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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys and Gals I have some questions.

Firstly let me say that my two first hives are ROCKING! Both hives (langstroth)have 4 boxes on so far, I just ordered more. They seem to be doing great and I'm already seeing some honey in the top. So here are my questions.

1. How should I arrange the boxes for winter? My guess is 2 for brood, and 2 with stores of honey. Where do all the extra bees fit? (rocky mountain, high desert climate Western Colorado)

2. I have noticed that they beard way into the night our temps are around 90 day, 60 night. How can I help cool them? (I have screened bottom boards, removed the insert today as a test) I Also have the top cover scooted back so the air hole is open.

3. Is it possible that they are bearding into the night because there isn't much extra space?

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This question is separate.

1. Why don't we as beekeepers try to make swarms that go into the wild to provide a genetic "wall" so that Africanized bees are bred a bit calmer by the time they meet most of the USA? It seems to me that this genetic diversity might help us kick some hive beetle and mite butt!

Again I am a super new beedude. Thanks for all the help!
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>1. How should I arrange the boxes for winter? My guess is 2 for brood, and 2 with stores of honey. Where do all the extra bees fit? (rocky mountain, high desert climate Western Colorado)

Always leave enough boxes for the bees to fit. Don't arrange, them, just leave them.

> 2. I have noticed that they beard way into the night our temps are around 90 day, 60 night. How can I help cool them?

Why try to cool them? They are handling it.

> 3. Is it possible that they are bearding into the night because there isn't much extra space?

Possible, yes. Not necessarily.

>1. Why don't we as beekeepers try to make swarms that go into the wild to provide a genetic "wall" so that Africanized bees are bred a bit calmer by the time they meet most of the USA?

The feral bees here in Nebraska are not Africanized and the current genetics they have are what I want. Why should I water down the genetics I want?

> It seems to me that this genetic diversity might help us kick some hive beetle and mite butt!

Your bees swarming are not contributing to genetic diversity unless they are from some source other than conventional commercial producers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My understanding is that bees will breed with each other, so we have our European honey bee and the Africanized. It seems to me that if they were to breed it might make a much stronger bee while "possibly" calming the bees down. Genetic Diversity.
 

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Bee biologist Eric Mussen shared some insights about this with our bee club in May. He said the traits in the Africanized bees are dominant. If you breed a European Queen with an Africanized bee, her offspring have predominantly Africanized traits. If you breed an Africanized line with European bees, for MANY generations, the offspring are predominantly Africanized. They don't dilute, in other words.

Also, check out this paper for ways Africanized bees overwhelm European populations: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/mar04/bees0304.pdf. Good idea, though.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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> Any one have information on my 8 frame hive wintering issue?

The cluster needs to fit in the boxes you have and they need to have sufficient stores. I don't know what Norwood is like (northern, southern, mountains?) but I figure one and a half frames of capped honey per frame of clustered bees +- a half frame. to get through the winter. With a strong Italian style cluster this is probably going to be four eight frame mediums. A really strong one could be as much as six. A typical Carniolan cluster is more likely to be about three eight frame mediums. But all in all it depends on the number of bees going into winter...
 
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