Saskatraz Updates? - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    8,051

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton Huestis View Post
    You finding your bees in general set back by the late spring MP?
    Oh yeah. Cancelled my first two cell builder setup days. Bees weren't ready. Set up the first four yesterday.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Victory Township, Michigan
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    36

    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.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Warren County, NJ, USA
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    493

    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.

  5. #24

    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.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    1,648

    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

  7. #26

    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.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    1,648

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Well I am not so sure about the California drones as I am very impressed with some NW Carniolan queens from California, very quiet and calm when being worked producing a good crop of honey and at this point showing no signs of swarm preps. We will see how they stack up against the Saskatraz next year as they overwintered and the Saskatraz were hived in spring.
    Johno

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Delhi, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    1,486

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    5 Saskatraz queens in May, 4 made swarm cells with plenty of room in the hive; 1 did not build up well, very slow, another a little better. Most had a good brood patterns. 2 had low mite counts.
    Western Catskill Mountains
    Proverbs 16:24

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    York County, SC
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    77

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    5 Saskatraz queens in May, 4 made swarm cells with plenty of room in the hive; 1 did not build up well, very slow, another a little better. Most had a good brood patterns. 2 had low mite counts.
    Just to sate curiosity, were these marked and/or clipped queens?

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Delhi, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Marked but not clipped. 3 of those queens definitely swarmed, none of the other hives have. Out of 18 hives 4 are collected swarms, 5 were the Saskatraz (used one to requeen a nasty swarm from last year that one swarmed today), two are queens received end of June and are in a dbl nuc, the rest overwintered hives. From what I’ve read here it seems that no one else has this problem so I’m wondering what I’m doing wrong.
    Western Catskill Mountains
    Proverbs 16:24

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Suffolk, VA
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    4,208

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    3 of those queens definitely swarmed, none of the other hives have.
    Just so that I fully understand, of the 4 that produced swarm cells, 3 actually swarmed, right?

    You say the 4 with swarm cells had plenty of room. Was this extra space drawn comb or foundation? If foundation, please share exactly how it was provided.

    Generally speaking, if managed properly, first year queens are usually pretty resistant to swarming, particularly if they are given plenty of space. Of course, in addition to management, genetics plays a big role in swarming behavior, so if all things were done well, your experience is kinda a red flag to me. Has anyone else seen increased swarming tendencies? I realize that the sample size is 5 in your case, and great care should be taken when attempting to draw conclusions with such few samples, but I'm not impressed by swarmy bees even if they can run zero mites counts....
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  13. #32
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    Mar 2012
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    Delhi, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Going back on my notes: Queen 1 was used to requeen an overwintered hive (Swarm2) on 5/28 w push in cage. When applying ForPro (15 mites) on 8/20 two med. supers full of swarm cells, brood and nectar, drawn frames in all boxes (1 deep 5 supers unlimited brood nest) with room. Thought maybe she got honeybound in those two supers, so rearranged boxes. Did not remove swarm cells. Swarmed yesterday didn’t catch it.
    Queen 2 (Sputnick) great brood pattern, low mites, no treatment, build up good.
    Queen 3 (Andy), good pattern, 2 mites, no treatment, swarmed 8/15, 8 frame hive, 2 deeps 3 supers. All drawn frames and room.
    Queen 4 (Luke)1 mite, no treatment, slow buildup, all drawn frames, she was up in a super full of swarm cells, with an empty deep right below her;I’m not sure why the deep was empty, put her down there w a med. frame of open brood. Took a cell out to requeen a top bar and destroyed some cells, left one or two. Went to inspect again and heard queen piping, so just left it. It probably swarmed for whatever reason.
    Queen 5 (Polski) was OK build up, good brood pattern, 16 mites.

    I do an unlimited broodnest in 10 frame lang’s, and super early. I name my hives so I know what’s going on with them, easier for me. We are in a heavy flow right now and Polski and Sputnick are going gangbusters. I have a sustainable apiary and wanted to get some different genetics in there. I have Ferguson Buckfast, Mike Palmer, Saskatraz, mutts and swarm queens.
    Western Catskill Mountains
    Proverbs 16:24

  14. #33
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    Jan 2003
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    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    Cloverdale

    Thanks for providing some data. Your notes suggest that your management was probably not the issue. So, you had 3 of 5 Saskatraz queens (Queen 1, Queen 3, and Queen 4) swarm, right? Again, I hesitate making judgements based upon 5 queens, but 3 of 5 queens installed in May and swarmed by the end of August is not very promising.

    Swarming tendencies are one of the things I select for, so if these were my bees, they would likely all be eliminated as future breeders.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  15. #34
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Victory Township, Michigan
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    36

    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. #35
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    Mar 2012
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    Delhi, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    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.
    Western Catskill Mountains
    Proverbs 16:24

  17. #36
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    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    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. #37
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

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

  19. #38
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Victory Township, Michigan
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    36

    Default Re: Saskatraz Updates?

    The 5 saskatraz- no swarming.yet. Golden rod and asters are just starting and a little star thistle here and there. Last year every May split we had (italian queens) swarmed in August. So it might not be the breed but something else triggering the swarming.

  20. #39
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    Dec 2011
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    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    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

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    4,208

    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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