British Black Bee

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StevieD 

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Just to say how impressed i am with my first British Black Bees. Even in all the snow we have had they were still active, and today ,(tuesday 30th November) they are flying and returning with pollen, were as my other hive with Italians in shows no sign of activity since it turned cold.
Think i will requeen that one with a Black queen in the spring as well
 

hemo 

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The two strains have different foraging traits, the Italians likely have made good before the cold weather so as not to expend the energy.
I don't see it as a reason to pick one over the other until one has seen the end result next year once the forage and harvest is over
 

Finman 

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The two strains have different foraging traits, the Italians likely have made good before the cold weather so as not to expend the energy.
I don't see it as a reason to pick one over the other until one has seen the end result next year once the forage and harvest is over
It is not a good sign, that the hive forage in a bad weather. The hive will have big losses with that style.

It seems too, that they have brood, and treating varroa will be difficult compared to hive, which has brood brake.

To fly in low temperature has never been a aspect of breeding. And what happens in the open mating, it will be a secret.
 
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StevieD 

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all i know is i bought the queen from a place in cumbria that breeds them.
They are very big ,very dark, very well mannered and very hardy.
from the little info i can find about them they are the bee that should live here and can tollerate our weather.
Im not keeping them to get loads of honey, moe to help expand the British bee
 

Erichalfbee 

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all i know is i bought the queen from a place in cumbria that breeds them.
They are very big ,very dark, very well mannered and very hardy.
from the little info i can find about them they are the bee that should live here and can tollerate our weather.
Im not keeping them to get loads of honey, moe to help expand the British bee
These?
 

RichardK 

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all i know is i bought the queen from a place in cumbria that breeds them.
They are very big ,very dark, very well mannered and very hardy.
from the little info i can find about them they are the bee that should live here and can tollerate our weather.
Im not keeping them to get loads of honey, moe to help expand the British bee
Have you been through a full 12 months with them both? It seems a little premature if you haven't.
 

Curly green finger's 

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Curly green finger's 

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all i know is i bought the queen from a place in cumbria that breeds them.
They are very big ,very dark, very well mannered and very hardy.
from the little info i can find about them they are the bee that should live here and can tollerate our weather.
Im not keeping them to get loads of honey, moe to help expand the British bee
That's quite interesting in comparison my buckfast are bigger than my black bees.
Do you have a photo you would share pls of your black girls.
These are my blacks IMG_20210808_123921.jpg
 
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The two strains have different foraging traits, the Italians likely have made good before the cold weather so as not to expend the energy.
I don't see it as a reason to pick one over the other until one has seen the end result next year once the forage and harvest is over
Comparing/judging colonies in mid winter?? The Clouseau in me thinks " agent provocateur "
 

Finman 

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These?
English Dark Bee

Seems to be splended characterization again.
No scientist have explained, why the dark bee vanished from America and from Australia and from Europe from many countries when Carniolan and Italian substituted the Dark bee.
Caucasian bee was splended too, but it is rare now.

Endles story, at least once a week.
,........

As I have told before, some Finnish beekeepers tell, that Italian bees are not able to over winter in Finland. From where heck they generate those fairytales. But the great innovations are one the best sides in the beekeeping hobby.
 
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Into the lions den 

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Foraging in these conditions is generally bad news. Colonies that are overactive at this time usually die out. Foraging in really low temps when there is no real purpose is futile. Leads to early burnout.

However...in the original post it is not clear what the temperatures actually were at the time of observation. It is loosely associated with snow and wintery conditions.....but what about at the actual time of observation?

Nonetheless....prefer a colony that is well balanced and settled at this time of year especially in the weather conditions of the last few days. Tight cluster = good news. Loose cluster, unsettled, foraging in under 5C = bad news. *Irrespective of bee type.*
 

fizzle 

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I've got black bees and they forage in all weathers and packed out the broodbox in autumn when I took off the supers. They are a bit feisty to handle sometimes but that could be down to the handler. Treated for varroa in late September and very little mite drop after a full year without treatment. I'm still trying to work out if that's due to the bees or environmental factors.
 

Arfermo 

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all i know is i bought the queen from a place in cumbria that breeds them.
They are very big ,very dark, very well mannered and very hardy.
from the little info i can find about them they are the bee that should live here and can tollerate our weather.
Im not keeping them to get loads of honey, moe to help expand the British bee
Don't say where you are but your bees will likely mongrelise over time like most others find too.
 

Swarm 

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Define genuine, I doubt there's a genuine anything these days.
Let's say DNA analysis defines it, at what point is purity acceptable? 85%? 95%? or is only 100%?

We had very good results with DNA analysis on our local bees and by direct comparison with the Amm colonies, you would never tell them apart.*
Certainly in tune with their environment, when others were reporting starving bees or worryingly low stores back in Spring, our colonies ticked over and required no emergency feeding When the season finally decided to improve, they took full advantage and brought in a stunning honey crop. One site with ten honey producers made 730+ lbs.

Winter feeding per hive consisted of twelve pints of invert, some thymol emulsion added plus Ivy.
Winter treatment applied in September, OA strips. No mid Winter treatment.
Temperament very good.

Every year without fail, I am humbled by these beautiful creatures and what they manage to achieve.

* Correction, the one noticeable difference was mite drop. None of the colonies have high drops but the Amm were always higher.

Spot the difference ....
 

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