Should I go with Saskatraz packages - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    We picked up about 50 Saskatraz packages last year. The Queen colors where very inconsistent. They made a good honey crop, but got mean when the hives got big. The dealer claimed I was the only one who complained , but it is possible that with our management, we get hives much bigger than others.

    We will NOT be buying anymore Saskatraz.

    Crazy Roland

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Williamsport, PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bee keeper chef View Post
    Buy local over wintered nucs if possible. Be careful of some people selling nucs in Pa I would ask if they produced the nucs in Pa or were they brought up from the south and are being sold as northern nucs. Sad to say but it does happen.
    I would say not only does that happen, it is the majority of nucs sold in PA. Many are nucs made after they come back from oranges.

    I only have my overwintered open mated mutts that do well. A friend bought some Saskatrazz and between the swarming and winter deaths he wants to buy nucs from me this spring.

    Small sample size but That's my 2nd hand knowledge of them. Could be that he also just isn't good with bees.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Chicago, ILL. USA
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    322

    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    You probably should not take any advice from your friend unless s/he tells you not to do what they are doing. J
    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    +1 Goes real well with my motto of "never take beekeeping advice from someone who buys bees every year".
    +2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Packages IMO are not TF candidates.
    Statement of the year so far

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    3,674

    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    +1 Goes real well with my motto of "never take beekeeping advice from someone who buys bees every year".
    Hmm. Let's see, The Honey Householder buys bees every spring in Ohio, so he's got nothing worthwhile to say?

  6. #25
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    Mar 2012
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    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    i am likely to be selling a few nucs this year. i flood my mating yard with saskatraz drones.
    Why?
    Proverbs 16:24

  7. #26
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    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    It matters not if you buy bees or not every year. It matters if you make money with them. He sells them every year. No need to treat for mites.

    Crazy Roland

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
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    216

    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    My best honey success has been re-queening a hive with a mated Saskatraz queen. My best hive Varroa resistance via re-queening has come from a New World Carniolan - very apparent. I suggest you use any package queen, OAV the installed, brood-less package, re-queen after spring build up. Use quality mated Queens and vary the genetics for good drone diversity. I also have good success creating nucs with brood, nurse bees, feeding and slowly adding a mated queen. I run 8-10 hives with some nucs but still a newbee after 5 years.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    1,743

    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Quote Originally Posted by username00101 View Post
    Saskatraz bees are touted for their mite resistance, right?
    No they are not. From the saskatraz web site
    ==============
    Summary of Saskatraz breeder queen traits:

    - Excellent honey production

    - Good wintering ability

    - Selected for increased varroa tolerance and resistance to brood diseases.

    - Show increased hygienic behavior
    ==============

    Honey production and northern wintering abilities are the primary traits being promoted. Increased tolerance is not 'resistance'. It may mean they require less management for mites, but it certainly does not mean they will survive beekeeper neglect with respect to mites.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    NJ
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    24

    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Quote Originally Posted by marcos bees View Post
    I will be getting back into things here in Pennsylvania this season and am wondering what kind of bees to order. I have heard good things about Saskatraz bees. My primary goal is to get honey. I have a beekeeper friend who lost 90% of his hives this year so I am not optimistic about chances of overwintering, though Saskatraz is supposedly better. I just hope to make a lot of honey, and if I have to buy packages next year then so be it.

    Anyway, what is your experience with Saskatraz?
    Wouldnt it be better to learn how to overwinter them or just support a local beekeeper that knows how to keep bees?

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Robert - Who's NWC did you use?

    Crazy Roland

  12. #31
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    Jun 2014
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    Warren County, NJ, USA
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    Why?
    saskatraz hybrid drones carry the traits of the saskatraz breeder queen. the saskatraz hybrid queens can be hit or miss for running production colonies, but they all lay 100% canadian saskatraz drones. it is these drones that i am trying to promote to mate with my virgin queens grafted from my best overwintered stock.
    .

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Quote Originally Posted by COAL REAPER View Post
    saskatraz hybrid drones carry the traits of the saskatraz breeder queen. the saskatraz hybrid queens can be hit or miss for running production colonies, but they all lay 100% canadian saskatraz drones. it is these drones that i am trying to promote to mate with my virgin queens grafted from my best overwintered stock.
    .
    So you like the Saskatraz bees; what do you find the best about them?
    Proverbs 16:24

  14. #33
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    Jun 2014
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    Warren County, NJ, USA
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    i was hoping for the traits that grozzie listed. i do see good honey production. saw best average ever last year with overwintered nucs. they winter in small clusters and use little stores. i am treating all hives for mites in the same manner so i dont want to speak to resistance or hygienic characteristics. but they dont crash in the fall and go through winter well. i will also say that they are very gentle bees and not runny on the comb. last year was my first experience with my overwintered queens mated by saskatraz drones. trying to bring in different stock to my local gene pool.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    5 Sas queens 2017, still have 3 of them, but they have swarmed every year which is OK with me; they do have good overwintering quality like you mentioned, small clusters. I thought they had died that first Winter, I couldn’t monitor because I had solid bottom boards but didn’t hear much of anything. But getting back to your drone traits, these bees kept their small wintering cluster after swarming every year for 3 years.

