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Peoples opinions on Imports and UK queens.

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What are your thoughts on importing queens versus UK queens.


  • Total voters
    38
  • Poll closed .

Mission 

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It's interesting seeing all the different opinions on whether importing of queens is better than UK reared etc. There are pros and cons in all of them but no real picture on what the majority opinion is. We all know Mikes position is that demand dictates he has no choice but to import, which from a business point of view I do respect. We also know many of us would prefer to have our colonies with UK bred queens, but would accept imports if needs must. Then there are those of us who are steadfast against imports and think we should have nothing but home grown queens. But what is the overal position and majority opinion? We can all be vocal when it comes to our opinions but what about actions? What are we as bee keepers actually doing to address queen shortages?

I decided to post a poll to try and gauge overall opinion. Please can we all respect other people opinions and not turn this into another Mike bashing or loving thread. Lets try and keep this a grown up thread and poll.

Spreading the love,

Jay.
 
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admin 

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From a personal point of view:

I have a drone laying queen so would take any other queen going just now,imported or not.

Between May and September I would prefer to breed a uk queen.

Regards buying a uk bred queen,no thanks I would rather use my own.
 

marcros 

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It's interesting seeing all the different opinions on whether importing of queens is better than UK reared etc.

I decided to post a poll to try and gauge overall opinion. Please can we all respect other people opinions and not turn this into another Mike bashing or loving thread. Lets try and keep this a grown up thread and poll.
I am not sure whether I fall into the catagory thinking that imported queens are the future of UK apiculture as such, but what a catagory for about who buy a queen for its stated characheristics, imported or not?
 

Mission 

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Hi Mark, I am not sure whether you can alter a poll once it is up and running, but if I could I would add it for you!
 

admin 

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Hi Mark, I am not sure whether you can alter a poll once it is up and running, but if I could I would add it for you!
Polls cannot be altered once votes have been cast.
 

Bcrazy 

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I prefer to raise my own queens as this will enable me to pick and choose what characteristics I require from my bees. This will take me about three years to begin to see the characteristics starting to come through.

I was in my 5th year of careful and constructive queen rearing and enjoying the handling of bees that did not run over the comb, they very rarely stung me, and if they did its because one had got stuck between the hive tool and my hand. I was managing at least 3 supers off the majority of my hives and left the new colonies alone to settle in the first year.

Unfortunately in Feb 08 I had all my hives at an out apiary vandalised and lost 10 colonies.

So now I will be starting all over again breeding my own queens, knowing it is possible to breed certain characteristics into colonies of mine. It may take another three / four years but its worth the effort.

As for imported queens I would not entertain as we know nothing of the line breeding that has taken place to produce these queens.

There will be throwbacks in all breeding lines that will manifest itself at some time, both in own queens and imported queens.

Regards;
 

Poly Hive 

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You can indeed have throw backs.

I had the most vicious colony ever from a very well known breeder. When I mailed him with this tale of the very badly stung neighbour he admitted to some "miss matings"

You are never sure.

I am buying in this year to get my position up and running. I would buy British colonies but the prices are ridiculous. I am actively sourcing some good AMM material to replace with once I have my base line numbers established.

PH
 

hedgerow pete 

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an interesting outcome. what i would like to know , with out getting to badly shot down is, in all other type of animal husbandry (farming) we have hundreds of individual farmers either perfecting or breeding ne w variants of animals, i dont know why but i always seem to get the idea that apart from a few we seem to be happy not to or are we not willing ?

as for the mongrol issue, if you have a look at the plant or evan the dog breeders it is exactly from these differant sets of mongrols we get what we have today, a mongrol is only a mongrol until some stabalizes the breed and holds it true, i dont belive there is any reason why small nucs can not be raised inside a small enclosure, ie a large green house made fly and vermine proof , ( i make all my building almost air tight so why not bee tight) so what do you think
 

Polyanwood 

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I was keen on Eden project or Kew having a go at enclosed matings, but other people said, "No." They said it wouldn't work even if you could persuade them. So probabaly greenhouse wouldn't work.

One of the queens I raised from frame of eggs is good - all others mean. I don't think people mean putting in a frame of eggs when they are talking about queen breeding anyway.
 

MJBee 

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Pete,
The big difference between farming and beekeeping is that the farmer has complete control over who mates with who, whereas the beekeeper only has that control if he uses AI and experts on that area as rare as hen's teeth:(
Regards Mike
 

Crg 

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The big difference between farming and beekeeping is that the farmer has complete control over who mates with who, whereas the beekeeper only has that control if he uses AI and experts on that area as rare as hen's teeth:(
Apart from II, to have some control you can use remote sites as well, ie islands, or the moors have been used successfully in the past, a breeder in Devon has his hives right on the coast to try and have some control over mating.

All of which are far more difficult and labour intensive than say putting a cow and a bull in a field :(

On top of that bees are susceptible to two types of inbreeding damage which makes it difficult for individuals working on their own to perfect or breed new variants.
 

hedgerow pete 

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i am sure iam about to shot my foot again but try this idea, where i live i have just finished a very large tin shed 150,000 m2 floor and the roof is 45m up, and its air tightish, i did build it after all, dont shoot yet i have ant finished, now why is it not possible put the hives inside this shed a few weeks before the queens mate flights and then after all the humping has finished say 2 weeks later remove the queens and start another set of queens off, we are able to pridict when our queens will hatch and we do them in batches, increase the size of batches to say 50 or 100 or even 500 queens, set them off on 4 week cycles 500 queen each month breeding season of say 5 to 7 months thers 3,500 to start with what would happen if you went to 1000 or evan 2000 queens a month would be quite impresive would it not, also the floor could be used to grow some sort of bee plant to help with the sugar feeding, we are not talking full hives here but small nucs, and 2,000 queens at £20 each would gross £40,000 a month over a simple 6 month period thats £240,000 the rent for this building is £10,000 a month leaving £30,000 a month for the bills, is it me or have i just talked my self into a new job, right anyway iam finished so fire away
 

Poly Hive 

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Because this has been tried before and failed.

Not sure why but it's how it is.

PH
 

admin 

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If it worked then I am sure Mike would already be doing it.
 

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