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know there is a Nordic Brown bee but are there other strains of this bee? If so, are they available in America? Also, I am working with a natural beekeeper and he said these bees are the best to over winter with. Thanks!
 

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I'm not aware of any subspecies/race/strain that would qualify as "Nordic." The farthest north races naturally occurring in Europe were A. mellifera mellifera, the "German" race; A. m. acervorum; and A. m. caucasica, the "Caucasian" race. A. m. mellifera ranged as close to the Nordic countries as any of the races, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not aware of any subspecies/race/strain that would qualify as "Nordic." The farthest north races naturally occurring in Europe were A. mellifera mellifera, the "German" race; A. m. acervorum; and A. m. caucasica, the "Caucasian" race. A. m. mellifera ranged as close to the Nordic countries as any of the races, I think.
Thanks for your detailed reply. I'm guessing the bees he is talking about are the ones that overwinter the best in nyc. Any suggestions? I heard the Russian bee is well suited to harsh winters. What bee to you think would be the best on a roof top in NYC where winters are harsh?
 

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If you are thinking of getting into the hobby, find a local bee club and buy your bees through them, or, from one of its members. You will have local knowledge there you can draw on for the future of your bee journey. :)
 

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Thanks for your detailed reply. I'm guessing the bees he is talking about are the ones that overwinter the best in nyc. Any suggestions? I heard the Russian bee is well suited to harsh winters. What bee to you think would be the best on a roof top in NYC where winters are harsh?
NYC is not what I would call Nordic but you have had it rough these last couple of years. I would think any race of bee can overwinter in the big apple. You might want to check out some of the restaurants down there that are using honey products in their menu. They might give you some pointers about roof top hives.
 

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Most folks in the north like to think that their winters are as bad as they get. Even if you believe yours are the worst winters, bees might not think so. I struggled more with overwintering when I kept bees in the "nice" winters of Kansas than I do in the "bad" winters of South Dakota. Part of it was inexperience on my part, but a good part of it was moisture and humidity differences. I'll take bone-chilling cold and low humidity over mild winter temperatures and high humidity for overwintering bees any time.

Russians really are Apis mellifera caucasica. They are the most natively northerly race of bees readily available in North America. Having said that, I expect that Italians or Carniolans would do quite well in NYC as well.
 

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Russian stock is far too aggressive to be safely kept in an inner city hive IMO. You would be taking a pretty large liability risk.
 

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I agree. Russians can get testy. My Mom asked me to place a hive at her house last year and they were Russians. Great bees until after I did an inspection. It took about two days for them to calm down. My parents couldn't even sit on the deck. The bees would just fly over and harass. It was crazy. I finally moved that hive to my apiary several miles away. Then they started to harass the owner of the property. A friend and mentor helped me split the hive and requeen.
 

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I breed Buckfasts in the UK. However you could look at Egon Bees http://www.elgon.se/index-eng.htm

This guy uses buckfast breeding principles, and has crossed his strain of buckfast bee with Primorsky Russian bees. He Calls them the Elgon Bee.

Strong anti Varroa traits I believe.
 

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I breed Buckfasts in the UK. However you could look at Egon Bees http://www.elgon.se/index-eng.htm

This guy uses buckfast breeding principles, and has crossed his strain of buckfast bee with Primorsky Russian bees. He Calls them the Elgon Bee.

Strong anti Varroa traits I believe.
Thanks for the link: I love reading about beekeepers outside of the USA. Unfortunately bringing bees in from Finland isn't an option in the USA. Our borders are sealed from importation from that side of the pond. We can import queens from Canada and Bees/Queens from New Zealand and that is about it. I don't currently know what the status of Australia is. Last I heard the US was going to close importation from there as well.
 

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Bees that are quick to swarm are frowned upon in NYC area. Russians, deservedly or not, have the steroetype of being swarmy. Would not recommend taking a chance. Many people overwinter with Italians or Carnis on the rooftops here. Whatever you choose, swarm management should be a priority. Bee keeping is legal thanks to efforts of some locals, but the more negative press the worse it is for beeks. Manage hives and keep out of the news. Also there are some steps you need to take to be legal in NYC. It would be in your best interest to follow these. People have been been in legal trouble due to not following this. Not a direction you want to go in.

The OP really should contact nyc beekeeping. They are getting ready to order packages now. This group will not do you wrong. Excellent classes to boot.

NYC area does have varroa FYI. Treatment free is difficult at best. Good luck to the OP.
 

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You might want to check out some of the restaurants down there that are using honey products in their menu. They might give you some pointers about roof top hives.
Really Ace?

I guess a seafood restaurant would be a logical place to seek advice on boat buying, or fishing gear purchases...:rolleyes:
 

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Before it was made legal there were rooftop hives. Some of these rooftop hives supplied restaurants and were the owners of the hives.
 

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Ace doesn't always say clearly what he is trying to get across. :rolleyes:

I believe he was referring to hives kept on restaurant rooftops, and suggesting those beekeepers might have advice as to what kind of bees do well in those locations. (Julie F, the OP is in Brooklyn, NY, with lots of flat roofs.) Here's a story on bees on restaurant rooftops in the San Francisco area:

http://www.7x7.com/eat-drink/secret-honey-bees-sfs-restaurant-rooftops


.

No, its not my intention to regularly act as an Ace interpreter. :lookout:
 

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Before it was made legal there were rooftop hives. Some of these rooftop hives supplied restaurants and were the owners of the hives.
I'd like to read about the beekeeping restaurant owners if there are some links available...
 
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