Saskatraz Updates?
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  1. #1

    Default Saskatraz Updates?

    I know that a few members here have them and was wondering how you like hem so far?
    How did they Winter?
    Spring Build-up?
    What is their Temperament like?
    Does anyone know what the actual genetics are?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Randolph county,WV,USA
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    saskatraz.com
    ZONE 5A WVwildernessapiaries.net

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
    Posts
    583

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Varroa resistance?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
    Posts
    583

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Bumping questions back up to see if any answers?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Victory Township, Michigan
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    saskatrazqueenperformance.jpg
    Our first year with Saskatraz but this is a frame from a nuc we dropped a queen and a frame of brood and a few shakes of bees in second week of April. Then more snow and cold hit and they just keep growing.
    I wanted to add some good genetics and hoping this helps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,225

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldsap View Post
    saskatrazqueenperformance.jpg
    Our first year with Saskatraz but this is a frame from a nuc we dropped a queen and a frame of brood and a few shakes of bees in second week of April. Then more snow and cold hit and they just keep growing.
    I wanted to add some good genetics and hoping this helps.
    Can you provide the source for the queen and if this frame is a result of the original Saskatraz queen or a daughter.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,175

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton Huestis View Post
    Varroa resistance?
    Colonies with some mite load but low DWV titer? That's what I want to see from this stock. Albert Robertson has said his "good" lines have high production but low DWV. Looking forward to see if this pans out. Of course, the "Saskatraz" stock in the US is from Olivarez....breeders from Robertson. Also, Albert has sent virgins to Coby for II. So there is some of that line out there.

    I got some queens from Albert last July. They came in middle July, so too late to winter in nucs. That's my preferred first selection. We used the 25 queens for requeening. I really haven't been able to evaluate these colonies. Still early season here in the Champlain Valley. No pollen here this year until 4/22.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Thanks Mike. I look forward to your evaluation. We are late up here in Maine as well.
    4/29/18 bees starting on Red Maples.
    5/6/18 First Dandelions bloomed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    near black drones from my saskstraz colonies

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Victory Township, Michigan
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    We just finished first round of queens. Later but the weather watmed just in time. Drone population is good but later than normal also.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
    Posts
    555

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    mine appear to have recently just fell on their face. lots of foragers but not storing excess nectar. small brood nests. my other hives are continuing to grow so I don't think its a lack of resources. black locust and tulip poplar just bloomed. queens were laying fantastic a few weeks ago. I went through and made sure marked queens were still there and put them in bottom box. will check in a week or so and see if they rebounded after I shuffled their deck a bit.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    mine appear to have recently just fell on their face. lots of foragers but not storing excess nectar. small brood nests. my other hives are continuing to grow so I don't think its a lack of resources. black locust and tulip poplar just bloomed. queens were laying fantastic a few weeks ago. I went through and made sure marked queens were still there and put them in bottom box. will check in a week or so and see if they rebounded after I shuffled their deck a bit.
    Please let me know how they recover.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    1,771

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    I checked one of the four queens I got earlier this year and found the bees to be very runny on the comb which is not a good trait, I will try to check the other 3 this week and see if they are different. The reason I checked one is because they were washboarding and I wanted to make sure that they had enough space, which they did.
    Johno

  14. #14

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    It seems that I am hearing mixed reports. Some love them and some hate them.
    You are certainly right about being runny on combs being undesirable. My primary concern with these is that many new beekeepers are getting them and they are being superseded or swarming probably without the beekeeper even knowing. The resulting queen would produce drones that express the traits of the California drone population.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Victory Township, Michigan
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    If your bees swarm after your honey flow is over, you get a brood break, a new queen to over winter and start her most productive year in the spring. As long as you have your honey and the hive gets enough resources for the winter it is not a bad trait.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,800

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Agree, nothing like a new end of summer queen; but our “Fall” honey flow is on now, knotweed, very strong, so two swarmed earlier than this flow with the stored Spring honey and one just a few days ago which was loaded with nectar. We still have goldenrod flow to come and a few later flowers. I personally don’t want swarmy bees. Someone on another post said they were runny, but I didn’t notice that.
    Proverbs 16:24

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    1,771

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    I got in 4 Saskatraz queens this spring and none of them have swarmed so far, one of the hives had very runny bees which I was not too happy about but the other 3 are fine. One of them produced a good crop of honey during this years 4 week flow and by the looks of the hive I could take another super so they would have produced about 100 lbs of honey where I am lucky to average 50 lbs a year in my area. I am interested to see how they all do next season.
    Johno

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    1,800

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    The two that are left seem to be doing good; how were your mite counts with them?
    Proverbs 16:24

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    1,771

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Cloverdale my mite counts at present are mostly around 1 per 1/2 cup but I have treated all my hives with OAV. I have an agreement with my bees, they make honey and I will take care of their mites. For years I went along with bringing in mite resistant stock and all I got out of it was diminishing honey yields, so now I select for production. With my Cheap Vap, OAV is no problem and I get through my colonies at a hive a minute.
    Johno

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    4,225

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldsap View Post
    If your bees swarm after your honey flow is over, you get a brood break, a new queen to over winter and start her most productive year in the spring. As long as you have your honey and the hive gets enough resources for the winter it is not a bad trait.
    Well, regarding the swarming trait, the thing is that it's not predictable, and when it occurs in the spring (at least in our area) your production is massively reduced (maybe 1/4 production of a non-swarmed colony). Yes, a fall swarm is not as impactful, but the simple fact that 3 of 5 first-season queens have swarmed is definitely concerning. I'd much rather directly manage varroa through a variety of mechanisms than deal with swarming and the resulting production losses.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

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