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I am planning on starting a beekeeping project in Haiti this fall. Anyone have a good idea as to the best strain of bee genetics to use in the tropics?
 

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Hello Jake,
I don't live in Haiti but I do live in Fl., we dont see a whole lot of cold weather here, average temps are usually in the 80's, with the occasional frost. I know haiti is pretty balmy year 'round. I use an Italian Hybrid, it does really well here and tolerates the warmer weather, honey production is moderate and they seem fairly hygenic (they groom themselves and their sisters frequently, also, most infected larva and bees are removed from the hive, vorroa or otherwise), overall pretty good bees. I purchase my package bees from Gardner Apiaries, and all queens introduced to splits or captured swarms come from a queen-mother colony I've had for years now purchased from Gardner. I'm not a spokesperson for anyone, just stating the facts, I suggest looking around though, there are lots of reputable dealers, read up on other breeds and see which ones may be suitable, Russians are good, so are Buckfasts, but neither are super easily attainable (proven queens anyways). So, with that in mind, keep this as well, bees are very versatile creatures and what works for one may not work for another. Good luck on your search and safe travels in Haiti.
Eric
 

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Keep in mind the Caribbean is heavily saturated with Africanized bees. I would contact Bo Sterk as he is a beekeeper and does a lot of volunteer work in the Caribbean. He spoke at the Orange Blossom (OB) Beekeepers Asssociation meeting in March.
I don't have an email but this is the organization he works with and his BIO page.
http://www.favaca.org/?q=node/330

Worst case, you could probably contact the OB association and possibly get contact info from them.

He could probably share some valuable insight, if you can reach him.
 
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