Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?
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  1. #1
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    Feb 2020
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    Lutz, Florida, USA
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    Default Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    I was looking at a thread on here for Stingless bees in the USA and saw a few mentions of Fat Man Bees (Guessing that's supposed to be FatBeeMan) and that they are So docile, they might as well be stingless.
    Are they unusually docile?
    I see Barnyard Bees saying their bees are very docile too... Are they all from the same stock? Is ones more docile than the others?

    Any info appreciated.
    Hoping the swarm I lure is also fairly docile, but if not, I'd probably requeen if too aggressive.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    I haven't worked Don's bees but would accept his characterization. In my experience most Carniolans are little kittens with wings. Of course now and then a colony of them or a different strain will scratch hell out of you. All the varieties have variation in temperament. I even hear of Russians that will not instantly nail your socks to your ankles, but all I have come in contact with, I do not want polluting my genepool. I would stick with Carnies or Italians if you want gentle bees.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    5,197

    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    I do not believe the bees sold by DTFB or David are particularly more docile than any others of the ligusta or or carnica ssp. David claims his are the same stock as DTFB's bees but he has been open mating for quite some time so I doubt they are still that closely related. David's do appear very gentle due to being mostly nucs that you see. His full sized hives are gentle too based on the few videos he has shown of them, but so are mine most of the year. One of the best things about Barnyard Bees is that they sell mated queens late into the year. Check out Jadeguppy's thread. She lives near Pensacola and had some of Don's bees.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
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    Feb 2020
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    Lutz, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    Thanks Guys. Well... I had seen a few bees (both times in pairs), Yesterday and again today that came up to my hive, rapidly flew around it and then landed and quickly ran inside for a minute or so. Then quickly came out and darted around the hive and took off. That was just while I was out there watching... No idea how often they had done that, or if it's a good sign or not. I'm guessing if it was liked, there'd be several more than just those few
    But then again, it's been windy, overcast and a bit cool the past few days.
    Fingers crossed I get a swarm to move in and they're cool. Then I won't even need a queen from someone else.
    I'll keep updating on what happens

  6. #5
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    Apr 2017
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    Cool. Scout bees do not stay around long when initially finding a potential location. That they flew around outside the hive after being inside means they they were remembering the spot. That is how it starts. Later you should see anywhere from 50-100 bees flying in and out. That means your spot is on the short list. A few bees may remain at the site to protect it from other scout bees from other hives.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
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    Feb 2020
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    Lutz, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    ... Later you should see anywhere from 50-100 bees flying in and out. That means your spot is on the short list. A few bees may remain at the site to protect it from other scout bees from other hives.
    Awesome!!! So, Maybe the cooler, overcast weather is the reason I hadn't seen them yet! Maybe the next few Days!!! Very Excited!!!

  8. #7
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    Mar 2012
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    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    Good luck!
    Proverbs 16:24

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Central Florida
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    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paulzie View Post
    Fingers crossed I get a swarm to move in and they're cool. Then I won't even need a queen from someone else.
    I'll keep updating on what happens
    Florida’s bee regulations actually require you to requeen swarms with commercial queens. Our apiary inspector asked if we requeened all swarms that we caught. I think it may be required on non ag zoned land and only suggested on ag land.

  10. #9
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    Feb 2020
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    Lutz, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    Quote Originally Posted by dd33 View Post
    Florida’s bee regulations actually require you to requeen swarms with commercial queens. Our apiary inspector asked if we requeened all swarms that we caught. I think it may be required on non ag zoned land and only suggested on ag land.

