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Discussion Starter #1
i'm planning on increasing(hopefully) to 6 hives this year through splits and new packages. From then on, i was going to attempt to raise my own queens each year(hopefully).

my question is.... being the limited # of hives, is it a better idea to just stick with one bee type? such as all russian, or all italian? or could i have italian, russian, NWC, .... and expect good queens? does cross breeding between races of bees cause any problems, or are the hybrids pretty stable? i was wanting to try several different types to see what does best in my area.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
and along those lines..... IF it's an ok idea to maximize the # of varieties.... after i make a split and everything is fine and stable between the parent hive and the new one. If i want to requeen the old girl with new genetics, do i pinch her and immediately put in a new queen cage? or pinch her and give the bees time to start craving a new queen before putting a cage in?
 

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I think first, newbeematt, you need to determing if maintaining specific races of bees is important to you, or if keeping "mutts" would suit you just as well.

If you're concerned with maintaining specific races of bees, you'd almost have to go with II (instrument insemination) to satisfy the purists.

If "mutts" are fine with you, try several races, or even queens of the same "breed" from different suppliers, and raise your own queens from the hives you like best. You should find which bees best suit your expectations fairly easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i'm all good with the mutts. i just didnt know if it was a good idea. i guess it's always just a roll of the dice when raising your own queens, but i didnt know if i was more likely to 'crap out' if there were several different breeds involved.
 

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You need to do research on the different types of bees. You need to try to buy from a local supplier so that you know bee's are acclimated to your area or you buy bee's that are bred for specific climates i.e., NWC, Russians, are good for the cold. You need to buy bee's that are mite resistant or who have hygenic behavior to help them survive.
 
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