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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the Portland, OR area. Because of my local climatic conditions, I do not have much success with pollination of my early blooming fruit trees. Even mason bees are not reliable. I have seen a few feral honey bees active before the mason bees but not enough to do the job. So, which variety of honey bees would best suit my needs? Pollination is my only concern, I'll allow the bes to keep all their honey. I have plenty of flowers, clover, etc. to keep a hive active after the fruit trees are finished blooming
 

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I use both carni's and italians. Maybe the carni's start a few minutes before the italians, but it isn't significant. To be honest, even though they are right in my orchard, most years they mostly ignore my fruit trees. My Mason bees do a good job though. I see a few honey bees on the fruit trees, but they seem to have something better in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If feral bees are the most active early, how do I attract them to a new hive or where in the Portland area can I purchase an active hive or swarm? The few ferals that are around when my early fruit trees bloom are not enough to give good pollination.
 

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I read a thread a couple of months ago where a beekeeper in Florida was switching from Russians to Italians because the Italians built up faster in the spring. The Russians didn't build up in time to take advantage of the citrus tree nectar flow. From his comments I surmised that the Italians must be more active earlier. I have no personal experience with this, though.
 

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I cought a Russian swarm this year Oh My Bees! what a great bunch of girls they are just a awsome breed. work in rain or shine.
 

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When Russians were first released, they were tried out in Western Oregon and they didn't do well. I don't know if things have changed since then or not.

Carniolan are the ones mostly used in Oregon. Kenny Williams, a past president of the OBKA (I hope I got his name and the club name right!) might be selling packages this spring. I see if I can get his number and send it to you.

Pugs
 

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I cought a Russian swarm this year Oh My Bees! what a great bunch of girls they are just a awsome breed. work in rain or shine.
I rest my case. Brady Wash. is close to the coast where it rains every day and almost is never hot.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The Russians sound like the answer to my requirements. How did you catch them? Do you know of anyone who would willing to sell me a swarm?
 

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You can buy russians also, either in a package or in a Nuc! I have a feral swarm that i captured may 6th and They was installed in a 4 foot long TBH, i wouldnt trade them for anything! They are hard workers rain or shine!
 
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