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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
I would think so. I'm starting to believe that there is really not a whole lot of difference. i doubt we could alter genetic makeup of bees in 40 or 50 generation. 50 or 60 years ago there probably wasn't any of these discussion and the bees still survived. But what do I know?
 

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The difference is that queens can be raised in the South under ideal conditions much sooner in the season than they can be raised in the North. That link you gave does just that, and they claim having good survival rates taking earlier Southern raised and using them in the North-East.
 

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The difference is that queens can be raised in the South under ideal conditions much sooner in the season than they can be raised in the North. That link you gave does just that, and they claim having good survival rates taking earlier Southern raised and using them in the North-East.
Certainly! A lot of the queens that are northern in one respect go south to have their babies. This is done I believe with the saskatraz and that Canadian Breeder from Quebec has a California operation where queens can be mated much much earlier. Both the donor queen and the drones can have been developed in the Northern location. What are the offspring then - northern or southern?

Unless you have control of the mating then in many areas there is so much dilution it is unlikely to make much progress. When there is 20 or so times the male influence you are whistling in the wind trying to shift genetics appreciably with your favorite queen.

Edit; Listening to one of Deroches presentation it seems he is putting some effort into better transportation process for queens. The present system exposes queens to some potentially damaging temperature excursions. Shipped queens that dont seem to exhibit expected potential may be compromised in shipping.
 

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That's not a suitable reference. It's actually sort of interesting just how strange what they write is.

Also - they aren't even really saying anything about northern vs. southern queens - as above poster said - that's true for any queen....

That's why we try to cite peer review studies.

They also make a bizarre claim:

Raising queen bees in northern climates is not practical because the timing of pollen flows required for the necessary production of brood and young bees to stock the baby nucs needed for timely queen rearing do not occur early enough to sustain production before pollen flows decline.

So Michael Palmer's queen rearing operation isn't practical is that what these people are trying to say?

...also these people claim their yards in Louisiana are nearby buttercup fields. Buttercup pollen is poisonous to honey bees - so if their bees are using buttercup pollen to make their queens - find another queen breeder in a hurry!


pollen collected from a buttercup can retain deadly protoanemonin for a period of up to three years. Right now, buttercups are in full bloom creating a haven of toxicity for unsuspecting honey bees. When bees eat this stored pollen they experience certain symptoms from the poison within minutes
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I don't know User-it appears that their money comes from pollination and honey, not so much selling queens. It appears that queen and nuc business it just part of integrated management with several revenue streams. I'm sure they are staffed with knowledgeable personnel. On this forum we have several gurus that everyone likes to quote or reference like Joe Bees said this (pardon to any Joe Bees if there is one here) or has a video showing that. Well, these guys have millions at risk with their business-I'm sure they spend a lot more money than Joe Bees on research and manage hundreds of times more colonies than Joe Bees has ever seen. In college, I had professors that taught different things related to civil engineering but in retrospect 40 years later, they wouldn't have last 3 minutes on some of the project that I built in my career. Real knowledge comes out when you have to out your money, your life and your future on the line every day.
 

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These guys know how to make money, that's for sure - but some of what they write doesn't make much sense, and doesn't really add much to this discussion.
 

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Michael Palmer over winters fresh queens that were raised later in the start of the season than can be done in the south, then over winters them in nucs. That's how he's able to run his breeding program so well without going south to breed queens. He just over winters young queens in nucs where he's at instead.

Hmm, that doesn't sound exactly right, let me try again. Since Mike can't raise quality queens in his area as early as others do in the south, he raises them a little later under ideal conditions in his area and over winters them in nucs for use the next spring and for sale. This way he doesn't need to go south to raise queens, he just over winters young queens where he's at in nucs instead.
 

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Well there's overwintered nucs and nucs.

Overwintered nucs have local queens that survived the winter

nucs are just splits with inserted queens, usually bought in the south - especially if sold in April when it's not possible to rear a local queen.

Sounds like Michael sells overwintered nucs, but why would he go through all the trouble to overwinter a queen in a nuc - just to sell the queen? So I have to say no - that doesn't sound correct to me.

As far as I know - you can't "bank" queens in nucs over the winter.
 

