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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our two nucs should supposedly arrive soon, featuring two snooty high-bred brand new hygienic Carniolan queens. Should be good stock, and we should not complain.

However, I'm of the opinion that local genes may be desirable. Our club has a program going to raise nucs locally instead of importing from down south. They had horrid luck with package bees last year.

But we oscillate between two states (kinda sounds quantum mechanical, but I mean we have a place in WV where we keep the bees). So we opted to buy nucs in WV to satisfy the import/inspection requirements. Possibly we over-reacted. But in any case we're wondering if it is worth requeening one of our hives with some tough Mountaineer queen. And if so, could a fairly young, productive high-bred Carni queen be introduced to another hive after she's started laying in the first one? The usual fate of requeening seems to be that the old queen ends up taking a fatal drink of alcohol.

In other words, do beekeepers ever do trades like this? I've tried searching the forum and have not seen this mentioned.
 

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This is probably off topic,

But I would not worry about a local queen vs VSH queen. Yes, a good local queen could be better than an average queen not from your region. Some local queens are great, some are not. Carniolian's are good bees, well suited for our wet, cool winters. I have never had a VSH Carniolian. But I do have experience with VSH bees. VSH are good bees. I would keep your VSH queens and not worry.

Shane
 

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Local bees, if they came from survivor feral stock, are going to be REAL HARD to beat.

Here's what I would do, if I was in your position. I'd call the nuc supplier and see if it will put him in a bind if you cancel one nuc. If he doesn't have a person on a waiting list to sell the other one to, buy both of them. If you still buy the two, I'd take a frame of bees from each hive, put them in a nuc box with a local queen and let them build up. That way you'll wind up with 3 hives, if you want that many....
 

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I'd test out the queens in the nucs before making rash decisions. You can always open mate their daughters to get local hybrids which may be better than both parents. Saying local bees are the best w/o ever having tested them is making a rather large assumption.
 

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I'd wait a month or so and do a split by taking the queen and 2 or 3 frames of brood from each hive. Let the old hives raise their own queens which will be bred to the local drones. That would give you four hives ( if you want that many) which should make it through winter depending on the flows in WV. Having 4 hives is a good number considering on average in the US almost 1 of 3 do not make it through the winter. It also gives you 2 somewhat different genetic lines to choose from in the future. Diversity is always good. Any idea if the local bees are truely locals or if there are a lot of beekeepers who treat and/or buy packages and nucs from down South each year?
 

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There are a great many quality bee strains, both domestic and feral stock. some hygienic strains have developed with great qualities. Although local stock can be survivors that is not always the case.
I would stick with the carni's for now and track their qualities in terms of Gentleness, mite resistance, honey production or whatever qualities suit your fancy. You can always do splits at a later date and introduce any queen you like, or allow a hive to raise a queen once bread it will produce a blend of local stock that may be just the type of bee that are right up your alley.
 

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I'm from WV and know of the queen breeding program that the locals are running. The bees are from local stock, i won't say ferral, i won't say untreated as i'm not in their yard, only mine. When you buy local stock, buy from reputable people, and ask if they treat or not. If a person fumbles when you ask them the question, good chance is they are about to lie to you. People that don't treat, are straight up and tell you in the beginning usually. Look at the way Michael Bush puts himself out there. If i had to guess about the queen rearing project in WV as far as treated v/s non treated, i'd go ahead and say treated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm from WV and know of the queen breeding program that the locals are running. The bees are from local stock, i won't say ferral, i won't say untreated as i'm not in their yard, only mine. When you buy local stock, buy from reputable people, and ask if they treat or not. If a person fumbles when you ask them the question, good chance is they are about to lie to you. People that don't treat, are straight up and tell you in the beginning usually. Look at the way Michael Bush puts himself out there. If i had to guess about the queen rearing project in WV as far as treated v/s non treated, i'd go ahead and say treated.
We're hoping to cozy up with the Eastern Panhandle group, but their website scares McAfee spitless. I presume joining and attending some meetings for a while would let us get to know the better queen raisers. We've been told by people I trust that the WV inspector is a real gem, and his predecessor is putting the nucs together. I don't doubt we're getting good bees, I'm just a believer in locally adapted genetics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'd wait a month or so and do a split by taking the queen and 2 or 3 frames of brood from each hive. Let the old hives raise their own queens which will be bred to the local drones. That would give you four hives ( if you want that many) which should make it through winter depending on the flows in WV. Having 4 hives is a good number considering on average in the US almost 1 of 3 do not make it through the winter. It also gives you 2 somewhat different genetic lines to choose from in the future. Diversity is always good. Any idea if the local bees are truely locals or if there are a lot of beekeepers who treat and/or buy packages and nucs from down South each year?
That's partly my worry, though. We only see a couple of Apis up there a year, but plenty of native bees. There must be some other hives around, but evidently not close, and likely out of a queen's flying range. I'm worried about two queens from one CA apiary not having enough drone diversity. There may be some unrelated drone brood in the almond bee brood, but they won't last indefinitely. Hence, looking for a mated local queen. But we do have woodenware and space for a third hive.

Here's to their health, and a split.
 
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