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Where do I get the best tempered black bees

 
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Bees Knees
House Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Chesterfield, UK

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:15 pm    Post subject: Where do I get the best tempered black bees Reply with quote

Hello people I'm new to keeping bees and I'm thinking about starting up next year. After reading quite a lot of articles about the black bee Id like to get them, as there the best suited to our climate. As I understand it they can get very aggressive if crossed with certain imports. with that in mind would it be best if I was to introduce a new queen when she dies or she manages to swarm without me picking up on it in time to prevent it? If so where do I get my first nuc, package and or queens from? As I don't live in the countryside and have close neighbors it wouldn't be wise to have bees that are on the war path every time I inspect them Very Happy
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


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

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 6:54 am    Post subject: Re: Where do I get the best tempered black bees Reply with quote

Bees Knees wrote:
...they can get very aggressive if crossed with certain imports. ...


Nothing to do with crossings. Black bees do have a hot temper by themself. Always drive down to the breeder you get your bees from and see yourself how the bees behave in his apiary. Don't trust advertises, trust your eyes.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that for most of us getting locally adapted bees is more important than getting black bees. While I have large gaps in my knowledge base and have heard that Black bees tend to be more aggressive, the only colony I have that is visually close to black is very calm.
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Bees Knees
House Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Chesterfield, UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Where do I get the best tempered black bees Reply with quote

Nothing to do with crossings. Black bees do have a hot temper by themself

Yes I've also seen articles that say that but I came across one that said genetics have a lot to do with it and some black bees have undesirable genetics in them, and that is why some say that they are aggressive by nature. I think it said if you get a bee with some bucfast genetics they usually always have some degree of aggressiveness. It said if your new queen mates with a bucfast they are very aggressive. It said the closer your genetics to a pure black the more docile they are. I have no experience at all with bees and I suppose there is a lot of misinformation out there. I think it would be best to handle the bees for myself and go from there. I don't want to import bees or go with a strain that isn't adapted so I think local or black is the best bet. I have actually been thinking about setting traps to catch local swarms and handling them before I take them home and just leaving them to it if they are aggressive. Do you think I would have much luck with that?
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dave. I was trying to find a way to say that without being critical of the black bee breeding program.

Bees Knees, I would also recommend you get locally adapted bees rather than worry too much about genetics. Preventing swarming is not a simple process and my experience of dark bees is that they love to swarm and will thwart your efforts to prevent them at every opportunity.
Don't get me wrong, I love my dark bees now that I embrace their swarming tendency and whilst I cannot say mine are "pure" black bees (I am happy to describe them as dark mongrels) they are very well adapted to our British climate and mostly very even tempered. Mongrels rule as far as I am concerned.

Regards

Barbara
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Bees Knees
House Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Chesterfield, UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanx Do you have any experience in trapping bees? I know we do have plenty of bee hives around me because last year and the year before we had bees swam on our street and the hole street was crawling with them. The year before a few streets away there was a big swarm a few streets away as well
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Virtually everything you need to know about swarm baiting at http://www.biobees.com/library/research_bees/apis/Bait%20Hives%20for%20Honey%20Bees.pdf
That's in the "Beekeeping Library link at the top of this page. Well worth browsing the rest too.
I, too, would recommend sticking with local mongrels. Less stress than trying to keep your bees "pure".

Could you also add "UK" to your location in your profile, assuming you are from the UK. This is a very international forum and could well be a Chesterfield in other countries.
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Bees Knees
House Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 13
Location: Chesterfield, UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could you also add "UK" to your location in your profile, assuming you are from the UK. This is a very international forum and could well be a Chesterfield in other countries.[/quote]

Yes Ill add UK as I do come from the UK although site management should note I will access the site from world wide locations and locations around the UK as I travel a lot for work on a daily basis. Thanx for the info
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Tavascarow
Silver Bee


Joined: 24 Jun 2008
Posts: 962
Location: UK Cornwall Snozzle

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The more colonies of bees you keep the easier it is to keep them pure.
For the beginner with only one or two colonies it's virtually impossible, so re-queening on a regular basis is essential which is something I wont encourage.
I would hate the genetics to be lost & applaud those that have the dedication to strive to keep them pure but for a beginner probably not the best option.
Temper is something that varies from colony to colony & has little to do with genetics IMHO.
& anyway a 'hot' temper isn't necessarily a bad thing.
It at least discourages from sticking your nose in too often, & I think has benefits besides.
If there are any natural beekeepers near you or a local group get to know them. Most Beeks will be very encouraging & might have a spare swarm in the coming Summer.
We all want to see more beekeepers not fewer & will help wherever possible.
The membership list is long, but you should be able to find others nearby if you search location.

Anyways a happy welcome from deepest darkest South Cornwall Very Happy
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David43
House Bee


Joined: 01 Nov 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:48 am    Post subject: Re: Where do I get the best tempered black bees Reply with quote

Look online. Start looking in March.
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