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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had 4 Saskatraz queens scheduled for the 4th week of May from Olivarez, and they called up to tell me due to the rainy weather they have been getting that they wouldn't be able to fill my order until the end of June! So I elected to pass and cancelled the order. I was hoping to give them a try too.
 

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I got a package of saskatraz bees from Knights Family Honey(Utah) last week.the original pick up date was in late April..same supplier.. but was pushed back to last weekend due to weather and flooding.
 

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Mine overwintered great from last year. But man are they swarm prone. I follow the super early and i've had them swarm with plenty of room in supers right above the brood boxes. like everything else except chasing them.
 

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I got 40 Saskatraz from Olivarez on April 26th. 3 were DOA. 2 turned drone layers. 5/40 failure is a much higher mortality/poor mating than is typical on my overnight shipped California queens
I would say Olivarez's caution and delay in shipping is warranted due to my experience with poorly mated queens in the April shipment. They are doing the right thing.
I have 2018 and 2019 cohort of Olivarez California bred Saskatraz. These build-up like monsters, and require cut-down splits to avoid the hives going to swarm. Several queens shut down cold in August 2018, and while some over-wintered and bred up this spring, several "faded away" or died after the shut-down.
My assessment is these are "thoroughbred" queens, and less resilient to the randomness of hobby beekeeping than a less specialized breeding selection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
JW said, "Several queens shut down cold in August 2018, and while some over-wintered and bred up this spring, several "faded away" or died after the shut-down.
My assessment is these are "thoroughbred" queens, and less resilient to the randomness of hobby beekeeping than a less specialized breeding selection."

JW and Kaizen, thank you for your assessment of these queens. Although I do have three coming to experiment with, I'll surly be keeping a close eye on them. Still sounds like a good northern bred Carni is the way to go.
 

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I have 2018 and 2019 cohort of Olivarez California bred Saskatraz. These build-up like monsters, and require cut-down splits to avoid the hives going to swarm. Several queens shut down cold in August 2018, and while some over-wintered and bred up this spring, several "faded away" or died after the shut-down.
My assessment is these are "thoroughbred" queens, and less resilient to the randomness of hobby beekeeping than a less specialized breeding selection.
I've been wondering why 2 of mine that look healthy haven't laid this year. Very strange. Also spot on with swarmy. I normally wait till after dandelions to maximize honey production but all of mine took off right in the beginning of the flow.
 

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Sounds as though the Saskatraz could be a flash-in-the-pan!
Well if you like to expand your apiary they are the ticket. Built up early this year. when i first went to do a full inspect they already had several frames of capped brood. several as in 4 wall to wall. not seeing a huge difference in honey but i'm really interested in the bee part more then the honey.
 

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i am actually seeing a superior brood pattern in both my overwintered mutts and the queens i grafted this year than the Sas queens. They were expensive and so far im not impressed.
 

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I got a three pound package with a saskatraz queen last month. I gave them a frame of brood when introduced and then a frame last weekend.. they are barely getting into the second hive body..
 
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