Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2016
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    Port Angeles, WA, USA
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    Default Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    I've been trying to get this project going for a bit. Had a rough start getting drone mothers from known WSU breeders going, but I managed to get a few, and WSU is setting me up with some additional ones. Finally picked up two breeder NUCs

    39734927_1113189582161439_2849766433607385088_n.jpg39605631_255061958467719_2342494297317703680_n.jpg

    Set them up last night about this time, and I'm already seeing behavioral differences. I have a habit of balling up propolis and wax and sticking it on top of hives. The only time I've seen bees mess with the wax/propolis balls are if they had honey with them. This ball has been sitting on the hive at least a week, any honey in it is long gone. I walked up to see some grey bees going at it, stripping it off, packing in their baskets and taking off.

    IMG_20180821_163634.jpg

    Hoping for the best for next season.
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Quote Originally Posted by jcase View Post
    I've been trying to get this project going for a bit. Had a rough start getting drone mothers from known WSU breeders going, but I managed to get a few, and WSU is setting me up with some additional ones. Finally picked up two breeder NUCs

    39734927_1113189582161439_2849766433607385088_n.jpg39605631_255061958467719_2342494297317703680_n.jpg

    Set them up last night about this time, and I'm already seeing behavioral differences. I have a habit of balling up propolis and wax and sticking it on top of hives. The only time I've seen bees mess with the wax/propolis balls are if they had honey with them. This ball has been sitting on the hive at least a week, any honey in it is long gone. I walked up to see some grey bees going at it, stripping it off, packing in their baskets and taking off.

    IMG_20180821_163634.jpg

    Hoping for the best for next season.
    Interesting. I look forward to updates on these bees.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    4,214

    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Wow, very dark queen! Keep us posted on your experiences.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    4,130

    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Jcase, I have bees that recycle propolis also. I leave the scrapings on top of the hives and they get most of it. Last year they completely cleaned a qe that was sticky gooey covered in bee glue. These bees are all mutts, but I have a queen that is black like that and one of my nucs has a whole bunch of workers that are jet black also. Wierd looking, not even a hint of stripe. I will try to get pics and let you tell me what you think.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
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    Jul 2016
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    Port Angeles, WA, USA
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    469

    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    Wow, very dark queen! Keep us posted on your experiences.
    Sure, I believe the NUCs i got with them were hybrids, so it wont be until next year that I really experience them.
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  7. #6
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    Jul 2016
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    Port Angeles, WA, USA
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    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Jcase, I have bees that recycle propolis also. I leave the scrapings on top of the hives and they get most of it. Last year they completely cleaned a qe that was sticky gooey covered in bee glue. These bees are all mutts, but I have a queen that is black like that and one of my nucs has a whole bunch of workers that are jet black also. Wierd looking, not even a hint of stripe. I will try to get pics and let you tell me what you think.
    I'm sure I have some that recycle too, but in a yard with 70+ hives ive not seen it to this extent, I mean at least each stand (4hives) has a ball of wax and propolis on it, and within a day of dropping the caucasians in the yard, each one had bees working it.

    Black bees, most of my queens are solid black. I tend to pick black queens and black drones for inseminations. I dont buy into the "queen looks" determine the type generally. I look more at behavior.
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Isle of Wight, VA
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    2,793

    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    Wow, very dark queen! Keep us posted on your experiences.
    I have a couple of them. Want to graft a few from them?

  9. #8
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    Jul 2016
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    Port Angeles, WA, USA
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    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Quote Originally Posted by ruthiesbees View Post
    I have a couple of them. Want to graft a few from them?
    If you have a couple of the WSU Breeders, I'd sure like a few daughters off of them.

    I've had a hard time locating others with them to get daughters.
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  10. #9
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    Aug 2013
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    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Quote Originally Posted by jcase View Post
    If you have a couple of the WSU Breeders, I'd sure like a few daughters off of them.

    I've had a hard time locating others with them to get daughters.
    mine is just a "production queen (virgin)" that was open mated here in Smithfield, bought from New River Honey Bees, so not WSU. But one of her daughters is jet black like your queen. I'm giving Astrobee a hard time because we live in the same area and I tried to get him to II the virgin queen when I got her this spring. We are also supposed to be doing a joint backyard queen rearing class for our area in 2019 and I hope to be using the Caucasians for the grafting.

    Here are 2 of the other daughters from mine. They were auctioned off at EAS this month.
    anastasia2.jpg

    catherine.jpg

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Quote Originally Posted by ruthiesbees View Post
    mine is just a "production queen (virgin)" that was open mated here in Smithfield, bought from New River Honey Bees, so not WSU. But one of her daughters is jet black like your queen. I'm giving Astrobee a hard time because we live in the same area and I tried to get him to II the virgin queen when I got her this spring. We are also supposed to be doing a joint backyard queen rearing class for our area in 2019 and I hope to be using the Caucasians for the grafting.

    Here are 2 of the other daughters from mine. They were auctioned off at EAS this month.
    Ah ok. I'm just trying to hustle up some drone mothers from pure caucasians. I've hustled up 3 so far, and I have the two breeders, but I certainly need more to keep this going long term.
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  12. #11

    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Quote Originally Posted by ruthiesbees View Post
    Here are 2 of the other daughters from mine. They were auctioned off at EAS this month.
    EAS?
    Bee auction?

    Thatīs an idea, we should have one too.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    EAS?
    Bee auction?

    Thatīs an idea, we should have one too.
    Sorry, Juhani, forgot this forum was international. EAS is Eastern Apicultural Society, which comprises the states on the eastern half of the United States. Their annual conference this year was in my area, so I got to attend for the first time.

    They were looking for donation items from their membership for their silent auction that raises money for bee research. (it was an opportunity for me to get the Caucasian line genetics out into a wider audience and bring awareness of other lines of bees besides Italian bees to the beekeepers that attended)

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Redwood City, CA
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    132

    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Quote Originally Posted by jcase View Post

    Set them up last night about this time, and I'm already seeing behavioral differences. I have a habit of balling up propolis and wax and sticking it on top of hives. The only time I've seen bees mess with the wax/propolis balls are if they had honey with them. This ball has been sitting on the hive at least a week, any honey in it is long gone. I walked up to see some grey bees going at it, stripping it off, packing in their baskets and taking off.

    Hoping for the best for next season.
    My bees do it all the time around my house and yards where extra boxes are stashed. I see them doing it more often in late summer and fall.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Jcase, I have bees that recycle propolis also. I leave the scrapings on top of the hives and they get most of it. Last year they completely cleaned a qe that was sticky gooey covered in bee glue. These bees are all mutts, but I have a queen that is black like that and one of my nucs has a whole bunch of workers that are jet black also. Wierd looking, not even a hint of stripe. I will try to get pics and let you tell me what you think.
    I'd be very interested in this line.
    Of course, if they have any resistance will help - OR they likely to die in my care.


    My own mutts do recycle propolis for sure.
    They are good at scavenging - just like the owner.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #15
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Caucasian Bees, a new project + propolis/wax recycling

    Greg, I hope to be able to continue rearing queens from this line. I only have two lines in the yard, one from a Kona queen that came from my original nuc, and the line of bees that came from a swarm of unknown origin. I have bred the swarm hive heavily and have a few really good producers from last year. If all goes well, I will send you a few mated queens later this year to try out. This is my first year to try producing queens to sell locally. Last year they were all used in house. Still need to get my health certificate before I can sell or ship bees out of state.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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