    Huh. I'll have to look into that.
    The guy that offered me a split told me he only keeps wild caught swarms, using a "No treat method" and has for over 30 years (he does swarm removals). He said some of his hives have been going that way for almost as long as he's been keeping bees. He said he finds the wild swarms are better suited for dealing with most ailments than commercially purchased hives he's had.
    Any idea why that wold be? (Requeening I mean) IF it's to reduce AHB swarms, that guy was telling me about how some are extremely gentle and some are more aggressive than others but none as aggressive as AHB are rumored to be. He doubts any of the swarms he's removed had a lot of African genes any longer. He thinks they've been so hybridized in Florida that they're now not much, if any more aggressive than other bees.
    But neither of us are on AG land... He keeps his in his back yard and I plan to also.
    I'll post what I find out... Please do the same if you find something
    Thanks

  11. #10
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    Feb 2020
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    Lutz, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    Well, that was an easy search....
    The University of Florida website (https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/agricultur...ing-a-beehive/) states :
    "Beekeepers are advised to replace the current queen with a European honey bee purchased from a breeder rather than allowing the colony to produce its own queen. Queens should be purchased from Florida breeders that follow Florida’s Best Management Practices (BMPs) for queen breeders. If this isn’t possible, beekeepers can also purchase production queens from a part of the country where African honey bees aren’t present. "

    So, it doesn't seem to be required... but I'll keep searching.
    Oddly, that page also suggests "You should clip the queen’s wings as a precaution because it restricts her from leaving with the swarm."
    I'd never seen that on any other site or video. Is that something many people practice?

    Anyway... Another link on that page states it is "suggested" but not required to requeen - http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in874

    Please post if you find something that states otherwise

  12. #11
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    Jun 2019
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    Central Florida
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    Default

    All of the info can be found on the various PDFs on this page. https://www.fdacs.gov/Divisions-Offi...r-Registration

    The way I read it you are required to in a residential area. I doubt that many people do though.

  13. #12
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    My experience buying queens from him this past year was horrible. I lost every hive that had one of his queens. I will never buy from him again.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  14. #13
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    May 2013
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    Cedar Lake, Indiana, USA
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    My experience buying queens from him this past year was horrible. I lost every hive that had one of his queens. I will never buy from him again.
    That is disappointing to hear. I wonder if it is due to how his queens are started or how they are mated. I had a bad experience with an outfit in N. California. Being just a hobbyist I purchased several queens. A third of them petered out and started laying drones halfway into the summer. I was certainly hoping for better.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    onesie and twosie queens shipped thru the mail really catch it from wild thermal swings. I think that is why those queens are especially problematic. That is just my observation. Queens shipped in a battery box with attendants to keep them warm and fed and watered always seem to produce better results.

  16. #15
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    Cedar Lake, Indiana, USA
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    onesie and twosie queens shipped thru the mail really catch it from wild thermal swings. I think that is why those queens are especially problematic. That is just my observation. Queens shipped in a battery box with attendants to keep them warm and fed and watered always seem to produce better results.
    I am sure shipping and thermal swings can be stressful to queens in general. But I have received single queens and battery boxes full of queens with no noticeable difference in performance. Adequate mating, establishing laying, and banking are factors that I feel effect a queens long term performance more than whether you buy one or 100. I think there are too many producers who do not follow good procedures in there breeding programs and are more concerned about the economics.

  17. #16

    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    I find bees local do better. I got luck and got my first bees about 45 miles away and made my splits and now have and make my own splits and local queens that do great for me and my area. Will start selling nucs soon.

  18. #17
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    Jul 2017
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    NW Florida
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    I don't think the temperature shipping was the issue. I live south of him and have bought from others with no problems. The queens were bad quality in my opinion. I heard from someone that many of the queens shipped from Fat Bee Man are not actually from his hives and queen rearing, but from a distributor further north. I don't know if that is accurate.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Fat Man Bees? or FatBeeMan?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    onesie and twosie queens shipped thru the mail really catch it from wild thermal swings. I think that is why those queens are especially problematic. That is just my observation. Queens shipped in a battery box with attendants to keep them warm and fed and watered always seem to produce better results.
    Mike Palmer always has 5-6 attendants with his queens; I really like them. They winter great.
    Proverbs 16:24

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