What do you want or expect from your bees?

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Murox

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
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Location
Campbeltown Scotland

  • Gentleness
    Resistance to various diseases eg. tracheal & Varroa mites
    Early spring buildup in population
    Wintering ability
    Not prone to swarming
    Ripens honey rapidly
    Strong disposition for brood rearing
    Race preference Italian, Carniolan, Buckfast, AmM native, mongrels, Caucasian.
    White comb cappings
    Minimal use of propolis
    Availability of and cost of queens
    Availability of and cost of nucs
    Colour
    Calmness on comb
    Other attributes ? :mixed-smiley-005:
Which characteristics would you emphasize as important when selecting bees ?
 
Easy one for me, docility and calmness. I can live with variables on everything else. Obviously diseases are down to me to monitor and manage. As are docility and calmness for that matter....

:coolgleamA:
 
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Preferably reluctant propolis builders yet busy housekeepers and nurses.
Must be defensive yet not antsy towards humans, and also must not be
so inclined to rob or reachout to the swarm urge frequently.
A bonus is if the progeny can maintain the lighter tan colours we select for.

Bill
 
One of my hives the bees are very ‘runny’ not aggressive to me sting wise. Just makes inspections abit longer. So on the hole it’s probably just me being picky ����
 
A good honey crop from gentle bees is my goal..disease is not a problem with good Queens and neither is varroa if you know what you are doing..

Yes that is probably what most folks really want. It seems that sourcing good Queens with the wanted characteristics is not very easy.
I don't think I have yet seen any sort of "advert" offering those desirable traits. I read lots about folk having bees with them but never see queens or even nucs offered that backs it up. Maybe I look in the wrong places ? :bigear:
 
Amms all the way !
The B , B brigade are back!
As long as there's equilibrium at ever apiary that's all that matters .
The hives that ive let the queen's have access to all boxes have never swarmed .
The sister colony that has a qx have swarmed .
Some of the suggestions are surely down to the beekeepers husbandry and nothing to do with genetics or traits we are looking for.
Cheers mark
 
I see beekeepers locally who have really horrible, runny, swarmy bees.

And others who select bees without those characteristics have nice non swarmy non runny bees.

And generally the latter get much bigger honey crops..
Can that be to do with the difficulty of managing the horrible bees ?
Or are the latter beekeepers just better ones?
 
Amms all the way !
The B , B brigade are back!
As long as there's equilibrium at ever apiary that's all that matters .
The hives that ive let the queen's have access to all boxes have never swarmed .
The sister colony that has a qx have swarmed .
Some of the suggestions are surely down to the beekeepers husbandry and nothing to do with genetics or traits we are looking for.
Cheers mark

Appropriate husbandry is key; it can enhance traits positively. (the opposite is also probably true).

You make an interesting point about queen excluders. Do you think perhaps it also has to do with how much space they have - ie. good appropriate and timely husbandry eg. giving a second brood box ?
 
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If you have swarmy bees, they surely try to swarm 100% what ever you do.
I have seen, that Italian bee stock can be as swarmy as AMM. If the beekeeper does not mind to select his queen, the stock becomes swarmy. It is bees' natural and original habit.

Swarming is bees' habit propagate. There is no such animal in the world which does not propagate.

Non swarmy bee stocks are rare and laborous to mantain.
If queens mate freely with mongrels they surely swarms. It is more natural than non swarming.

And AMM, it is least wanted commercial beerace in the world. AMM and Carniolans are very swarmy bees.
 
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What I demand from queens: They are good layers. That is why I do not keep queens than 1 or 2 years.

What I expect? Depends much, how much I have spare queens. Often I must
play with cards what I have in my hands. Basicly, when I change the Queen, I will se it a year later, what the hive actually was.
 
Appropriate husbandry is key; it can enhance traits positively. (the opposite is also probably true).

You make an interesting point about queen excluders. Do you think perhaps it also has to do with how much space they have - ie. good appropriate and timely husbandry eg. giving a second brood box ?

Yes I think so they should of had a second brood box when I put the first super on .

Ive been trying to do a comparison with excluders and without all of the colony's that haven't got excluders haven't swarmed .

Only one colony so far that has swarmed ( with an excluder on)
 
(edit)
Some of the suggestions are surely down to the beekeepers husbandry and
nothing to do with genetics or traits we are looking for.

Ummmm... I agree much of responses are philosophical, meant maybe to be
met through management, yet Murox was quite specific in looking for
comment on both husbandry and characteristics/traits.

Question What do you want or expect from your bees?
(edit)
Which characteristics would you emphasize as important when selecting bees ?

As management is wholly philosophical my posted comments
were designed to not go there - for the reasons now seen in
sentiments being expressed around QX use.

Bill
 
.
If you have swarmy bees, they surely try to swarm 100% what ever you do.
I have seen, that Italian bee stock can be as swarmy as AMM. If the beekeeper does not mind to select his queen, the stock becomes swarmy. It is bees' natural and original habit.
Swarming is bees' habit propagate. There is no such animal in the world which does not propagate.
Non swarmy bee stocks are rare and laborous to mantain.
If queens mate freely with mongrels they surely swarms. It is more natural than non swarming.
And AMM, it is least wanted commercial beerace in the world. AMM and Carniolans are very swarmy bees.

What I know about races of bee is limited.
Stereotypically the dark English bee apis mellifera mellifera is nasty, disease prone and not wanted commercially, its always had bad press.

The Italian on the other hand is relatively gentle, rather calm and produces well. It can be slow in spring development, but is a good housekeeper and proficient comb builder. But it is the king of the robbers. (there are many sub species.)

Brother Adam said that Carniolans were the quietest and gentlest of all bee races. They reportedly have an "explosive" early spring build up at the first sign of pollen and a great sense of orientation so don't tend to rob; but their swarming propensity is strong.

The Buckfast, (now is that a "race" or a good "hybrid"?) has most of the good points of Italians, but is not as gentle as well bred Italians and not as gentle and calm as a Carniolan.

The Caucasian bee tends to have a slower spring build up than other bees. It is best known for having perhaps the longest tongue (6.8 -7.4 mm.) of any bee. It is extremely gentle but does use a massive amount of propolis.
I am sure others can add knowledge and experience.
Which characteristics would you emphasize as important when selecting bees ?
 
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  • Gentleness
    Resistance to various diseases eg. tracheal & Varroa mites - to a degree
    Early spring buildup in population - yes
    Wintering ability - definitely, not just survival but being frugal too
    Not prone to swarming - ideally yes, I won't keep swarmy queen daughters
    Ripens honey rapidly
    Strong disposition for brood rearing - steady and strong rather than explosive is my preference
    Race preference Italian, Carniolan, Buckfast, AmM native, mongrels, Caucasian. - Definitely a Preference for AMm bees
    White comb cappings - comes with the AMm's
    Minimal use of propolis - yes, can't stand everything being totally glued up!
    Availability of and cost of queens - not easy when dealing with non mainstream type bees but price is reasonable.
    Availability of and cost of nucs - nope make my own splits
    Colour - I do find very dark bees attractive
    Calmness on comb - yes
    Other attributes ? :mixed-smiley-005:
Which characteristics would you emphasize as important when selecting bees ?

I really do like my Amm's they tick a lot of boxes for me, they produce sufficiently well for my needs, many of the above boxes are being ticked but its early days with them for me.
I have tried BF and have a couple of Italians, the worst bees I had were Carniolans, swarmy things they were!
 

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