Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! My dad and I are currently keeping 2 hives, one Buckfast and one Starline. We're going to be splitting the Starline hive tho, and we're having a hard time deciding what type of queen we want. I'm leaning toward either a Russian or a Cordovan. I've seen some negative things about both tho, the Russians tend to swarm? and the Cordovans don't winter well? Can anyone give me a quick rundown on which would be better to use? Or if these two are even good choices? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,523 Posts
Mandy, I've discovered something no one else is saying positive about the overwintering negatives of Italians. They say the cluster is too large because she doesn't quit laying when the rest do. But for mine that large cluster helps a lot cuz on warm days they're flying. I don't where they find what they find but in Jan/Feb when I opened em up they were already honeybound.

That's on a par with parting the Red Sea. IMHO, unless you're socked in with a long frozen winter, Italians overwinter better because they don't stop working for the winter.

Part of the fun of BKing is looking for things like this and testing them out. Then of course you have to report back on this site.

One vote for Cordovans.

Hawk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
LOL that's why I wanted to ask and get some input! I'm a little partial to the Buckfast, although we had to requeen about a month ago and my dad is disgusted that she hasn't gotten busier laying. There are eggs in there tho, so I told him to be patient! He likes the Starlines better because they're so busy and really making the honey. But we both wanted to try another type and see which we liked best. We're not too far from CO so I guess our temps are comparable to yours...have you heard anything about the Cordovans doing a lot of propolizing (forgive my spelling LOL) tho? Is that usually a big problem, or just a nuisance?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I meant to ask too...what's the favorite method of splitting a hive?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,523 Posts
Nuisance? Do you know propolis is the only substance that kills Streptococcus Aurea? And it's easier to collect than pollen and royal jelly. If you get a strain that over-propolizes (Yes, I think your spelling was correct.), consider harvesting it.

Assuming you're splitting for the purpose of increasing the number of hives, and that you've already decided not to have them raise they're own queen??? Eequalize, with the exception of the open brood. Move the hive with the old queen and the brood two miles to an outyard, give the split a day to realize they are queenless, then introduce her in a cage with candy or use a screen cage over emerging brood.

If any of that doesn't sound familiar, please say so. I'm kinda assuming it's just reassurance you're after.

Hawk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I didn't know that about propolis...all I'd seen mentioned with it in regard to the Cordovans was negative comments.

And yeah, we've split like that before, just wondered if there were any methods that were different. Thanks :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,523 Posts
There are different methods and if you wanted to you could probably think up something else new. I was just going by what you implied in your post. I prefer walkaway splits. Where you let them raise their own queen. Expecially at the beginning of summer/spring. then you have a queen in case you mess up. A queen from your own strain. That is acclimatized to Wyoming and adapted to your seasons. Well, in theory.

Another puts equal splits facing the old hive which is gone so returning foragers can't decide which to return to. And presumably split.

Another puts an empty brood box(no frames) on top of an excluder then an axcluder and then a brood box. All this on top of your hive. Then the top box thinks it's queenless because the pheromone can't cover that far and raises a queen. Then you just remove the top box. cool, huh?

Well that's all I know. see ya,

Hawk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,373 Posts
I thought I might mention that Cordovan is not a strain of bee, just a genetic color variation that can be bred into any strain/race of honeybee. Most often it is seen in Italian honeybees because it is at its most dramatic effect with the lighter colored Italians. With darker colored races it is not as dramatic.

I really enjoy the bright coloration of my Italian Cordovan colonies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,995 Posts
Cordovans are decent at wintering if you don't mind feeding them a little bit extra. I thought that the Starlines were much like Cordovans (large, gentle, hungry colonies). I have some russian hybrids right now, and I also like them. Either choice will be a good one. My impression of the russians is that they are very similar to the Buckfast, but don't draw comb as rapidly and build up faster in the spring. If you can get both, it might be fun to compare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
As you can see Amanda, everyone has an opinion.

I have to agree with Mr. Bush, as Carni's are a darker bee and better suited for cooler climates. Italian (Cordovan) bees are better suited for a more tropical climate, and not best for the climate in Wyoming.

Russians are also a cool climate breed, but tend to be more aggressive.

Another cool climate bee, would be the Caucasian.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,523 Posts
Hey Miss Amanda, don't let them buffalo you that way.

<Italian,Cordovan, bees are better suited for a more tropical climate, and not best for the climate in Wyoming.>

Why?? You'll never learn if you just accept an authoritative statement like that.

C'mon Phoenix, explain.

Hawk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,071 Posts
I like the Italian bees myself. While I have had one or two nasty hives, the rest have been gentle and easy to work. The queens don't run on the frames when you open up a hive, and there's not alot of headbangers either. I also have some Buckfast hives, which are not as gentle as the Italians, but are fairly decent to work with.

peggjam
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,171 Posts
I had ten hives of Cordovans once. Only one made it through the winter, while the Carnis, Russians, Buckfasts and even regular Italians did fine. While they were beauitiful and quite gentle and very prolific, I was not impressed with their overwintering ability.

The best for a colder climate from my experience seem to be the Carnis and Buckfasts. But the Italians did ok. But the Italians required a lot more winter food and overwintered in a much larger cluster.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top