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Queens grafted raised and bred in southern climates have far better odds of survival in northern climates when other prerequisites are met including, but not limited to, pesticide/fungicide exposure during foraging season, general age of the cluster of  bees going into the winter, age of the queen, sufficient stores of honey and pollen, low mite and viral loads, proper insulation and ventilation of the colony, direction of the entrance, general air drainage at the apiary site,  and average daily temperature/humidity during winter months all play a critical role in colony survival.
That is one loooooong list of prerequisites you are supposed to meet to have better odds of survival, and some are pretty specific, air drainage, average daily temperatures and humidity during winter, how the heck do you control that?

IMO any queen would probably do well if all those conditions were met.
 

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I believe Mike sells queens when he can make them (starting in May, so first queens available in June?) Then his July/ mid July queens stay in nucs for overwintering, not banked. So he has a much later and shorter queen rearing season than the southerners. They work fine. But hard to supply queens for package industry that late. And for early splits and spring queen problems. The industry is based on the availability of southern bees, yes and queens, available early. If we tried to base all our northern production off only northern bees I think there would not be enough to go around without changing things up a bit. Mike Palmer's methods work for a small professional. I don't think we have any northern bees with more than 10000 colonies. We would need to have a lot more people keeping in the 1000 range like Mike to get all the orchards pollinated without trucking in southern bees (even if they come from northern stock....)
I think if southern bees really could not survive in the north the package industry would be toast. However, if you can find good local queens they will likely survive better. If you want to insulate and feed less then locally adapted bees will be more likely to survive. If you are fine with the added work load of monitoring (which is the fun part anyway) and feeding and whatever else might be needed, the southern bees can be arranged to work fine.
 

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I believe Mike sells queens when he can make them (starting in May, so first queens available in June?) Then his July/ mid July queens stay in nucs for overwintering, not banked. So he has a much later and shorter queen rearing season than the southerners. They work fine. But hard to supply queens for package industry that late. And for early splits and spring queen problems. The industry is based on the availability of southern bees, yes and queens, available early. If we tried to base all our northern production off only northern bees I think there would not be enough to go around without changing things up a bit. Mike Palmer's methods work for a small professional. I don't think we have any northern bees with more than 10000 colonies. We would need to have a lot more people keeping in the 1000 range like Mike to get all the orchards pollinated without trucking in southern bees (even if they come from northern stock....)
I think if southern bees really could not survive in the north the package industry would be toast. However, if you can find good local queens they will likely survive better. If you want to insulate and feed less then locally adapted bees will be more likely to survive. If you are fine with the added work load of monitoring (which is the fun part anyway) and feeding and whatever else might be needed, the southern bees can be arranged to work fine.

The studies indicate exactly what you said - that good local queens are just more likely to survive, In fact - some of the results from the study indicate increased varroa resistance so that would translate to less work for the beekeeper.

With both north and south queens, the beekeeper's practices still make the most significant difference in survivability.
 

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Shipping is a big problem in queen quality. The queens store of drone semen can be negatively affected by high and low temperature exposures.
I've read that here more than once recently. What seems odd is that semen (human semen anyway) is deep-frozen. How do breeders ship bee semen? Ambient temp or on dry ice/in nitrogen?

And another question that comes to mind: Would it be "bester" to purchase virgins and let them open mate locally? That allows local genetics in the hive, bypasses the stress on the stored semen from shipping, and avoids the loss of productivity from something like a walkway split.

I have no argument with the research; what I find potentially misleading is your interpretation of the result and implications of it. You present your simplistic conclusions of complex data as if it were divine revelation.
I get what you are saying here. Here's a theory I had, though:

If a person took all of the formal peer-reviewed studies, mashed them together to form "a process," and even flipped a coin where two were in conflict, wouldn't that person be better off than the person who didn't? Statistically speaking, of course. :)
 

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I've read that here more than once recently. What seems odd is that semen (human semen anyway) is deep-frozen. How do breeders ship bee semen? Ambient temp or on dry ice/in nitrogen?

And another question that comes to mind: Would it be "bester" to purchase virgins and let them open mate locally? That allows local genetics in the hive, bypasses the stress on the stored semen from shipping, and avoids the loss of productivity from something like a walkway split.


