Honey bees, like all living things, vary in their traits across the species. Genetic differences across these breeds can lead to differences in attributes like temperament, disease resistance, productivity, color and much more.Saskatraz bees inbound!
The environment has a huge impact on differences among bee colonies due to stimuli and response, but the genetic makeup of a colony is the basis for many of the characteristics that define a particular subspecies of honey bee. For as long as honey bees have been domesticated, beekeepers have known that different genetic stocks have distinctive differences that can be used to their advantage or ignored to their disadvantage.
Whether it be pollination, a honey crop, bee reproduction, resiliency or otherwise, it is important to have a general grasp on what this means for you and your Beekeeping Goals.
Such groups can be divided by the species, race, region, population, or breeding line in a commercial operation. In many ways, the easiest way to understand Bee Stock is to compare it to the way we have followed and tracked the pedigree of racing horses throughout the ages.
Often there are lines of heredity that go back hundreds of years in quality stock. Beyond that, these races are still defined from the Old World. That is, the bees became adjusted to their original environment, but not always to the economic requirements of beekeepers.
Therefore, they are not the result, but the raw material for breeding. Honey bees of the world. The Hive and the Honey Bee helps us to understand that although these genetic strains are rooted in history, they are still just a way to help us classify basic differences and are not impervious to flaws.
There are 5 main points to consider when searching for and choosing a bee stock according to the American Bee Journal.
Others take it to a a level of detail that may be beyond a new beekeeper or even a practiced beekeeper of 5 years. These types of selection criteria include:. More importantly, there are different criteria for different styles and types of beekeepers. It all goes back to why you are a beekeeper and your goals behind keeping bees. In the United States there are 6 main stocks of honey bees.
Each strain has been studied and observed to have a variety of attributes that may be helpful to know in making your choice. Beyond that, there are local strains coming from different regions of the US and the world every year. It is always good practice to do research beyond these main strains to see if there is something that might be better suited for your area.What are honey bee races exactly?
What is the difference between a species and a race? Most of the honey bees have similar traits and are therefore classified in the same species: Apis mellifera. This means that in most of the cases, in which we interact with bees that produce honey we are facing bees of this Apis mellifera species. Wherever a given race of honey bees is at home, it turns out that its home is set apart by impassible natural obstacles.
Isolation by natural barriers, mountains, seas and deserts by forcing in and in breeding and natural selection is the predominating agent in the origin of races. A characteristic is a trait or a structure peculiar to a group of individuals. Honey bees, like all other living things, vary among themselves in traits such as temperament, disease resistanceswarming tendency, brood raising periods, temperature preference, production preferences more inclined to produce honey, propolis or pollen and general productivity.
The definitions of races and of characteristics are thoroughly connected. Then we have hybrid breeds made by humans: Buckfast, Africanized, Russians, Cordovan. Feral Honey Bee Apis mellifera … These bees are escaped swarms or unmanaged colonies to be found in the wild. They are genetically diverse and acclimated to the area they are present in. Their parentage is unknown.
Go to Part 1 and find an overview of all honey bee races and their traits. Go to Part 2 and find an overview of all honey bee races and their pros, cons and fun facts. Originally from the Apennine Peninsula in Italy, the true Italian breed is the ligustica.
Their home country is geographically set apart from the rest of Europe by the Alps and is almost surrounded by the sea. This circumstance kept this race separated from outside influences and other races. It is said to be the most widely distributed bee in the world. Also, Italian bees are by far the most popular honey bees in North America.
They were introduced to America in and quickly replaced the original black or German bees brought over by the first colonists. Latterly, since importation to America, the Italian has been modified by dilutions of blood of other races and undue attention to the single characteristic of color. Very lightly colored, ranging from a light leather brown to an almost lemon yellow, a trait that is highly demanded by many beekeepers for aesthetic reasons.
During the various phases of the Ice Age, the European primeval honeybee Apis migrated back and forth between northern and southern Europe. During the last ice age, which ended about 11, years ago, the Alpine countries of Switzerland and Austria were completely covered with ice.Last summer was my last post because my family was building a new house!
While construction took place, we lived in an apartment with my two wild boys and enormous dog.
Great video & why we choose OHB
We tried to keep a hive going at the site of our soon-to-be home, but it was difficult to manage due to the location and everything else going on. Our new house! This was taken last spring. We have a driveway, a yard some landscaping now! My husband has really been reading up on Slovenian bee housesso we talked about taking a break this year to build one and then getting some bees again NEXT spring.
Anyone have any experience with these? A new breed of bee to play with? The breed is supposed to show varroa mite resistance and more hygienic qualities similar to Ankle-biters.
Both the increased mite resistance and ability to overwinter caught my eye first thing. In the last 3 or 4 years we have crossed high VSH lines with our naturally selected colonies to try and increase stability of the varroa tolerant trait. This looks to be promising and new lines are currently being evaluated. However, we have also noted that treatment with some synthetic miticides, although initially effective in lowering phoretic varroa infestations, may negatively affect the colonies ability to cope with subsequent mite infestations.
