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Swarm 

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Correct, Mike. Their drones affect the population by constantly diluting it. In effect creating the problem. If left alone, things will stabilise again but we don't see that, we see another batch of queens to stir the pot yet again.
Working against nature rather than with.
 

Nige.Coll 

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It's only recently changed to locally adapted bees because the head guy doesn't keep Amm and probably never has.
Talk about twisting things to meet your own ends lol.
Bring back Beowolf and Albert knight.
 

Swarm 

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Sorry Nige, you obviously just have some beef with BIBBA.
 

Hachi 

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Damn! A lot more than I ever thought I'd have
For me, trying to change my local natural population of bee's or the locally adapted bee is a lost cause and was not what I took up beekeeping to do. When I was forced to look at what "nature" had given me the choice was quite stark, on the one hand, change the local population to what you want or stay committed to the reasons I took up beekeeping. Personally, I think its very difficult if you want both.

I'm also interested in some of the language used like "flooding the area" with my drones. Statistically, what does that mean? How do you determine what the population locally is for you to say with any confidence you have flooded the area with anywhere near enough drones to make an impact. Seems to me you could be chasing your tail for a lifetime thinking your making a difference when the reality is, you've made no impact at all.

Interestingly and I think linked albeit indirectly, Richard Noel has put up a video a couple of weeks ago comparing different queens from hugely reputable queen manufacturers / rearer's. His results were inconclusive against the reputed "in bred" qualities and it will take Richard several years of comparing to say with any real confidence the reputed traits being bred in are actually present. This represents years of work by the manufacturers / rearer's that is not readily noticeable by the end user.

Furthermore, the team from the Netherlands breed their queens on an island 8km I think away from any other apiary. From manufacturing a large amount of queen's they only keep a relatively small number following what is I think, a largely subjective assessment of improvement. So what? This tells me, even for the experts, its a v difficult thing to do after years of trying. B+ has been doing it for a lifetime.

If I was 20 again maybe my outlook would be different and I'd try it but sadly I don't have the time left and I got into beekeeping for completely different reasons anyway.

Good luck all & keep the faith [just know when to quit whilst you're ahead :)

I seriously don't wish to p**s on anyone's chips if you fancy trying it, knock yourself out
 

mbc 

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For me, trying to change my local natural population of bee's or the locally adapted bee is a lost cause and was not what I took up beekeeping to do. When I was forced to look at what "nature" had given me the choice was quite stark, on the one hand, change the local population to what you want or stay committed to the reasons I took up beekeeping. Personally, I think its very difficult if you want both.

I'm also interested in some of the language used like "flooding the area" with my drones. Statistically, what does that mean? How do you determine what the population locally is for you to say with any confidence you have flooded the area with anywhere near enough drones to make an impact. Seems to me you could be chasing your tail for a lifetime thinking your making a difference when the reality is, you've made no impact at all.

Interestingly and I think linked albeit indirectly, Richard Noel has put up a video a couple of weeks ago comparing different queens from hugely reputable queen manufacturers / rearer's. His results were inconclusive against the reputed "in bred" qualities and it will take Richard several years of comparing to say with any real confidence the reputed traits being bred in are actually present. This represents years of work by the manufacturers / rearer's that is not readily noticeable by the end user.

Furthermore, the team from the Netherlands breed their queens on an island 8km I think away from any other apiary. From manufacturing a large amount of queen's they only keep a relatively small number following what is I think, a largely subjective assessment of improvement. So what? This tells me, even for the experts, its a v difficult thing to do after years of trying. B+ has been doing it for a lifetime.

If I was 20 again maybe my outlook would be different and I'd try it but sadly I don't have the time left and I got into beekeeping for completely different reasons anyway.

Good luck all & keep the faith [just know when to quit whilst you're ahead :)

I seriously don't wish to p**s on anyone's chips if you fancy trying it, knock yourself out
Fair enough, a good post, but the truth is bees are pretty malleable (if you're not looking for the moon on a stick!).
For instance, defensive bees with occasional followers can be turned into bees workable without gloves and no followers in a very few generations by simple culling and propagation of the nicest ones even in small apiaries of less than a dozen. Of course, the challenge is more up hill if the local drones are a mixed bag and more culling and propagation would be needed to achieve discernable results.
What is gratifying though is that results can be achieved by the average beekeeper or association without having to be rocket surgeons.
 
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Has anyone read Gudren Koeniger's Book the 'Mating biology of Honey Bees'
He experiments prove that drones fly up to 1500m to a DCA and queens up to 3000m.
This is natures way of ensuring that queens do not mate with their closely related drones.
The controlling mechanism is explained by flight duration times.
On a full tank of fuel a drone can remain airborne for approx an hour. He therefore needs to fly to a close DCA so that he can hang around waiting to get lucky for the maximum amount of time. The queen can be airborne for the same amount of time but only needs to be in a DCA for a couple of minutes.
If you know the position of DCAs you can swamp the one being used by queens by placing drone hives close by. This makes mating all very random. To control open mating you need to use an Island or an enclosed valley.
The greater the density of bee-keepers the more difficult it becomes. I drew a series of circles at 1500m , 3000m, 4500m around my apiaries. Within the 3000m circle where there is a possibility of a DCA the lowest number of apiaries that could be donating drones to a DCA was over 20. These are apiaries I know of and does not include feral colonies or the 'under the radar' twits who may be out there.
I concluded that the only way I can ensure good selective breeding is to purchase Island mated or II queens.
Those of you fortunate enough to live in isolated areas or valleys, I envy you.
We had a talk some years ago from a beekeeper who lived on a peninsular in Kent. He explained the steps he had taken, with others, over many years, to try and control the quality of drones available to mate with his queens. It had been his lifetimes work.
Roger Patterson was explaining how his associations breeding was potentially ruined by one beekeeper buying in new Buckfast queens each year.
If we were all good boys and girls we could adopt the German system where all hives are registered and the type of bee you can keep is closely controlled. i.e there are regions where all beekeepers must keep only AMC, some areas with AMM and some with Buckfasts.
 
