I know alot of people use Italians. so where would you get them I am thinking of these places: D and J Apiarys, Rossman Apiarys, Wilbanks Apiarys or Wootans Golden Queens?or what is your preferance? Do they winter good in Michagan? thanks
I just got 50 queens from Wilbanks.I agree, they were pleasant to deal with,the queens were sent exactly when they said and they all arrived in fine shape.Dont know anything about the bees since this was the first time buying from them.But they looked like a good batch of queens.
Never ordered from any of the companies listed so cant offer much on that.
Italians carry some good traits....there is a reason that a bee that is native to such a tiny piece of geography is spread farther and wider than all else. However, italians dont winter the best outside of a meditterean type of climate which michigan doesnt have.
You can winter them here it would just take a slightly different strategy. Claytons method of using 3 deeps might be a good starting point but I cant say that from any personal experience...maybe someone else can comment. I prefer to have the option to winter in singles and thats not really possible with italians.
I agree with loggermike. From my experience Carniolans winter much better than Italians in cold climates. I winter up here in Canada, where winters are cold and long. The Carniolans tend to manage their winter stores better as spring weather comes around.
Good question. Bees can take some real cold (below zero) but the wind seems to be pretty rough on them. I think how long winter lasts is probably the most important issue. We run out of forage within the next 30 days or so and spring can be a longs ways off.
How would a carni/italin mix winter? I have been on this ubject before but were would you get a good carniolan I got some from strachan last year and they were awsome but this year they wern't werth a dime!!! or were all carniolans from every wheres this way? thanks S_W
Not to say that all areas were the same, but......I would not put alot of wieght in comparing last year to this year. This years cold spring, and at least where I'm from, a very wet summer, could probably make any queen line different from one year to the next.
Lets hope next year is "normal". Last year we had drought the entire summer, this year we had heavy April snow and constant wet cold May and June.
Coyote-Do you have much rabbitbrush?Its pretty common through the West and is about the last thing of value to bloom.The beeyard smells like sour socks when they are working it.It puts out tons of pollen and can produce a good nectarflow if theres enough of it.
I've have good luck with Jerry Shuman's
queens. Nice folks. Nnever had a problem with delivery. Got one batch dead one time and Mrs. Shuman prompty sent replacements.
No problems, no hassels, no questions.
They sent new ones out the next day.
Nice folks! Great Southern hopitality!
Here is my advice. Buy some carnis from a good breeder out west. Over the long run, Strachans are very good and you will be happy witth their queens. Odds are that you will not be able to buy a cross...I know they are available out west but I believe they are more of a special order for commercial folks. Loggermike might be able to tell you if he knows of a place.
I wouldnt be too worried about having some poor queens this year. The weather wasnt kind. I have lots of carnis (Strachans included) which didnt make much honey and are way too honey bound for my likes right now but shutting down and keeping the brood nest packed when there is not a good flow is part of their nature.
My opinion is that it is honestly hard to form much of an opinion of queens unless you are comparing a fairly large batch of them. I have them shipped on a rotating basis in the spring and there can be substantial differences from week to week. With both queens which I have purchased and ones Ive raised, my general expectation is that 25-30% are gonna be pure garbage. Your job is to find them as soon as possible and kill them. Another 25%-75% are gonna be right about at the average. The rest will hopefully be above average. The top 5% or so are worthy of further observation and 1 out of 500 might be worthy of breeder material.
I dont know anyone who advertises Italian carn crosses,but you get a fair percentage by accident.One Redding Ca.breeder(long gone many years ago) who sold a lot of queens and packages to Canada told me he would cross Italians to Caucasion drones,and said that cross was very popular with his Northern customers.Brother Adam wrote in his book"In Search of The Best Strains of Bees" that the Italian X Carniolan should always be Italian virgins mated to Carn drones.He felt the reverse cross was an angry bee that had intensified swarming traits.I wouldnt know since all my bees seem angry and swarmy!
Anyone ever try Tabers Hybrid Italian? They were recomended to me by my local state inspector, Due to the fact that I am haveing some trouble with AFB. These hygenic queens are advertised to have ability to clean up AFB. I have 5 queens ordered, and should be here Thursday. www.honeybeegenetics.com
I haven't used them. But several of my beekeeping friends use David Eyre's Italian stock and really like them (canada). They are a northern strain and should winter well. You will have to searh the key words The Bee Works as I don't have a link at the momment. Anyone here use David's stock and have comments?
Ive never used Tabers queens. He definately has a long history of working with bees so I would think they could have some promise. He has always touted queens as a key against AFB which I tend to also believe in. I would still keep a cautious eye out for AFB. My experience is that after a certain level of stress is reached it will cause AFB to pop up even with the most HYG bees. The Canadians have said for a long time that under general field conditions that HYG alone cant fight AFB at least not at the level that HYG is typically found. Try to keep the colonies strong and think about a regular requeening program if you want to keep the HYG trait. It isnt too hard to come by but it is lost real quick.
Clayton---havent used his queens either but I have tested a wide range of Canadian breeders of buckfast and italian strain from alot of producers. As with any, you will find the good, the bad and the ugly.
If you havent noticed, I tend to quote the Canadians often. I consider them to be a much more organized and progressive lot of keepers than us Americans.
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