No mention of pollination there. Makes sense to me, they come from saskatchewan, it's a honey producing area, pollination is not the major revenue producer in that area. I certainly understand the desire for winter hardiness for bees in saskatchewan, they get real winters.Saskatraz breeder queens are selected for honey production, wintering ability, temperament, tracheal mite resistance, varroa tolerance/resistance and brood diseases. The Saskatraz breeding program uses recurrent natural selection to select for varroa tolerance in productive colonies with good economic traits. We have found varroa tolerance is not a stable trait, with considerable variability in the daughters of selected breeder queenís.
It was my understating that they are Mated in California? Wouldnít most stock coming from that region be for pollination?
Albert also sends virgins to Sue Coby for insemination.
As well as mite resistance, there is a strong focus in the program on winter feed consumption and wintering, quick spring build up and honey production in a short intense flow (traits you need in bees to be successful in Saskatchewan). Generally speaking, bees from Saskatchewan will have a smaller winter population when comparing to Southern Italians in order to reduce feed consumption. Most of us can't easily get feed to our bees in March, and the weather is not conducive to feeding until April.
i got three to try last summer , one was really runny [the whole colony]. the other 2 got stolen nuc boxes and all while i was at a bee meeting. i am not sure if i need more of this. i know less than when i started.
I finaly get to see inside your wintering shed and get an ideal of your storage method.
Thanks for posting.
Ian, I already know you will never intentionally let your bees to starve. When my hives are
still empty of any nectar yours are already filled with syrup inside. You're too
responsible as a beekeeper to let them die. Good job!
Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?
Point here is that potential hasnít been lost throughout their selection process.
As for mite tolerance...I have not gotten that far with observations yet.
The last treatment these have gotten was Apivar in the spring of 2016, OAV in fall 2016, this yard was requeened with Saskatraz June of 2017, mite counts linger under 1/2% yet
Nice to have low levels of mites. Just goes to show that OAV is deadly for varroa. Combine that with some isolation and the Saskatraz lines having some varroa resistance, a one or 2 time OAV year application and Bob's your uncle.