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Reading tis thread a few pwople seem to refer to a map (on Beebase) that shows registerd hive locaiotns - I've looked and can;t see such - there is a high scale map of inspections/foul-brood episodes - thoight it's pretty ropey. Is there such a map?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Reading tis thread a few pwople seem to refer to a map (on Beebase) that shows registerd hive locaiotns - I've looked and can;t see such - there is a high scale map of inspections/foul-brood episodes - thoight it's pretty ropey. Is there such a map?
There is no map - the hive locations are confidential, there is a list of disease alert and every beekeeper registered on beebase gets alerted of any disease in their area and contacted if they fall in a contiguous zone
 

elainemary 

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So far in my 4 seasons of keeping bees I’ve kept local bees, either from a local beekeeper or I’ve been given queen cells / virgin queens from friends. My bees are mostly black in colour and suspect must have a good proportion of AMM. I’d like to introduce some new genetics next year with a pure AMM from a good stick. Gentle bees that have good disease resistance that over winter well are important attributes to me. Less worried about high productivity. Can anyone recommend where I can source a AMM queen from next Spring that’s been raised ideally in the north of England?
Thanks
Elaine
 

Abelha 

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IMO John Chambers talk posted by ChrisS is a really informative must watch. Particularly for beekeepers importing queens!!!
 

Swarm 

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Hi Hachi,
Yes I saw that video from Richard, the alcohol wash? Must admit I was horrified by the mite drop, I was getting numbers like that from full colonies during OAV. I suppose the inconclusive result was the supposed hygienic tendency of the one queen.
I have no idea why he finished this video with a pop at Amm, it just came completely out of the blue.
 

Apple 

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So far in my 4 seasons of keeping bees I’ve kept local bees, either from a local beekeeper or I’ve been given queen cells / virgin queens from friends. My bees are mostly black in colour and suspect must have a good proportion of AMM. I’d like to introduce some new genetics next year with a pure AMM from a good stick. Gentle bees that have good disease resistance that over winter well are important attributes to me. Less worried about high productivity. Can anyone recommend where I can source a AMM queen from next Spring that’s been raised ideally in the north of England?
Thanks
Elaine
You could try Willie Robson of Chain Bridge Honey Farm near Berwick upon Tweed,
not at all sure he sells queens... but well worth an ask!
Chons da
 

elainemary 

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You could try Willie Robson of Chain Bridge Honey Farm near Berwick upon Tweed,
not at all sure he sells queens... but well worth an ask!
Chons da
Thanks, saw him speak & bought his book at a conference. Aside from his hate of WBCs, really knows his stuff, will check him out
 
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So far in my 4 seasons of keeping bees I’ve kept local bees, either from a local beekeeper or I’ve been given queen cells / virgin queens from friends. My bees are mostly black in colour and suspect must have a good proportion of AMM. I’d like to introduce some new genetics next year with a pure AMM from a good stick. Gentle bees that have good disease resistance that over winter well are important attributes to me. Less worried about high productivity. Can anyone recommend where I can source a AMM queen from next Spring that’s been raised ideally in the north of England?
Thanks
Elaine
Hi Elaine, if you don't have much luck locally, cardigan Bay honey in West Wales might be worth a shout.
I've raised some nice stock from his queen's.
Jonathan Getty from Northern Ireland also.
I might have a source from Scotland but I'll pm you when I know.
 

elainemary 

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Hi Elaine, if you don't have much luck locally, cardigan Bay honey in West Wales might be worth a shout.
I've raised some nice stock from his queen's.
Jonathan Getty from Northern Ireland also.
I might have a source from Scotland but I'll pm you when I know.
Thankyou, I've looked at the Chain Bridge honey farm website suggested by Apple, but doesn't offer bees for sale. Any recommendations welcome
Elaine
 

mbc 

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Thankyou, I've looked at the Chain Bridge honey farm website suggested by Apple, but doesn't offer bees for sale. Any recommendations welcome
Elaine
I think you'd probably have to have a chat to Willie himself to try and weedle a queen or two out of him.
 

Apple 

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I think you'd probably have to have a chat to Willie himself to try and weedle a queen or two out of him.
I have seen Willies |Bees... a lot "blacker" than ours... how do they stand up to your Welsh Amm colour wise.
The Manx ones look a lot stubbier and slightly greyer than the ones from SW Cornwall???

Chons da
 

Swarm 

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An example, similar in colour to the bee in your avatar.
Welsh Native 01.jpg
 

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