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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of doing a small split in May from my overwintered hive and giving the nuc a BeeWeaver queen. Their description seems perfect for my area, riddled with SHBs and mites of all sorts. What has your experience been?

If you know north Georgia climate feel free to comment on my timing too.

Thanks!
 

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They are one of my foundation bees, eight years ago I started on the quest to not treat, started with them, have not treated since, still see SHB in the hives but the bees control them, they do have some AHB in them but you are in the area anyway,
Bob
 

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they do have some AHB in them but you are in the area anyway,
I think that Stone Mtn, GA is still outside the AHB territory....for the moment anyway.
Claressa, you may want to consider making your split in April. The earlier you do it the better chance they have to build out their nest. There are diverse opinions regarding whether or not BWeaver queens have AHB genetics. They are surely located in an area with AHB, so it is quite possible.
If you're looking for locally adapted, pest tolerant queens, you may want to check with some of the Atlanta area beekeepers. I'm sure that Cindy Bee in Marietta could direct you to some.
 

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I agree with beemandan...get in touch with Cindy Bee and she can help you. She is not far from your area and a great person...and a Georgia Master Beekeeper. I believe this is her correct contact information. God bless...

Cindy Bee
1041 Wilburn Drive
Marietta, GA 30064
770-424-0076
[email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Perhaps a little background is warranted. I have an overwintered hive that got superseded last year, have a package on order from Rossman, and am on a local swarm list. So, I will have lots of local bees, though of questionable "survivability". I've frequented the local bee clubs (though I'm a member of neither) and have some good contacts including Cindy Bee. However, I haven't found a local supplier that doesn't treat. I was thinking of trying the BeeWeaver queen as an experiment because they advertise that they began breeding for resistance in the mid 90s and haven't treated since 2001. It seems the earliest I can get a queen is about May 1. I would rather split earlier, but I was thinking a small later split would make for a nice nuc to take into winter and/or the occasional spare parts for other hives in my apiary.

I didn't have many mites but I had a horrible time with SHBs last year. I'm sure this was due, at least in part, to the fact that the only place I can put my hives is very shady. Beemandan is right in that I haven't seen any maps that indicate my part of Georgia is home to AHBs (yet). I don't mind having 'some AHB genetics' but I would mind having an AHB phenotype. I most certainly do not want to be responsible for the spread of that phenotype beyond its current habitat. So one question I'd really like answered in this post is if anyone has noticed that BeeWeavers are significantly more aggressive than others. The other really pressing question is are they truly more resistant to the pests in areas outside the south Texas microclimate?

Thanks again!
 

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Claressa, here’s my thinking on BWeaver. They’re located in an area that has feral AHB population. One characteristic of AHB is an ability to tolerate varroa without treatment. On the other hand queen breeders and producers as well as the USDA and entomologists the world over have been trying, unsuccessfully, to produce a European bee that can tolerate varroa without treatment. So, either one of two things has occurred. BWeaver has stumbled upon the holy grail of beekeeping (a European honey bee that tolerates varroa without treatment) or their bees have a significant enough mix of AHB genetics confer that trait. Choose for yourself.
By the way, Cindy Bee doesn’t treat
 

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My advice is to try one of those queens, but pay close attention to them if you're concerned about temperment. If they start to seem too hot for what you'd want, requeen with something different.
 

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I don’t treat mine. My bweavers are coming out of winter the strongest. They are calm, very good producers, I see a few shb’s in mine but not many. When I am doing an inspection and see a shb they are chasing it down.

I take my 4 year old girl with me during some inspections. She wears my hooded jacket. I have on just a veil and short sleeve shirt. I’ve never been stung by them.
 

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Claressa, here’s my thinking on BWeaver. They’re located in an area that has feral AHB population.
Correct, but BeeWeaver floods their drone yards with their drones, reducing the chance that one of their queens will be bred by an AHB drone. If their queens are of European stock, the drones produced by these queens will not under any circumstances have AHB genetics; however, in case of supercedure, then the superceeded queen could [only if the purchased queen would have been bred by a AHB drone].

One characteristic of AHB is an ability to tolerate varroa without treatment.
During the early to mid 90's, about 20-30 colonies [can't recall the exact number] were displaced by AHB at the ARS Weslaco, Texas Research center [located close to the border of Mexico]. 80-90% [as I can recall] of these AHB colonies died from mite infestation. The conclusion of this test was that AHB had no more resistance to mites than European bees [I assume the original colonies were large cell, although this was not specified in the report].

On the other hand queen breeders and producers as well as the USDA and entomologists the world over have been trying, unsuccessfully, to produce a European bee that can tolerate varroa without treatment.
Unsuccessfully? There are mite resistance bees for sale all over the country. As usual, BeeWeaver has been one of the leaders in this developement.

