black mongrels bees

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wightbees 

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I tracked down the person who my bees came from today ( sold @auction) .After a few phone calls i finally managed to find out a bit of info on them.
They are so he says native black mongrels.
So a few questions , am i right in thinking they increase slower than other breeds. Also is it possible to buy Queens from someone. If so who, and how much ?
I only have the 1 hive of these and would like another 1 incase anything goes wrong.
Upto late last week i was going to do a A/S but false alarm. Play cups lol
So back to the buy a Q option again.
 

RoofTops 

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Native black mongrel sounds like a contradiction. They are either pure native, which can be determined from looking at the wings and other physical features - or they are mongrels. They might be more native than say Italian, but a mongrel is a mongrel.

If you are surrounded by a mixture of bees then unless you are going to buy a new queen for each hive every couple of years then your bees will over the space of not many years become your local mongrel. Which may or may not be native like.

It is possible to flood the area with drones of your chosen type and I spoke with a beekeeper last week who is buying a large number of unmated queens of a pure strain for just this purpose. He bought them unmated as they were much cheaper and as he only wants them for drones next year it doesn't matter who they subsequently mate with as the drones will be pure.
 

Richard Bache 

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I agree with rooftops: they could be any sort of bee. No test has been proven to be reliable to 'test' for native bees. I suspect the vendor is tring to use the term 'native' as a selling point. Are you sure he doesn't mean home-bred mongrels?

Regarding their characteristics, the rules are not as set in stone as many books (and a lot of beekeepers) will tell you. There is a lot of variation within strains, probably more than between them. Therefore the best way to determine what the characteristics of the bees are likely to be simple beekeeping and careful observation. If the bees are foul-tempered, don't continue to believe they are not (although as a caveat, check your handling skills), if they build lots of queen cells whilst still a small colony don't trust that they won't swarm.

If you wish to requeen, there are many people who will sell you queens, some of which will advertise through Bee Craft. Some of the major manufacturers will also sell queens. Ask around in your local association: if there is someone with friendly looking bees and if they do the job you want of them, ask if they are willing to sell a mated queen. The price varies a lot and I am afraid I don't keep in touch with the prices,but expect to pay £20 upwards. The price may well be affected by the efforts that have gone into developing the strain, and how well they are marketed, how much effort has gone into mating the queen (eg. Island mated, Instrumental insemination). I hope that answers your questionsbee-smillie
 
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