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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive been hearing how good Bee Weavers Queens are. The question I have is what about some AHB genetics in these queens? Im not trying to start a fight here I just want to know if folks know if some of these queens will carry the AHB traits. My bees are not the friendliest around anyway. As of right now there is suppsodely no AHB genetics here in NW Arkansas, but im not too sure about that. Ive caught some swarms and then later them bees turned out to be hotter than I want. But My bees are small cell bees that I havent treated in a few years. I dont even have screened bottom boards. Im not going to treat. These Bee Weaver Bees that Ive read about sound about the same quality as the ones I have already for the most part. There is AHB positive Locations not too far away from me to the west and south. I really think that AHB traits are already here its just not been documented yet. I think their traits are just watered down to the point that they are not too bad. Ive had a couple hives that got so bad that I really should have probably sent samples of them off. When you get in your truck with the window down and your suit still on after stirring them up good. and you are over a 1/4 mile away and they are still at your truck window and still trying to get all over your face Id say they are a little too hot for me. Id like to try some Bee Weaver queens, but I dont want to bring the AHB genetics here if i can keep from it. My bees are more gentle now that I have kept weeding the bad ones out, but you know if the Bee Weavers carry some of the AHB genetics and I cross them into what I have I think I would get some real good bees. I mean real good, but I think some of them could crop out a tad mean in a couple generations. Im not trying to start a fight I just want to know some facts about the possibility of that happening. Im interested in their bees, but when crossed with my bees I might get something i dont want is my concern. Talk to me I want to know facts and oppinions on this.
 

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BWeaver says they have about 10% AHB genetics in their bees. Some are docile, some are not, some do well with no treatments and some do not. I would keep close watch and if they get hot, pinch the queen and let them make a queen from eggs/larvae from a different queen. You will find they draw small cell accurately. The more mite resistant they are, the better they draw comb on SC wax foundation.
 

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I have a BWeaver queen that is 2 years old, I also have a hive that superseded a BWeaver, and I have 2 more queens from them that were last years. So far all of my BWeaver hives are by far gentler, than some package bees that I got out of Florida. I like them, and my 2 year old queen produced a lot of honey last year.
 

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I've been hunting in Arizona, I live in Arkansas, and I want to let you know what I saw for bees there in AZ. I had bees come by me in while I was hunting and it was as if they were on the most potent form of speed know. If they are Africanized you **** well will know it from what I saw. All the bees that we had dealings with on the mountains were mean as hell and we were just sitting there doing nothing, not even moving or anything.
 

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I bought ten last July and at least one is horrendously vicious. If you walk near the hive they boil out stinging. And it ended up outside my bedroom sliding glass door. Don't know how I will pull the crop.
 

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I got two last year. Installed in April. They did just fine until the flow ended (around mid June). From that point on, if you went within 50 yards of it with any motor object (lawn mower, weedwacker) one of the hives would boil out, and follow you for a good 100 yards. I figured they were just a little testy due to the end of the flow. Shortly thereafter they didn't wait for a motorized object, if ANYthing was within 50 yards, they'd start head butting you. A few warning dive bombs, followed by some stings.

I contacted BeeWeaver, they sent me two replacements (both were next to each other, and couldn't tell which one was mean). I pinched both queens, let them each make their own replacement, then split in half and gave the new queen to the split.

Three of the four made it through winter (two of the re-queens and one of their queens). Two seem just dandy, and let you know they aren't keen of you having their lid open, but I wouldn't call them vicious. The other one though is meaner than the original queens. I mean nasty. Even with smoke, and using good beekeeping techniques, I'll get 20-30 stings in my pants alone in under 10 min. Gonna have to pinch her once my cells are ready. Might have to break up the colony in to weak nucs too, as I"m moving to a more residential area and can't take the risk with a aggressive hive. Shame to do that, right before the honey flow.

But I haven't treated any of those 4 colonies for mites, and haven't had any issues with mites from them. Did counts until late July, and they were always low. Never seen PMS or DWV issues in the hives.

I'd order again, and actually have two more on their way. You just need to keep an eye on them and be ready to requeen quick if they get touchy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
These responses are kinda what I expected so the Bee Weavers are pretty good bees but some of them can be a tad on the hot side. My bees I have now sound alot like the Bee Weaver Bees. I dont loose many hives and I dont treat at all. Some of My bees are already on the hot side so I dont need to add any more mean bees. Ive been trying to actually gentle my bees down over time. The Bee Weaver's do interest me though. I have small cell bees, and that could be one reason why the mites dont bother my bees much. And I like what I hear about them except for being a little hot. But i will say this, here where I live the meaner bees always seem to do better.
 

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These responses are kinda what I expected so the Bee Weavers are pretty good bees but some of them can be a tad on the hot side. My bees I have now sound alot like the Bee Weaver Bees. I dont loose many hives and I dont treat at all. Some of My bees are already on the hot side so I dont need to add any more mean bees. Ive been trying to actually gentle my bees down over time. The Bee Weaver's do interest me though. I have small cell bees, and that could be one reason why the mites dont bother my bees much. And I like what I hear about them except for being a little hot. But i will say this, here where I live the meaner bees always seem to do better.
Most of my bee keeping experience is from keeping bees 25 + years ago. I really don't recall looking for "docile "traits in bees back then. Occasionally we got some pretty testy bees but they ALWAYS made more honey than the more docile ones. Around here it was always "those smaller black bees are the mean ones".