So, either one of two things has occurred. BWeaver has stumbled upon the holy grail of beekeeping (a European honey bee that tolerates varroa without treatment) or their bees have a significant enough mix of AHB genetics confer that trait. Choose for yourself.
Maybe they just are ahead of the industry as they usually are. Call them, they are honest people and will share with you the results of any test for AHB genetics on their stock, then you can make a decision based upon the facts as opposed to unsupported speculation.

However, I haven't found a local supplier that doesn't treat. I was thinking of trying the BeeWeaver queen as an experiment because they advertise that they began breeding for resistance in the mid 90s and haven't treated since 2001.
Call them or email them about any questions that you have Claressa. These are people with excellent reputations.

It seems the earliest I can get a queen is about May 1. I would rather split earlier, but I was thinking a small later split would make for a nice nuc to take into winter and/or the occasional spare parts for other hives in my apiary.
You might consider making splits on the towards the end of the honey flow, and have young queens going into the winter and early next spring.

I don't mind having 'some AHB genetics'
I would.

but I would mind having an AHB phenotype.
And you won't get this from BeeWeaver. Contact them, and share your concerns.

I most certainly do not want to be responsible for the spread of that phenotype beyond its current habitat.
IMO there is a much greater chance of this from migratory beeks or those colonies which have been on the almonds.

I'd really like answered in this post is if anyone has noticed that BeeWeavers are significantly more aggressive than others.
I currently have a marked BeeWeaver Queen from last spring. She is my strongest colony [and I do not treat], not the gentlest nor the most Defensive, but certainly not Aggressive. They didn't swarm nor made any indication that they will, which frequent swarming is a trait of AHB. Claressa, I would say if you purchased a queen, from them, there is the possibility that you could acquire a queen that has beed bred with a AHB drone, but the risk probaly is not very great. There is a good chance you will get a queen which is resistance to mites and can survive without treatments.

Kindest Regards.
 

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I have had a few B weaver queens in the past. Most were great bees with a touch of additude. A handfull were downright mean.
Their focus in the past has been on treatment free bees only. I have been told from someone who buys alot of queens from them that they are now taking temperment into consideration and as of last year he has seen a noticable improvement.
 

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I wouldn't buy an other bee from RWeaver if they were the last people on earth that sold them. They are very rude and don't answer their phone half the time or return calls. Bweaver bees are a little higher in price and have muck better bees.
 

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someone said

"During the early to mid 90's, about 20-30 colonies [can't recall the exact number] were displaced by AHB at the ARS Weslaco, Texas Research center [located close to the border of Mexico]. 80-90% [as I can recall] of these AHB colonies died from mite infestation. The conclusion of this test was that AHB had no more resistance to mites than European bees [I assume the original colonies were large cell, although this was not specified in the report]."


that must explain why in Mexico, Central America and Brazil they don't treat for mites and don't lose any bees to mites either.

right, that experiment sounds bogus or more likely was done on AHB hybrids. large cell versus small cell more voodoo science.
 

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right, that experiment sounds bogus or more likely was done on AHB hybrids. large cell versus small cell more voodoo science.
Ok, OK, I will try to go online and find the study and post it here, or maybe Hambone [Derek] can help me find it. I hesitated to post that, just because of this. I might add that this has been referenced in some of the prior AHB threads and I Assume the Agriculture Research Center (U.S.D.A., part of the Texas A&M bee research department) practices voodoo science. Don't you just love these baseless accusations?. I previously had this study on my computer but about a month ago my computer was hit and ate up most of my stored data. Also, had a 300GB auto backup that had all the data removed; otherwise I would have it, but now I must go look it up again.

Danny Unger
 

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I've been reading on here a few years, & have heard nothing but praise for beeweavers bees. I hope they keep those Ozzie drones out of their breading area.

Can't say that about the R-weavers though.


Besides if Derek says their good, they must be great.
 

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Can't say that about the R-weavers though.

Besides if Derek says their good, they must be great.
Right! :p:D

Plan and simple. I am a fan of Beeweaver. Have had great bees and great customer service from them. Good people. I have nothing bad to say about Rweaver since I have never dealt with them. But until B gives me a reason to go to R, I will stick with B. Even if they cost a bit more.
 

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No, but the results were the same; and therefore I do not feel compelled to take my precious time to go and do the research to contest the prior incorrect statements. Thanks for your precious time and the skill that you have in navigating the internet, which I don't have.

The article I was talking about was not initially set up as a study. The researchers had discovered an apiary that had been taken over by AHB. This apiary was located in a remote location after varroa had destroyed many of the untreated colonies in the area. Almost all of the AHB colonies died from the mites; and it was concluded that there was no measurable distinction in mite resistance between AHB and European bees. Same thing your discovered study shows. However, De jong's studies which showed more resistance to mites were done on AHB on natural cells. De Jong's also did other studies that showed that cell size did have an affect survivability of mites. 3 different cell sizes were used and as the cells got progressively larger mite populations increased.

However, that is not what this post is about. This is about the unsupported allegations concerning BeeWeaver's resistant stock being resistant because of AHB influence. There is absolutely no support for these slanderous statements.

My thanks and as always
Kindest Regards.
 
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