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Discussion Starter #1
There are not many beekeepers around me and I am wondering if it might be a good idea to buy a queen or swap queens with someone to promote genetic diversity in my beeyard. I am happy with the bees I have but I feel that the beeyard where they came from was rather isolated as well. Is this a good idea or do I risk ruining the great Italian bees that I have. What do you think ?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I suppose if you like what you're getting you can leave things alone.

How many hives did you start with and how many different backgrounds were those queens?

If you bring in new genes you could lose some of what you have, and you could gain some. It's hard to say. If you like your italians I'd be sure to keep getting italians so you don't mix things up too much.

I don't think there is a simple answer.
 

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How is your fight with varroa? If your bees do a good job of it on their own that would be a good genetic stain to keep going I would think.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I tried to start with 2 hives last year from different suppliers but 1 of the hives that I bought late was queenless with laying workers so I ended up with only one which I split very successfully this spring. As far as I can tell the nearest regestered beekeeper is at least 4 miles away, thus my concern. I don't have a good way to measure the honey production but they are easy to work with and the new split is almost as strong as the original hive now.
 

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Keep going with what you have unless there's a serious reason for changing. If they do well, then keep them; what any beekeeper needs is bees which are well adapted to their local environment. Drones drift around, and queens can fly some distance to mate, so new genes will be coming in. If it ain't broke, don't mend it.
 
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