I get what you are saying here. Here's a theory I had, though:

If a person took all of the formal peer-reviewed studies, mashed them together to form "a process," and even flipped a coin where two were in conflict, wouldn't that person be better off than the person who didn't? Statistically speaking, of course. :)
Flash freezing to cryogenic temperatures usually necessary and an adjudivant added. Different species seem to need different handling. Bovine can be deep frozen but horse not. That may have changed now for horses. I was doing Artificial Semination on my cows 20 years ago. Bulls semen can be damaged by high temperatures. Being able to pull up or let down testicles is a mechanism common bulls use for temperature control. Buffalo do not have that capability. One of the things that make first generation hybrids sterile until back crossed a few times. Just trivia to show how sensitive semen can be. I do not know how bee semen in particular responds. Just passing on what I picked up from Anicet Derochers presentation on temperature excursions on queens which he felt is a serious consideration:LOL:

Virgins are much more delicate and difficult to handle compared to mated queens but some people have shipped them short distances. Is the potential harm only to stored semen in the queen? Dunno. High temperatures can compromise queens as well as low. Dont know if it is virgin or mated connection.

Arriving at a correct answer via flawed reasoning is not commendable! IMHO of course.;)

As for a mish mash of facts to arrive at the ultimate wisdom, I am skeptical: Simplistic solutions to complex problems do not come well recommended :) The peer reviewing of the day did not do much to promote Gallilleos knowledge. Some people today are still negatively influence by them. Kind of cherry picking but I think you catch what I am pitching.

Edit; for link. file:///C:/Users/%60/AppData/Local/Temp/c9969f86-6902-4d83-b075-729fa7e31d2a.pdf Temp. effects on queens stored sperm.
Sorry, you will have to cut and paste to the browser. Dont know how to hperlink it.
 

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Larrybud. Your asking the wrong question. Ask yourself what you want those bees to do. Ie draw wax and raise brood. So select quality bees that do just that. Raise queens for end August of a stock you feel comfortable overwintering. Preferably small cluster bees just incase we see a winter on the rough side
 

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The truth is that no evidence has been presented which indicates that southern queens are equal to northern locally adapted queens. 3 Studies have indicated that, however.

Still waiting on some peer-review evidence to support the notion that southern queens were just as good in the North.

Then again - NJ is one of the warmest parts of the Northern US - so it's probably fine to buy some queens from other nearby warm places like Virginia.
 

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"Pick the hive model that is best suited to your locale, populate it with local bees, and the results will speak for themselves" Georges de Layens, "The Complete Course in Apiculture" 1892

People have been researching this...

Local queens winter better:
Requeening packages
Local queens

Overwintering honey bees: biology and management

Establishing New Honeybee Colonies in Cold Climates - Cooperative Extension: Agriculture - University of Maine Cooperative Extension

http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/ProjectReport.aspx?do=viewRept&pn=FNE10-694&y=2010&t=0

http://pwrbeekeepers.com/sare/sare-final-report-2011.pdf

http://www.southernsare.org/News-an...uccessful-in-Rearing-Local-Honeybee-Colonies/


in Maine:
http://mysare.sare.org/mySARE/ProjectReport.aspx?do=viewRept&pn=FNE10-694&y=2010&t=1
http://www.nesare.org/State-Programs/Maine/Winter-hardy-bees
http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2012/01/09/establishing-northern-honeybee-colonies/

