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Apple 

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Do you play any instruments apple to accompany your folk singing?
Penny whistle... but hard to sing and play at same time!

Was bought a Hurdy Gurdy for my 71st.... how anyone can keep one in tune and play a tune on it that is not unpleasant is beyond my belief... and skill level....
Sold it and bought a Wayfarer with a new Proctor mast and a new set of sails ( Furling Genoa )... as you do!
 
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If only...

If it were that simple.

The UK climate is fickle. You cannot and probably never will be able to rely on good weather in Q mating season. (Unless you are in a sheltered valley near to the West Coast with the Gulf Stream).

If beginners want early nucs, either the queens have to be overwintered or you have to raise them in early Spring..
Overwintering makes it very expensive to keep Qs. Unless you use min nucs (highish maintenance), you need a 2-3 frame nuc. Lots of money tied up in bees and equipment. We are talking 10,000 to 15,000 imported Qs being replaced here..

Based on the BBKA membership, (and say 1/4 do queen rear) that's an extra 2-3 queens per beekeeper. Extra.
And then the producers have to be prepared to post them.
(I have done it as a once off.. You really need to be organised to do it on any scale)

Frankly anyone who suggests there is any likelihood of that happening on that scale within 5 years is not living in the real world.

This debate reminds me of a certain (prominent non beekeeping) person making promises which are never met and which are made in the full knowledge they will not be kept.
Is our climate not changing getting warmer seasons are lasting longer?

I live in the real world madasafish.
Where do you get your data to come up with the figures.
How many Beekeepers are not members of the bbka.?

Why cant the younger generation be hopefull and look into the future.
Equipment and stock could be donated as I said if we as beekeepers were more on the same level why can't queen rearing in this country be souly our own.
 

Mint Bee 

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Im already queen rearing 24 in a season all mated(y);)
Hi Mark,

good start! Have you worked out the resources needed to get the 24 in terms of equipment, bees for the starter colonies and mating nucs, plus loss of honey from the production hives?
It will be interesting to see how many of your queens make it through this and next winter, as breeding is a long term process if improvement is the ultimate goal
Personally my grafting success is poor and this year mating hives got hit badly by wasps. next years goal!
 

ericbeaumont 

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Can't see anything from a UK government source online, but I may be missing something. Could you provide a link please?
The BFA Sec, Margaret Ginman, did a thorough trawl of the .Gov website and is up to speed with the changes. BFA mag not to hand; maybe JBM will quote from it?

No deal: queens only. Deal: presumably queens, bees and packages. If it's the latter, still means the added risk of a leisurely Kentish lorry-jam.
 
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jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
The BFA Sec, Margaret Ginman, did a thorough trawl of the .Gov website and is up to speed with the changes. BFA mag not hand; maybe JBM will quote from it?

No deal: queens only. Deal: presumably queens, bees and packages. If it's the latter, still means the added risk of a leisurely Kentish lorry-jam.
That's more or less it - I thought there'd been an update since the last WTO rules update, I was mistaken, but as the present lot are hell bent on a no deal, WTO looks more and more likely
 

Newbeeneil 

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Get five more colonies and join the Beefarmers' Association.... and get queen rearing!

Chons da
I tried to join BFA last year but because of the hoops I had to jump through I got the feeling they didn't want someone who is basically a successful hobbyist.
 

Erichalfbee 

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How many Beekeepers are not members of the bbka.?
According to the latest figures I can find there is somewhere around 45/50 thousand beekeepers in the U.K. and the BBKA professes to represent 25 thousand.
 
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According to the latest figures I can find there is somewhere around 45/50 thousand beekeepers in the U.K. and the BBKA professes to represent 25 thousand.
" professes to represent" .... It may have that many members but I'm not altogether sure that they represent all of them .... :)
 

Mint Bee 

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BIBBA has a link on its website to a proposal for a national honey bee improvement plan.
Note the order of their priorities for a improvement plan

1606771602165.png

another interesting comment from the proposal

The DEFRA committee concluded that some of the reasons that beekeepers have for imports were as follows:
• Queens are readily available
• Queens can be produced more cheaply than in UK
• Queens are available earlier in the season
• Queens are regarded as of better quality than those available in the UK


Until the likes of BIBBA can start to actually breed the volume of local queens to meet the national demand there will always be a market for imports whether it is liked or not. Even then would they be able to overcome the customer advantages perceived above?
 