Anyway, My only surviving hive was a BeeWeaver queen. She is small and Jet black and there is about a 50/50 split one what the offspring look like. Some are small and black, others look typical Italian. They do not seem aggressive at all. But they are still a little more feisty than others I have had in the last couple of years.

I also agree that the hotter bees "do better"
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Most of my bee keeping experience is from keeping bees 25 + years ago. I really don't recall looking for "docile "traits in bees back then. Occasionally we got some pretty testy bees but they ALWAYS made more honey than the more docile ones. Around here it was always "those smaller black bees are the mean ones".

Anyway, My only surviving hive was a BeeWeaver queen. She is small and Jet black and there is about a 50/50 split one what the offspring look like. Some are small and black, others look typical Italian. They do not seem aggressive at all. But they are still a little more feisty than others I have had in the last couple of years.

I also agree that the hotter bees "do better"
LOL yep them little black bees used to be around here too years ago, and honestly I dont think AHB's have nothing on them. Them little Black bees were some mean dudes. Im talking about the German Black bees. My grandpa had them he just called them the little black bees and yes sir. They were mean as hell. I dont mind bees thats a little mean as long as they are workable. I like bees that are a little hot cause they just always seem like they are better bees to me. i dont know why it is, but it seems like the gentle bees ive had always get wiped out by the mites. I think I may get me some Bee Weaver Queens. I hope i dont get some real mean bees. Bees have to be real mean before I will not like them. The thing that concerns me is Ive already got some Hot bees mix a little AHB in there and might get something crazy.
 

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I ordered several last year and a few the year before. None of mine were hot at all. I have some Italians that are much meaner. The color of the queens I received is a nice golden yellow with a mahogany thorax. They are super easy to spot in the hive. Only one of the queens had any trouble with mites.
One really weird thing - not sure if anyone else has noticed - about half of the queens I bought have progeny that fall off the comb in clumps when I inspect. I have never experienced this with Italians (Rossman). The bees are healthy and produce well. I just have to make sure I hold the frame over the hive when I inspect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ive got bees that will do the same thing falling off in clumps. The bees that do it are runners they run all over the comb when you pull the frame out and they will all run to the bottom of the frame until they get a big enough clump that it falls off. Does that kinda sound like what yours are doin S1sweetser
 

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Yep. That's it. It seems like I have read somewhere that you should select against 'runny bees' when breeding. I had never experienced it thought until I bought this particular strain of bees. All things considered, it probably isn't that important to the actual survival of the bees as long as they are hardy and varroa resistant. At any rate, I don't use any of those queens when I graft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
usually Runny bees are pretty hot from what Ive seen. I dont care for runny bees, but Ive got some. Its hard to find a queen in a runny hive. Like i was saying though the Bee Weaver bees sound just like my own bees for the most part. They have the same traits in a lot of ways. Ive got some Runners like that the the mites have not even phased in a few years of not being treated
 

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You should probably listen to people who have had them recently. The last time I had any was 2001. They were bad enough I didn't ever want to risk having them again... I've been doing cut outs for 40 years and some of the bees from the cutouts can be pretty vicious. But none compared to those...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You should probably listen to people who have had them recently. The last time I had any was 2001. They were bad enough I didn't ever want to risk having them again... I've been doing cut outs for 40 years and some of the bees from the cutouts can be pretty vicious. But none compared to those...
From what i hear the Bee Weavers are not supposed to be as likely to get mean as they used to several years ago. Maybe I better just stay away from them right now. Cause Ive already got bees that are hot. In fact i really think ive probably got some AHB genetics already in my bees. Ive got a buddy who has bees all caught from wild swarms in this area too, and his bees are similar to mine. Some of them get nasty. ive gotten to where now I wont tolerate mean bees. I dont mind a little hot, but when they get flat out mean Im killing that queen. I had a hive last year that got viscous. I got them stirred up one day and they were stingin cows and dogs over 100 yards away from the hive. i had my 4 year old daughter in my truck with windows up and the air conditioner on and she was watching out the windows. Well when I got done with that hive i couldnt get the bees to get away from me enough to get in the truck with her. I tried walking a long way off didnt work. They just wouldnt quit. So finally I told her to lay down in the floor board and cover herself up with a blanket that was in there. She did it then I got in the truck and drove away. Got a long way away and got back out to let the bees out of hte cab. Now I killed that queen and I hunted every queen cell down in that hive and tore them all up. I took some frames of bees out of that hive and made up some nucs and gave them all new queens. I brought them nucs to the yard that is near my house. We couldnt even walk out the back door without bees headbuttin us and the hives were probably over a 100 yards away. I was glad when they old bees finally died off. See that is the kind of bees I dont want. And I just imagine if a person got even more AHB genetics going on I could wind up with some hives that might be even way worse than that. I dont care to run into any more bees like that again. I talked to the State Bee inspector about them bees, and he told me if i wanted to send in a sample of them to have htem tested, but I never did I just busted the hive up. I will tell you one thing the mites wouldnt even put a dent in them bees.
 

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I've got 5 coming this week, I'll let you know how it turns out. My wife has suggested that I move them to the other side of the farm if they are mean. she loves to go look at the bees with me. I may very well do that. Then I can enjoy my bee yard even if they are mean. But I'll wait and see how they turn out first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We load up and go look at my bees too. I really enjoy them when they get built up real strong and early in the mornings whey they are just boiling out of them hives. Bees just going everywhere. Does anyone know how prone the Bee Weavers are to swarming?
 
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