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Best type of Bee

 
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alan
Nurse Bee


Joined: 29 Sep 2014
Posts: 25
Location: Ryhill,W.Yorkshir. UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:39 pm    Post subject: Best type of Bee Reply with quote

Simple question.Having just watched a series on youtube about Bro Adams search for the best types of bees,I wondered if opinions have altered in the years since Bro Adam.
What is the best type of bee?
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Local bees are the best. If you can catch a feral swarm that is a jack pot, but all local bees are a good candidate.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1487
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would echo the local bee bit. All my colonies bar one are from local swarms. The one exception is from the local association which I got as a nuc. It then swarmed 8 weeks later and as Cambridgeshire bees as opposed to those from bought in queens which some in the area use are known for their swarminess I am now up to 6 colonies and am giving away a number of swarms each year.

The reason for having local bees is that they will have adapted to local conditions over the years. Next spring I am going to put a bait hive near to where a colony has survived for three years that I know of without having died out in a tree, possibly longer.

I have yet to have an aggressive colony but am prepared to cull the queen if this does happen as I keep my bees on an allotment where behaviour that might be tolerated in a more remote location can't really be allowed.
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the previous replies. Local bees that are survivors and secondly gentle bees. I have seen one hive of Buckfast bees that were very gentle and hard workers. Mention is made of the indigenous British Black Bee that Phil is trying to revive. Does anyone know if any feral bees survived the Isle of White disease? I know many bees were imported from Holland and Germany by the UK government after this event to restock local beekeepers, so most bees are probably a mix of these and would have adapted a bit more to the British climate.
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1123
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with all above. Nature has more experience of selecting for survival than we have! Confused
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alan
Nurse Bee


Joined: 29 Sep 2014
Posts: 25
Location: Ryhill,W.Yorkshir. UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So,in some regards,the consensus is not in favour of what Bro Adam did?

As previously mentioned,my bee,s were Manx bees-black and I guess close to English native.They were not aggressive,but said to be ideal for our climate and disease resistant,I was told.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even though I keep Buckfast bees I'm against artificial insemination and mixing of bees from all over the world. I bought my first Buckfast because everyone had those locally so I bought the local bee which was Buckfast. I would be happier if we all keep the Nordic Black Bee but that is not the case. I plan to buy 2 Brown Danish Bee queens which can be only found on one isolated isla so to mix their genes into my stock.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buckfast bee breeding is not identical with artificial insemination or wild mixing of bee races (cross breeding).

Most buckfast bees get mated naturally. And there is some crossbreeding, but very limited and carefully. Most crossbreeding in my buckfast bees have been done 15 years ago. No crossbreeding since.

The method of Brother Adam is in my opinion the closest to what nature does. Much better than conventional inbreeding and line breeding!

Local bees are not always the best bees, far from it. You don't know what you ask for. Wink At first I would try the local bees, sure, but do not hesitate to get a better bee. It saves you a lot of trouble and pain and work, if you work with a nice bee.

You can use the buckfast breeding method on local stock. This is actually what Brother Adam did. The original buckfast bee is based on English black bees.

Bernhard
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1123
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have another beekeeper within a few miles you will need to buy mated Buckfast queens on a regular basis to maintain them as Buckfast (also applies to any other "pure" strain).

Also, Buckfast cross queens (open mated with whatever is around) are renowned for producing VERY aggressive colonies, so a few seasons down the line the lovely colony you started with can turn into monsters! That can happen with any bees of course, but Buckfast are notorious for it!
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, but that is pure nonsens...

There is no pureness in Buckfast bees. It is just a method to produce good bees. If you want to keep a special heritage (there is no real line), you of course need to buy in queens over and over again. Until you established that heritage in your region. But what is the point? Make a good start and breed from there.

I do have open mated buckfast colonies, more than one hundred. Most of the surrounding beekeepers use Carnica bees. I have some Carnicas, too, as well as mongrels. Still I do not have one aggressive hive. That is probably a myth that Buckfast descendants are aggressive. (The same is said for the German black bees. I kept some of them and also brown bees from Belgium, they were very peaceful and nice bees. Again a myth.)
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To answer a post from a bit earlier up the thread....it is thought by BIBBA that the native bee survived in pockets following the Isle of Wight disease. It is purported that the 'native' black bees being bred are from the survivors but it is quite difficult to get hold of any queens according to people who have tried on this forum. In my opinion, the principle of conservation of this sub species is an excellent idea but the practicalities of ensuring it survives in the long term has to be down to supply of bees and legislative help. There are thousands of imports every year of non native sub species and breeds in comparison to the relatively few colonies of black bees.

I have black bees as I am a friend of someone who breeds them and I have been able to get old queens he is replacing. Then I can flood the are with drones to shift the local population toward black bee-ness....who knows it it works or if there is any point if people persist in importing Italian or Carnie or buckfasts.

Sorry.... just watched the video with the Asian hornets destroying a hive in three hours so feeling a bit bee negative!
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alan
Nurse Bee


Joined: 29 Sep 2014
Posts: 25
Location: Ryhill,W.Yorkshir. UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have any comments or experience with the Manx bee?
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the bee genome has been fully mapped, it would surely be achievable to sample bees from so-called purer stock and do the analysis. I don't have much knowledge of bee genetics but in humans, certain characteristics are traceable via the maternal mitochondrial DNA, going right back to Homo Sapiens trekking out of Africa. Has this been done? How is Phil getting on with his Black Bee Project?
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stevecook172001
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd generally go with the local bee argument. But, I am not really fussed either way. I don't keep bees for the purpose of maximising honey production. It just stands to reason that, in terms of bee survivability, irrespective of any other consideration surrounding production, local bees that go back several generations will be more adapted to their environment than bees that have been brought in from an environment that may be entirely different. However, I would qualify the above by saying it only applies for local bees that have been allowed to mate naturally on the wing. If they haven't, then they may be as subject to as many weakness as bees from anywhere else who have had their breeding behaviour constrained.
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rmcpb
Scout Bee


Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 447
Location: Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We go for local queens. We just do walkaway splits from our best hives and let nature take its course. Every couple of years we buy in a "well bred" queen to boost productivity and to widen the gene pool.

Any agressive colony has the queen pinched and replaced with one from one of our nucs.

Seems to be working so far.

Cheers
Rob.
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Paul Reyes
Nurse Bee


Joined: 14 Aug 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Local bees are the way to go alan, don't look anywhere else.
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HowToBee
New Bee


Joined: 24 Dec 2014
Posts: 6
Location: Rome, Italy

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Local bees are almost always more resilient to diseases and to other pests. Why? They've had the time to build up antibodies and good genetics that help them combat their local predators. However, I suppose that it's also good to warn that if you decide to get a local wild swarm, it's not guaranteed that 1) they will be honey-producing bees and that 2) they will be tranquil (non-aggressive) bees.

Hope this helps :)
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2014 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone who thinks local bees are disease resistant has obviously never heard of AFB or EFB...

It's a myth.
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