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Hi Mark,

good start! Have you worked out the resources needed to get the 24 in terms of equipment, bees for the starter colonies and mating nucs, plus loss of honey from the production hives?
It will be interesting to see how many of your queens make it through this and next winter, as breeding is a long term process if improvement is the ultimate goal
Personally my grafting success is poor and this year mating hives got hit badly by wasps. next years goal!
Pm sent.
 

rolande 

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Schools out on that bone of contention... are the bees "from this breeder" native to the UK or are they reminants of the French bees
One man with a passion who outperforms BIBBA and all the other 'groups' in the UK put together when it come to supplying AMM. They could all learn a lot from him.
 
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WoodenBeam 

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I tried to join BFA last year but because of the hoops I had to jump through I got the feeling they didn't want someone who is basically a successful hobbyist.
The 40 colony rule is no longer the case - if you’ve set your bee interests up as a business & run it as such then you should have no issues joining. Annual subs of £225 (inc Vat) provide insurance, a good magazine, discounts via some suppliers & some excellent opportunities to see others and their businesses.
 

Apple 

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I am a BIBBA member
I also served as one of the charities trustees.
BIBBA may represent within its membership a great number of beekeepers involved in bee improvement and queen breeding and most certainly members do produce a lot of good quality Amm stock

QUOTE"Until the likes of BIBBA can start to actually breed the volume of local queens to meet the national demand there will always be a market for imports whether it is liked or not".

BUT BIBBA IS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN A COMMERCIAL ORGANISATION SET UP TO SUPPLY QUEENS !!

I am sure that if that if some on here were sub paying members to BIBBA and read the monthly BIBBA on line publications, and listened to the on line webinars, they would not post such absolute misinformation and nonsence!

I expect there may bee difficulties in obtaining the French/Irish dark bees after BREXIT, but if there is a demand the UK commercial breeders may find that breeding our own native bees may turn a few shillings for them.
 
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Apple 

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One man with a passion who outperforms BIBBA and all the other 'groups' in the UK put together when it come to supplying AMM. They could all learn a lot from him.
Rubbish
BIBBA does not supply queens ... but some of the BIBBA members do
 

Boston Bees 

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I am a BIBBA member
I also served as one of the charities trustees.
BIBBA may represent within its membership a great number of beekeepers involved in bee improvement and queen breeding and most certainly members do produce a lot of good quality Amm stock

QUOTE"Until the likes of BIBBA can start to actually breed the volume of local queens to meet the national demand there will always be a market for imports whether it is liked or not".

BUT BIBBA IS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN A COMMERCIAL ORGANISATION SET UP TO SUPPLY QUEENS !!

I am sure that if that if some on here were sub paying members to BIBBA and read the monthly BIBBA on line publications, and listened to the on line webinars, they would not post such absolute misinformation and nonsence!

I expect there may bee difficulties in obtaining the French/Irish dark bees after BREXIT, but if there is a demand the UK commercial breeders may find that breeding our own native bees may turn a few shillings for them.
I am not a BIBBA member (yet), but I have enjoyed watching the webinars. As you imply, what BIBBA wants is for UK beekeepers to start making more of their own queens, from localised stock which has demonstrated the ability to overwinter in our climate, rather than relying on cheap, imported queens-in-the-mail. Which all seems reasonable to me.
 

Mint Bee 

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Dave, apologies if I touched a nerve with referring to BIBBA. it could have been any number of groups I used. The point is lots of organisations and individuals campaign for an import ban on all bees. I've yet to see a cohesive plan that overcomes the issue of current supply and demand that exists and is available for all to see on various websites, both from government and pressure groups.

How would you suggest that as a country we immediately ban imports and start becoming self reliant on 'local' bees without the consequences of lack of availability?

I'm assuming the WTO route will also ban bubble bee colony importation for glasshouse / poly tunnel pollination, which is not going to help productivity?
 

mbc 

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Schools out on that bone of contention... are the bees "from this breeder" native to the UK or are they reminants of the French bees imported to the Island of Ireland during the last century when all the Irish bee died out from a combination of disease, famine and depleted contingent of Irish beekeepers????
I simply do not know.
I don't think it's a bone of contention at all, quite comprehensive work has been published on Irish native honey bee stocks and it's pretty conclusive that they're the real deal, sure there's some introgression from imports, I don't know of any populations worldwide that are unsullied in that way.
 

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