Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Native or local?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    400 miles S of Stonehaven
    Posts
    398

    Default Native or local?

    I have almost persuaded myself to buy a native queen this year, but I'm hesitating because I don't know enough about buying in queens, don't know fully understand the possible pitfalls of future crosses, and don't want to waste a good queen. I don't want to go down the route of buying in new queens every year. If I go ahead, this one would be 'it', probably the only queen I'll ever buy.

    I'm a long way south of Scotland. Beebase says there are 145 apiaries within a 10km radius of my main apiary, I know it's an underestimate. There are several bee farmers with colonies within reach of this apiary. Most new beekeepers round here buy bees from dealers, many choose carniolans because the teachers advise them to, although some go for imported Buckfasts.

    Discussion with well-respected local elders makes me think I should stick to raising my own, from my own, but there's a niggling thought that I should try it and see what happens. If I toss a coin I'm disappointed with either result!

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Tayside
    Posts
    4,398
    Blog Entries
    41

    Default

    Move.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Belfast, N. Ireland
    Posts
    5,107
    Blog Entries
    94

    Default

    The queen you buy will be fine but as you say the future crosses will be hit or miss.
    Given the background population you describe with different subspecies plus Buckfast your future crosses are all going to be hit or miss even if you start with something local. Unless you want to move to a Scottish island as Gavin suggests the next best option would be to get a queen rearing group started where everyone works with the same bee race. In that way the drones from this subspecies will dominate and the likelihood of getting decent crosses will increase.

  4. #4

    Default

    Yes, best way would be to start a queen rearing group, where all the beekeepers of the 145 apiaries within a 10km radius and greater of you, agree to keep the same type of bees.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Belfast, N. Ireland
    Posts
    5,107
    Blog Entries
    94

    Default

    LOL
    Yes, that is where your diplomatic skills will get tested!
    You never get everyone on board but you can move the odds in your favour.

  6. #6
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Finest Fife
    Posts
    1,488

    Default

    I've 'imported' native bees (from the sort of island that Gavin and Jon are referring to) and used them to raise queens which were subsequently open mated in an area packed with other beekeepers. I think Beebase list 160+ within 10km. None have been terrible, most have been fine and a few have been pretty good. Some of my beekeeping friends routinely have much worse bees than the worst I've ever raised. Perhaps I've been lucky …

  7. #7
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Tayside
    Posts
    4,398
    Blog Entries
    41

    Default

    A couple of weeks ago I had a long discussion with a man who deliberately crossed Colonsay queens with carniolans and has a business selling the products. That seems a waste of good genetic resources to me, but he said the resulting cross produced quite nice bees. I suspect that these highly bred carnies are *so* gentle that any tendency to feisty hybrids is not so much in evidence. That seems to be C4U's experience too.

    There are plenty of places Bumble could move to where there are fewer neighbouring beekeeper without needing to take the drastic step of going for island life, attractive though that may be. However without that as an option - why not give them a try? There is probably some Amm in the local mix anyway, going by the data presented at Llangollen last September.

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi Bumble

    One way is to use something like a Snelgrove board (sorry to mention this again)
    You have a two queen hive then and you have options about which queen you keep
    You can select the best behaved thats what I try and do
    One good thing you will never be in any danger of inbreeding

  9. #9
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Tayside
    Posts
    4,398
    Blog Entries
    41

    Default

    It has come round to that time of year when folk are polishing their Snelgrove boards for the season ahead! I was speaking to one Snelgrove enthusiast on Tuesday. We have one in the association shed but it has never been used. Maybe I'll encourage the deputy apiary manager to have a go.

    The Cloake board is the one I'm hoping to try this year, useful for queen raising. Sorry, wandering off topic.

    Nice to see you posting DR.

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi Gavin
    I have been making a few to replace the warped ones
    Plywood is a pain like that
    Did you get your isolated site set up for the breeding ?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •