Northern Midwest Winter Beekeeping Manifesto - Page 3
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Clinton, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    442

    Default Re: Winter Beekeeping Manifesto

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I think perhaps for the north anyways, is that locally adapted means that the ones having much of the italian bee habits have eliminated themselves from the gene pool

    As you may have guessed I am just the tiniest bit biased on this: I know that Itallians can do very well and be very productive but some of their habits affect how they need to be managed.
    I'm not an italian fan. However, i try to caution on saying that as I really hate to speak in terms of italian or carniolan stock as it is much more accurate for us to speak in terms of traits given the great melting pot of bees we have in north america. However, I do tell people that you can winter italian style bees in this locale it just takes more effort and managing carni style bees is easy in the winter and a pain in the butt in the late spring. Give me three deeps and italian bees will make it thru most any of my winters. The problems become how they environmentally regulate. A typical carni trait is to remain calm on the comb when there is nothing happening, italian style bees are prone wander around. That can be an issue but the scary part is the spring--bees that decide to brood up when there are little to no resources coming in are sometimes praised. that can be especially true if you need bees in spring for pollination, etc. when everything works out those bees seem great. but when things dont work out, its a mess. get yourself a bunch of early brood rearing bees and watch them fill frames and then have the weather turn 180 degrees. they will be eating brood and running on zero stores in a couple of days. then you will have to decide if you want to feed them or let them figure it out on their own. on the other hand, the tightly clustered colony that hardly makes a peep all winter will slowly start to lay. they wont get hurt in those big weather springs. but at some point, here its when the dandelions break, they will explode and go from nothing to swarming in three days. its all about what traits really matter to you

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Greenwood, WI, USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Winter Beekeeping Manifesto

    My two hives were total opposites. The hive that made it and looked real good last week was real quiet all winter. When I would go out and check on them I wouldn`t even see a bee. I would have to put my ear up to the hole and listen. The other one that didn`t make it was always hanging out the upper entrances and making suicide flights even on cold days.
    Zone 4a

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,798

    Default Re: Winter Beekeeping Manifesto

    I have one colony that I thought was cold stone dead in our warm February when I had checked it last. Last week I got a ride over two plus feet of snow to some of my hives and was going to do a show and tell for my curious benefactor and tried to pry a frame out of the deadout. Bees came boiling up out of both sides of the upper brood box! These bees are still living down in the bottom brood box five months after the last flower! They indeed are supposed to be Italian. I think I now have a new contender for breeder of the year.

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