this and many had one or two skeps located under the roof of their houses.
    Here a video to show how some work with them nowadays.

    I rather like the gentleness of this beekeeper, thatīs probably why he can work them without protection.

    http://www.imkerpate.de/dunkle-bienen-halten/

  16. #75
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    Nov 2016
    Location
    Paauilo, Hawaii, USA
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    7

    Default Re: German Black Bees; any left in the USA?

    In 1857 German Dark bees were introduced to Hawaii for pollinating purposes. Three hives soon became nine and so forth. Eventually hives swarmed and became feral. I don't know the full history of races of bees in the Hawaiian islands, but currently Carniolan's and Italian's are bred and sold commercially. There are still feral German dark bees around here. Which, if you're looking to keep them does little good since they can't be exported.

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