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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I live and work in the beautiful Pays d'Auge region of Calvados, France. I am the caretaker of a private property and so look after its surrounding park, woods and fields. The property is certified organic.
I keep 22 Dadant 10-frame hives, half of them here on the property, the rest placed out on organic farms or in one case on a nature reserve. Depending on the season, I also have up to 10 Dadant 6-frame nuclei set up and use these to start off my new queens. I replace queens after 2 laying seasons, - sooner if there is any sign of weakness in the colony.
I have officially declared my bee-keeping organic so am now forbidden to use any chemical treatments, am limited in what I can feed the bees and must only use foundation made from wax produced in organically managed hives.
I am trying to select bees for breeding that are not only gentle and productive but also show hygienic behaviour. This is going to be a slow process because there are a lot of wild bees round here and although I try to 'flood' the area with males from good colonies, matings can still be pretty random.
I look forward to exchanging information with other members of this forum and to learning as a result.
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