    An opinion here on other queens; I don’t have much experience on buying queens but since I swore off of buying bees and going somewhat sustainable in 2016 (hence buying queens for genetics) the best queens were Michael Palmers. Wintered small, so so gentle, and good honey producers. I’ve said this before, they were polite bees! If I was in their way they would wait, then maybe bump me. I’ve got 5 hives from his queens. Tried Buckfast from Canada, which I liked, but when they requeened themselves they got nasty.
    Last edited by Cloverdale; 01-22-2020 at 05:36 PM.
    Proverbs 16:24

  16. #35
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    Aug 2018
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    Sisters, Oregon
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Love Saskatraz. Just not from a package. Even the best packages are like chaos in a box. Even if you put them on drawn comb (which I did) they may well supersede her as many packages do. If I ever do it again it will be with an established colony to give her the best shot at acceptance for the long haul.
    I'm smart but at the end of the day I'm still the help.

  17. #36
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    May 2016
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    Hot Springs, AR, USA
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Are there any bees that are mite proof in mite prevalent areas? It seems to me that acquiring set and forget bees is a tougher proposition than having bees you expect to treat.

    In Pa. I would think success or failure is more in the hands of the beekeeper than in the breeding of the bees.
    I wouldn't expect anything, I would just do what is necessary to keep my bees doing well, whether that is a lot or a little. Success happens when you have good bees and a good beekeeper, any other combination will struggle.

  18. #37
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    Nov 2019
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    Bellflower,Montgomery County, Mo
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    I have been following Little Bits Honey Bees on youtube for a while as I'm interested in starting to graft my own queens this year. One of the statements that he has made is that package queens usually get replaced by the colony before the first year. The bigger a queen producer is the less of the genetics get passed on from production queens. I have seen a chart that show how many times it takes for the original genetics to be lost in each generation. If I remember correctly by the third generation you are down to 50%, and by 10 you have lost that trait entirely. This is the problem that we all face as beekeepers. There are no magic bullets(queens) to help us. Only good and frequent applications of varroa control. Unless you can completely control your genetics, outside bees will soon remove your progress. This is why we have Instrumental Insemination.
    I am of the opinion that you would be better off buying nucs than packages, regardless of the queen.

  19. #38
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    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Well, yes, you kind of have to play the hand you are dealt. If you are surrounded by bees that are constantly topped up genetically with bees suited for production for pollination and providing sheer numbers of bees for nuc and package production, then it will be hard to maintain bees otherwise oriented. If the surrounding drones are generally almond bee types then the math might suggest your select queens influence disappears astonishingly fast. I probably could control and perhaps do control the drone population in my immediate location.

    I quite like my present genetics so Saskatraz is not tempting me. Go to the Saskatraz site and absorb a good education of what a breeding regime entails. I was impressed with their record keeping.
    Frank

  20. #39
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    Sep 2018
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    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Braun View Post
    I have been following Little Bits Honey Bees on youtube for a while as I'm interested in starting to graft my own queens this year. One of the statements that he has made is that package queens usually get replaced by the colony before the first year. The bigger a queen producer is the less of the genetics get passed on from production queens. I have seen a chart that show how many times it takes for the original genetics to be lost in each generation. If I remember correctly by the third generation you are down to 50%, and by 10 you have lost that trait entirely. This is the problem that we all face as beekeepers. There are no magic bullets(queens) to help us. Only good and frequent applications of varroa control. Unless you can completely control your genetics, outside bees will soon remove your progress. This is why we have Instrumental Insemination.
    I am of the opinion that you would be better off buying nucs than packages, regardless of the queen.
    Comments/opinions on your comments Jim,
    1)One of the statements that he has made is that package queens usually get replaced by the colony before the first year. IMO doing a Mel D type requeen in Aug after Honey flow would give a brood break and a new young queen for winter. Not necessarily a worse queen to winter with that the one you released, with the package.
    2)The bigger a queen producer is the less of the genetics get passed on from production queens. not sure what you mean here, most of the big producers use breeder Queens and they would have 50% of the mothers Genes and 50% from the drones, open mated.
    3)I have seen a chart that show how many times it takes for the original genetics to be lost in each generation. If I remember correctly by the third generation you are down to 50%, and by 10 you have lost that trait entirely. IMO first generation daughter would be 50% second gen 25% , 3rd 12.5 etc as each open mated generation has 50 percent contribution from the drone pool.
    3)Only good and frequent applications of varroa control. Unless you can completely control your genetics, outside bees will soon remove your progress. again not following unless you are insinuating the not good varroa control causes requeening and open mateing from local stock. If the local stock is survivor type stock, it may actually be helping you.
    4)I am of the opinion that you would be better off buying nucs than packages, regardless of the queen. So keep in mind some NUCs are made with ordered Queens from the same place as produce the package Queens. One should ask about the queen and where it came from with a NUC. If better off,, is important a local split should also be on the list of options.

    Overall I would agree the Queen source is important, however How and When a queen is produced is as important as the genetic material.
    Good luck and choose wisely
    GG

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
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    216

    Default Re: Should I go with Saskatraz packages

    Roland, I got them from a Bee Club Queen distribution program. I believe the NWC came form Ohio but I am still trying to identify the breeder. I want a couple more too.

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