"Summary
"Our project explored the differences in strength and survival between three options for starting new honeybee colonies. Over the course of two years 54 new honey bee colonies were started, managed, monitored, and evaluated by Master Beekeeper Erin MacGregor-Forbes and experienced beekeeper Larry Peiffer. The purpose of the experiment was to determine whether survival rates between the groups of colonies would be measurably different, and whether beekeeper choices in colony starts could influence winter survival probability. The project involved three colony groups: Two thirds of our colonies were started using commercially raised southern packages of bees, 3lbs of bees and a queen bee in a cage. (Packages) Packages are the most commonly purchased colony start option available to beekeepers in the United States, comprising roughly 80% of all new colonies started in New England. The second colony group (1/3 of our project) was comprised of northern raised overwintered nucleus colonies, a northern raised queen and her offspring, 5 frames of bees, along with honey comb, pollen, and nectar stores (Nucs). Northern raised nucleus colonies are less commonly purchased because they are less available for sale -- the demand for Northern Raised Nucs vastly outstrips the supply in New England. The third colony group we included is a compromise between the above two choices. Once the packages were established in hives in Maine, and when northern raised queens were available (approximately 60 days after package installation), we removed the queens from half of the package started colonies and replaced them with northern raised and mated queens. (Requeened Packages) We then managed each colony independently and measured their honey production, disease and mite load, and most importantly, survival over winter to see if there were differences between the Packages, Nucs, Requeened Packages. Our results were very promising in the survival differences. In over two years, the adjusted data for survival revealed the following: 42% of the southern commercially raised package colonies survived their fist winter strong enough to be a viable colony in the following summer. 83% of the overwintered northern raised Nucleus colonies were in viable condition, and 90% of the northern requeened packages were in viable condition the following spring. In our project, the Nucs experienced nearly twice the survival rate of the Packages. Additionally, the Requeened Packages also experienced a survival rate nearly double the rate of the 'as bought' Packages. Although executed over two years, our sample size was small (54 colonies started total, but only 39 included in this final data due to colony disqualification) and therefore could be subject to seasonal and statistical error. We will be performing additional work narrowing the study groups to just Packages and Requeened Packages in 2013. We hope to improve the statistical significance of our results through further study, but feel strongly that the promise shown by our first two years offers New England beekeepers an attractive option for increasing the survival of new colonies. "


In Virginia:
http://mysare.sare.org/MySare/ProjectReport.aspx?do=viewRept&pn=FS08-223&t=1&y=2011
(click on "create pdf" to see the report)

"Summary
"The Prince William Regional Beekeepers Association (PWRBA) producer SARE project compared hives
started from packaged bees to hives started from nucleus colonies (nucs) positively demonstrating higher
survival for nuc started hives than package started hives, with survival differences more pronounced in the second year. Education and training resulted in adopting more sustainable beekeeping practices. These centered on utilizing existing colonies to produce sufficient nucs to (1) replace dead hives, (2) increase apiaries, and (3) provide starter hives for new beekeepers and association members instead of relying on commercially produced packaged bees from outside the region. The number of nucs made available to association members in lieu of packaged bees increased dramatically over the course of the project. Queen rearing was successfully initiated."
 

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Edit; for link. file:///C:/Users/%60/AppData/Local/Temp/c9969f86-6902-4d83-b075-729fa7e31d2a.pdf Temp. effects on queens stored sperm.
Sorry, you will have to cut and paste to the browser. Dont know how to hperlink it.
That link indicates a file stored locally on a C: drive [likely Crofter's computer]. As such, it cannot be shared in that manner.

But, perhaps this is the paper he is referencing:
"Queen honey bees exhibit variable resilience to temperature stress"
 

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Thanks Rader; I see what I did now.:sleep:

So packages are inferior quality! Not surprising the way they are shaken from almond bees. Are their queens the same quality you would get when ordering queens from a respected source. Are predominately Italian bees the ones being used to requeen the packages as mentioned in MB post above. There should not be much question that there is more carni breeding generally in the bees dominant in more northern states. They certainly are more represented in Canada.
There has to be more at play than simply the latitude of the bees if their genetic makeup is identical. Personally I would choose Carni hands down but if the same genetics are present and one group is superior to the other are we looking at learned behavior or the effects of transportation stress, greater pesticide exposure,disease or what.
Why?
 

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Yes we need peer reviewed studies to prove our own observations! Without them we would be lost! Heck, for many years I drove on the left side of the road half the time and on the right the other half. I was not sure what was best. Then I read a peer reviewed study and that set me straight. Added benefit of the peer reviewed study is that now my wife and children ride in the same car as I so we also save on gas!! (Sheesh!)
The obvious scientific flaw in MBs info as it pertains to this discussion is that we don't know what happened with the queens before they entered the study. As has been mentioned in this thread, temp in shipping, queen production practices, etc play an important role in colony viability and productivity. If southern packages are better than northern nucs seems not to be the case from that info. But if that is due to the genetics of the queens was not described or selected for in the study....
 
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