Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys I had a couple of questions for you,
was wondering what breed of bee you use in your outfits?
The 2nd question, is there a difference between carniolans and italians? what are the differences?
frazz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,261 Posts
Using Russians now, switching back to italians over the next month or 2. I like the Russians for their mite resistance so far, but they winter in very small cluster and dont build quick enough in the spring for us (very early bloom). Not sure on the Carni vs. Italian never had Carnis before but Im sure someone will chime in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
You'll notice that bee breeds are based on where the particular strain of bees originated from. Based on that principal my favorite breed would be my Presbytarians that originated from a swarm on a church soffet, followed by the Toyotas - yeah from a swarm at the local dealership.
Then we have the Elmira Garage cutout bee breed, the Little Marsh PA farmhouse bee...etc etc
Call them survivor bees - they lived long and prosperred without any attention from humans. Must have wintered well also but then some of them did enjoy the benefit of homeowner provided central heating :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just wanted to add to my original post a bit of detail as to why I want some input from anyone who has any experience of the 2 types breeds or whatever the corrct terminology is.
In NZ we have until just recently only had Italians we now have carniolans.
I have no experience with carnies at all so I was wanting to know how they do in Pollination and honey? how do they winter? what happens if they cross with Italians? whats their temperament like? do you prefer Italians or carniolans?
Please any feedback would be most welcome,
frazz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,692 Posts
Carni's tend to over winter with smaller clusters than Italians.
Therefore Carni's eat thru less stores than Italians over winter.
Carni's will not build up brood during a dearth so much as Italians will.
Italians tend to be more broody, Carni's are more conservative with stores, not wasting them on brood during dearth as much as Italians.
I notice more honey with less bees in Carni hives than in Italians.

I've been impressed with the Carni's ability to regulate brood production in relation to nectar flows, seemingly better than Italians, as I am in low/intermittent flow areas and in areas with too many hives for the bloom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,488 Posts
We have run both Italians and Carnis. As of this year we are running all Carnis and replacing the Italian queens as they fail or during fall requeening. The main reasons have been listed above, but last year with a poor late summer and fall flow we had many Italian hives starve even before winter started. They don't shut down soon enough when it starts to turn cold or there is less nectar. Going into Calf. the Carnis did the best because they use less stores and come out better for the same reason as they all came out light from Calf. We have also noticed that the Carnis produce the same if not more honey and that may only be because they consume less during the season so there is more to pull. Anyway, Carnis hands down for us in a colder climate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
Italian.

Tested carrnies, small winter cluster, hard to qualify for almond pollination in Feb. each year. But come April they (Carnies) realy jump up in size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
I have Italian Cordoven bees and I have New world Carnoilan hope I spelled that right? What I observe on both breeds is my Italian girls go to other hives and demand protection payments:lpf: ok all joking aside my italians build p fast are hogs when it comes to feeding they don't winter well as I would like. but they are very gentel do a good job on honey. My NW carnoilans work in rain, they produce honey they winter good. and they seem to keep a good balance on brood vs food advable. so next year I will have all carnoilians.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,340 Posts
I use Carniolans. Sometimes Italians when I get in a pinch. The Italians need more food stores for winter, they tend to brood heavey at the moment weather turns nice. Which gets them into trouble with food stores when weather turns bad.

I buy Olivarez, Carniolans. But I am thinking they arnt pure Carniolans. They brood way to heavey and winter with huge populations, yet they do show some restraint in the spring with their initial brood expansion. I am thinking there probably is some Italian mixed in there.
They give me real dark queens though, jet black sometimes, and that tells me they must be mostly Carniolan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
Always used Italians but tried Carniolans at the suggestion of the Beekeeper that supplies most of the package bees in the area I live. I like em so far. Temperament is very good, perhaps a little more feisty than Italians. I live in the rainy cool Pacific Northwest USA and its been a especially miserable spring with perhaps only 6-7 days of sun since I installed them. 6 weeks in these Carniolans are doing very well despite the weather. I notice they forage when its colder and during moderate rain with no problem. Been feeding them about 1.5 quarts per week and this seems to be less than I remember with my Italians. They have filled 5 full frames with brood and 3 partial frames are well along to being drawn out. By contrast my friends Italians are raising about the same amount of brood but he's been feeding them twice as much. I noticed much less activity at his hives when its cold and/or rainy. Can't speak to their honey production or wintering abilities yet, so I am reserving final judgement. If your weather is cooler with a fair amount of rainy days you might give a couple hives a try to see how they compare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
I have had a mixture. I am sure geographical locations matter most. Those who are up north but winter in the south seem to prefer Italians. those in warmer climates seem to prefer Italians. Those in colder climates seem to prefer Carniolians.

5 of my 8 original colonies had darker queens and had queen cups [a Carniolian trait] last year and early this year. Everyone swarmed and I will not be making any honey from these colonies. 3 of my 8 were yellow colored queens and I never noticed queen cups [Italians methinks], and none swarmed and I have made and am making surplus honey from each colony.

The Carniolan bee
The subspecies A. m. carnica, from middle Europe, also has been a favored bee stock in the U.S. for several reasons. First, their explosive spring buildup enables this race to grow rapidly in population and take advantage of blooms that occur much earlier in the spring, compared to other stocks. Second, they are extremely docile and can be worked with little smoke and protective clothing. Third, they are much less prone to robbing other colonies of honey, lowering disease transmission among colonies. Finally, they are very good builders of wax combs, which can be used for products ranging from candles, to soaps, to cosmetics.
Because of their rapid buildup, however, carniolan bees tend to have a high propensity to swarm (their effort to relieve overcrowding) and, therefore, may leave the beekeeper with a very poor honey crop. This stock requires continued vigilance to prevent the loss of swarms.

I had continued vigilance and they still swarmed. Mine had plenty of room and all had been checkerboarded or reversed brood boxes. I won't receive any honey crop from those that swarmed.

The Italian bee
Italian honey bees, of the subspecies Apis mellifera ligustica, were brought to the U.S. in 1859. They quickly became the favored bee stock in this country and remain so to this day. Known for their extended periods of brood rearing, Italian bees can build colony populations in the spring and maintain them for the entire summer. They are less defensive and less prone to disease than their German counterparts, and they are excellent honey producers. They also are very lightly colored, ranging from a light leather hue to an almost lemon yellow, a trait that is highly coveted by many beekeepers for its aesthetic appeal.
Despite their popularity, Italian bees have some drawbacks. First, because of their prolonged brood rearing, they may consume surplus honey in the hive if supers (removable upper sections where honey is stored) are not removed immediately after the honey flow stops. Second, they are notorious kleptoparasites and frequently rob the honey stores of weaker or dead neighboring colonies. This behavior may pose problems for Italian beekeepers who work their colonies during times of nectar dearth, and it may cause the rapid spread of transmittable diseases among hives.

I will also add this. Though mine that swarmed had plenty of room they still swarmed. However, in the south, although I have not had SHB problems, it just seems to me if you give to much room you could have SHB problems. From now on, when I see queen cell cups, the queen goes. If they don't produce for me, I don't want them.

Kindest Regards
Danny
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top