Looking for more Saskatraz info
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default Looking for more Saskatraz info

    We currently have 4 hives. Two are the wife's and the other two are mine from last year....sort of.

    Anyway one of the wife's hives came up queenless a couple of months ago. We elected to get a Saskatraz queen.

    I know it's early but just trying to find out about their temperament. Of the four hives that one the most aggressive. In fact it's hard to even to open the top to feed without a veil. The other hives I don't have to worry about.

    I do know this time of year everyone gets pissy anyway but this one is more so.

    Anyone have enough experience with Saskatraz to give feedback?
    4a

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: Looking for more Saskatraz info

    four hives is too small a sample to mean much. sakratz bees tend to be "runny" that means real nervous, not calm. i tried 3 this summer. 2 were not much different than the rest one of these a little nervous. one is wild "runny, if you pick up a frame every single bee is in motion, it is like the frame is vibrating except for the random bee flying at your face full speed. the sample is down to 2 hives, some 2 legged low life stole the one, new hive box and all, that one was doing the best and was also a bit tame. the saskratz type is rumored to be not calm, but tolerable on average..
    Last edited by mathesonequip; 09-04-2017 at 05:29 PM.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Looking for more Saskatraz info

    My experience so far is to never keep bees that are mean or aggressive. There are much
    calmer and gentle types to keep. When her bees are not calm then it takes the fun out of
    beekeeping. In some area they just have the mean bees genetic there no matter what they name
    their bees. No experience with the Sask yet.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,228

    Default Re: Looking for more Saskatraz info

    Anyone who has these bees, please not only describe your observations, but also tell us the source of the Saskatraz bees. I know of one US supplier, perhaps there are others.

    Thanks.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: Looking for more Saskatraz info

    the queens came from lappe's they get them from olaverez.... lappe's is super good with small orders, 3 or more ship free, also i get them on wed. if shipped mon. great supplier so far. they let you pick your shipping day. they will ship the next business day if you wish, they even ask which day to ship.
    Last edited by mathesonequip; 09-04-2017 at 05:38 PM.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,226

    Default Re: Looking for more Saskatraz info

    I got 25 this summer from Albert Robertson...the breeder in Saskatchewan. Olivarez gets his breeders from Albert as well. I haven't had them for long enough to have an opinion. I wanted to use them for setting up nucs, but they came too late for that, so they were used to requeen production colonies. I'll know more next summer.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Jackson County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Looking for more Saskatraz info

    I bought 3 Saskatraz queens mid-June and another mid-July from Lappe. I caused one of the June queens to be balled (transferred big-hive queen when making up 5-frame intro hive). Another June queen disappeared shortly after moving her and colony to a 8-frame hive.

    I think they are a tiny bit more aggressive than my Italian and feral-cross colonies in that there seem to be more bees that start flying around when I am inspecting and while watching up close at the entrance. I don't think I get more stings from them. I don't even remember getting any stings by them. I can feed from the rear without dressing out but have to be quick about it and move on.

    They don't appear to be runny to me. I have inspected at least twice in each Saskatraz hive with queens stationary on the frame. Saw one of the queens on the move one time but not running wildly. Don't remember seeing them during other inspections.

    I have been rather disappointed in the last surviving June queen that has been really slow building up - huge contrast to the hygienic Italian queen I have. The July queen has done well enough and I am happy to have her - good brood pattern, steady build-up, etc. but build-up is still not quite comparable to my Italian and feral crosses.

    I didn't feed them at first but once I started (grew buckwheat and fed some sugar syrup), was surprised at how quickly they had capped honey/syrup. Just my impression based on relative colony size/population and rough comparison to other 3 non-Saskatraz hives. They're still not ready for winter but we're working on it.

    Most remarkable difference I see with the Saskatraz bees is lack of propolis in the hive. Not really much at all. Takes almost no effort to break boxes apart and move/remove frames. Great for me but not a good thing for the bees. I am putting painters tape around the box interfaces to seal out the honey/syrup smells to thwart robbing attempts that are getting made on them.

    Just as matheonequip, I only have the 2 Saskies so not a good sample size.

    Hope they calm down as they get through their fall work and that your queen works out in the end!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
    Posts
    699

    Default Re: Looking for more Saskatraz info

    I bought 5 packages with 4 extra queens from ML in minnesota this spring and gave the extra queens about 1# of bees in a nuc box. At about 2 weeks I gave the extra queens a frame of emerging brood and they took off like rockets. All the extra queen boxs passed up the packages and made lots of honey this year.....Someone local said that the ML queens were Saskatraz,,,So its a rumor BUT is those were SKZ queens---i WANT MORE :}

    ==McBee7==

    PS--they were a bit owley, but when they have 2 deeps and a med of brood they all have an attitude....

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Deer Lodge MT
    Posts
    859

    Default Re: Looking for more Saskatraz info

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    Anyone who has these bees, please not only describe your observations, but also tell us the source of the Saskatraz bees. I know of one US supplier, perhaps there are others.

    Thanks.
    www.lappesbeesupply.com
    4a

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