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Which strain of Queen

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Tom Bick 

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Next year I intend to expand into an out apiary all being well and will be looking to build up my stock over time the thing is I know very little regarding the various strains of Queens available and want to learn more so I dont end up mixing strains that may produce bad tempered bees so if anyone has any advice from your experiences it will be appreciated.

Sorry will be away from my computer after this post so if i dont reply to any advice till tomorrow dont think of as rood
 

Finman 

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hives one, and you want to hear about strains? it is difficult to understand without wide experience. Most of beekeepers have the best strain.
 

oliver90owner 

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Tom,

I think Finman has a way with words.

I was thinking along the same lines - that you had plenty of time to decide and would realise that most of anything you might breed among your one colony will be pedigree mongrels.

Bad tempered bees are a fact of life. They exist. Those that avoid that trait have to cull queens and breed very selectively from their stocks.

I was going to suggest you buy in your queens; that way you will not be 'mixing' strains.

Regards, RAB
 
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Tom Bick 

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Thanks Finman yes I am a bit inexperienced and it takes many years to build up experience. As a joiner now 29 years I have learnt more about timbers ect than I could have ever being taught at first you only get that by doing the job and also most people probably dont know what strain of Queen they have or think they have. Just interested to learn a bit more about it will digout the books this weekend.
 

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I think the best thing you could do would be to run with the queen that you already have and keep notes and records of the colony performance and maintenance work that you do.

This will allow you to learn and assess your bees.

Then as soon as is practical start a nuc by splitting the colony that you have and purchase a new queen for it from a reliable source, and grow it on to a full colony in a second hive. This will probably have to wait till April next year.

Having two colonies rather than one will allow you to compare performance, and will make management much easier and more interesting.
 
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Tom Bick 

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Thanks Rab
Yes only one colony at the moment but looking to expand next year I think I am ready for that now it being my 3rd year and also expand my understanding of the craft.
I have plenty of time to reed up on the subject and I think I may buy in Queens but what strain at the moment I think I favour the native dark bee
 

Finman 

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Even if i get a better strain in my yard, it does not stay many years. It is not easy to notice. Years are so different.

selection of good strain is continuous work. Good yieds come from good pastures. Bees cannot do much if pastures are over crazed or poor.
 
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Tom Bick 

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Yes Finman I realise that one year you may have what you think is the perfect Queen or stock and that can all change depending on the mating of the Queen ect but what I am looking for as I dont think I am making my self clear is I hear talk of say Buckfast.Carniolians,New Zealand and Hawaiian Queens to name a few what are the general characteristics of each strain of Queen obviously not an exact science but things like tendency to swarm,aggression,wax building and what perhaps can you expect on the 2nd or 3rd generation
 

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New Zealand and Hawaiian imports are Italian strain 9 times out of 10.
 

Black Comb 

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I got a Carni nuc in June which is gentle and has built up well.
I am assured it will swarm next year but I want to expand do that's OK.
It's at the bottom of the garden and has been no trouble.

My second nuc only lasted 3 weeks in the garden before I had to move it.
It's the local "black bee mongrel" and stings and follows.

I think a lot depends on where you want to locate them.
 
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Tom Bick 

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The little that I do know is that the Carniolan queens are gentle and swarmy and I think on the 2nd or 3rd generation can become nasty so the answer is I guess is to re Queen from breeders on the 3rd generation

I will be setting up an out apiary so the bees may not be to close to people? but of course we all want gentle bees
 

Crg 

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but of course we all want gentle bees
I've found buckfast bees to be very docile, more so than NZ queens which I've had experience with. Went through one of my aparies today - t-shirt, jeans, no smoke.

Had a couple of kids and their parents who were nearby, come over to have a look. I showed them through the hives as I went, the kids were sticking their fingers in to point at things, or sticking their fingers in honey comb to taste.

I've had no swarms this year, and of course swarms aren't needed (or in my opinion wanted) for expansion.
 
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Tom Bick 

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Interesting went through my books last night and sum old threads on the forum found good information regarding Carniolans,the north European dark bee, Italian Queens and yes although never doubted you admin found out that New Zealand and Hawaiian Queens are based around the Italian bee but not a lot of information on Buckfast.
So perhaps you can help Crg have you had the Buckfast Queens for a long time and do they retain the good temperament for the 2nd and 3rd generation brought on by say splitting the hives and re-Queening or after a swarm
 

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This is a problem we all face Tom,you cant say for sure if the Gene that is passed on will be dominant or recessive for aggresion.

You can have the best bee's in the world but have no control over the Drones that will mate with your virgin queen.

Although it is excepted that certain pure strains can go one way or the other when open mated.

Buckfast used to be sods as f2-f3 but some members are reporting good results from queens they originally purchased from Norton.

I am keen to go a lttle further down the Buckfast route next year while keeping the Carni type out as much as I can.

How are other members finding AMM regards aggression nowadays?
 

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most of new queens i keep in mating nucs so long that they show their habits.
chalkbrood and agression are the first reason to kick out.

obviously bad layers will meet destiny too.
 

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Seems to be a bit of resistance to Carni's here.
Any reason(s) why?

My first hive is Carni's but I was so keen to get the nuc I didn't bother too much about the strain.
 

Finman 

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When you bye a new queen and you take a daughter

f1 has 50% byed genes

f2 . . 25%

f3 . . 13%

f1 may be very good if it has hybrid power.
 

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Seems to be a bit of resistance to Carni's here.
Any reason(s) why?

My first hive is Carni's but I was so keen to get the nuc I didn't bother too much about the strain.
My own personal reasons:

1/ I dont like imported queens,I prefer uk bred stock(I have never had an imported queen but have worked hives with them in).
2/ Carni's are good at expanding brood but not so good at honey production.
3/ They can be buggers when crossed with local strains.

I would still buy them if I could not get any others like you did but they are down the list of what I am trying to achive.
 

Crg 

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So perhaps you can help Crg have you had the Buckfast Queens for a long time and do they retain the good temperament for the 2nd and 3rd generation brought on by say splitting the hives and re-Queening or after a swarm
You can't guarantee results if you have no control over what they are mating with. As Finman points out - you lose genes very quickly though random uncontrolled mating. Not only that but some first crosses between different types of bees can be exceptionly swarmy/aggressive.
 

Finman 

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Surprises with queens makes beekeeping interesting.

i had 10 carniolans. They are many even if same seller send me those. You never know the origin. I understand that queen seller must live too and sometimes he does not those what he wanted.
To bye from own country gives no better quarantee.
 
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