Queen imports, should I read this first?

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Busy Bee, your cited URL appears to be incomplete/corrupt. At least it doesn't work for me.:) The . . . appears to suggest something missing.

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I don't see why the risk of varroa is much higher when importing queens.

You only have to check one bee (and a few attendants if you don't dispatch them) -- and the chance that you are introducing varroa into an otherwise clean hive via the imported queen seems quite unlikely to me (i.e. worst case you are adding one or two mites to a colony hosting hundreds already).

Different when importing packages of bees, understood -- and there are other diseases that may be carried on the queen... the implication being that we won't care to find solutions to worldwide honeybee diseases if they don't occur in MY backyard. Hmm.
Imported Queens

I have read this item about imported queens. They may have originall y been the source of varroa but as someone has pointed out would only carry a couple of mites. We all have varroa now and are learning to live with it.
The many arguments about imported queens range bqck and forth across the forums all the time.
My colleague and I have 8 hives between us. 2 hives have imported greek queens from Bickerstaffes last year. 3 hives have first season greek crosses and the other 3 have English bees that have been allowed to naturally replace their queens for over 30 years.
The greek purebreds and crosses have started the year really well. They have large amounts of brood and large numbers of bees at present. On inspecting all hives yesterday we were very surprised at the brood in the freek hives. They have brood on 5 or 6 frames of commercial size or national brood and a half. The English have small cricket ball size brood on 3 frames.

The pure Greeks probably have 30% more bees and brood than the crosses. It is not difficult to work out why I may be in favour of certain imported queens!! I must admit I am concerned that I may inadvertantly introduce some other 'nasty' in the UK. The early availability of imports and their early Sping build up are always going to make them a viable option.:confused:
I think you have summed things up well Brian.

I get the feeling that the pro "British queens only" camp are happy to have a slow build up and very little honey crop for the sake of a “native”? bee.

If they did succeed and I personaly think they have no chance as the British bee is long dead then what next, dna extraction to re-introduce dinosaurs back into the uk ?

They could always take dna samples from the BBKA committee to start with.

As long as the European trade gates are open we will continue to introduce thousands of queens a year from foreign fields.

Because of the number of imports we already have I bet that any queen purchased from Europe is already shareing lots of dna with all our stock.

I think the only difference between our own bred uk queens and imports is a few thousand miles.
If they did succeed and I personaly think they have no chance as the British bee is long dead then what next, dna extraction to re-introduce dinosaurs back into the uk ?

A random survey of native Irish bee carried out some years ago using DNA has proved that there exists in Ireland dirrerent strains of Dark European Bee, which may not be closely related to each other. We hope to be able to identify these strains and also to assess the degree of hybridisation with other foreign races that is present in our native bee populations. We may also use DNA techniques to further confirm the results at a later stage." Galtee Bee Breeding Group, Cahir Co Tipperary

Hope you find this interesting.

Busy Bee:D

P.S. One particular hive had 295lb honey, 6 supers 2 of which where deep.
I have a Dodo in my back passage(well my hallway).
Beat that !

Hope you find this interesting.


With enough paint analysis and a few scientists on board I can show you that a red bus is not really red at all, its blue.

p.s I have got wind,that Ireland is this year going to have the biggest import order of foreign bees ever,so they had better hurry up because very soon those Irish bees are going to be more diluted than those in the uk.
Well now.

when is British English and when does it go further North?

I am convinced in my own mind that I had pretty pure AMM in my previous life up in NE Scotland. I had wing measurements that were clean off the BIBBA scale.

My best ever result (from one hive) was over 300 lb and a goodly chunk of that was heather to boot.

So the Irish bee's could soon be getting some more genes added to the pool.
more diversity,more hybrids.
Your right hivemaker we are sending 100 (Swarms) Package bees to Ireland so far this year, and orders growing daily.
We are looking for an agent in Ireland to distribute them to our customers and experience in what he?s doing.

All the best mike
Of course they are if they are from Mikethebee.


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