Some miticide treatments may also result in increased virus infections, particularly in varroa susceptible phenotypes. Unpublished data link to article. This raises a new and interesting question. It does seem that mite treatments are working and beekeepers in Michigan, at least seem to be having better luck overwintering perhaps because the bees are stronger, minus the mites ; however, what is the long term effect of these treatments on our bees?
Could they weaken the colony in the long run? I will still be able to contrast the two hives, but certainly with findings that small, it would be impossible to make any sweeping generalizations. Pedantic reader must point out that slovakia the country mispelt in your post and slovenia the country referenced at the link are two different countries.
I just got an email from Mann Lake about pre-ordering bee packages. Among the different packages Saskatraz was mentioned. This name was never mentioned in the class we took so, it sparked my interest to find out more info.
So far I have not been able to find out what type of bees they are breeding to get the Saskatraz.
Great video & why we choose OHB
Do you know or is it pretty much a little of this and a little of that? I bet the answer is in those scientific reports on the saskatraz. New beekeeper here. Picked up 2 packages of saskatraz bees at Ohbees hobby day and very happy. Installation went well and along with first hive inspection.Reading Time: 3 minutes.
Which is the right one to keep? Buckfast bees were developed by Brother Adam who was a monk at Buckfast Abby in England in the early s. He was in charge of the bees in the Abby during the time when the acarine parasite mite a tracheal mite invaded and killed thousands of bee colonies across England. He took the hives that survived and started a breeding program which eventually produced the Buckfast bees. Pros High honey producers Good foragers Low inclination to swarm Low inclination to sting Cold hardy and seem to overwinter well High tracheal mite tolerance.
Cons The biggest con to Buckfast bees is that if you let them naturally requeen, the second generation likely to be aggressive. So you will need to continue to purchase Buckfast queens in order to keep the aggressiveness low.
Carniolan bees are a subspecies of the western honeybee and originated in what is now Slovenia. Pros Defend their hive well from pests Not aggressive toward beekeepers Able to quickly adjust hive size based on environmental issues Able to conserve honey stores Can overwinter with fewer bees Less susceptible to brood disease Forages in cooler, overcast weather.
The Italian bee is the most popular bee for beekeepers in North America. Pros Adaptable to various climates Good honey producers Gentle and non-aggressive Great foragers Large colonies Darker queen — making her easier to identify. Cons Prone to rob and drift Raises brood late in fall which means more mouths to feed in winter They do not cluster tightly in the winter so they consume more honey to stay warm.
Russian bees are relatively new to North America, coming to the United States in from the Primorsky region in Russia. They were brought in by the Agricultural Research Service because they have a natural resistance to Varroa and Tracheal mites. These bees became available for purchase in Pros Resistant to Varroa and Tracheal mites Tends to rear brood only during times of nectar and pollen flow Not aggressive Frugal in their honey consumption Overwinter well Maintains queen cells all season long.
Caucasian bees originated in the Caucasus mountains between the Caspian and Black Seas. They were once very popular among North American beekeepers but that is no longer the case. Pros Very gentle Do not tend to swarm Not prone to rob Forage on cooler days Long tongue and can get nectar that most bees cannot. Cons Use an excessive amount of propolis in the hives Build up slowly in the spring.
Honey bees are not native to North America. Early explorers brought them over in the s and subspecies of German bees are what was brought. These dark almost black bees were once a favorite of beekeepers but because of their aggression and susceptibility to many brood diseases, they lost favor many years ago. However, most wild honeybees are subspecies of German bees. Which brings us to wild or feral bees.Colony collapse disorder has been wreaking havoc across the country.
Beekeepers are going out of business and the effect on our environment is yet to be fully understood. Making chemical solutions seemed to be a good idea at first, but then we the people did what we always do.
We abused them. We do it with cough syrup, pain killers, and now miticides. So the very pests we were looking to destroy became resistant to our chemicals and thrived in our beehives. So, inwe looked to mother-nature to give us a solution and it looks like she delivered with the Saskatraz bee.
The following is our Saskaatraz Bees review. Saskatraz bees are a new strain of bees that have been developed in Saskatchewan Canada. The project was set up to come up with a strain of bee that produces high yields of honey as their primary objective.
The apiary is quite secluded which helped to maintain the integrity of the results. In addition to that, the bees found in Saskatchewan tend to make it through the winter successfully, which is an advantage for any beekeeper. When they first started the project, the original colonies were wiped out by varroa infestation in two years. They then decided to introduce stock that is known for varroa tolerance. Russian and German bees fit the bill quite nicely so the Canadians collaborated with the Americans and those particular bee races were contributed to the project.
This addition to the genetic pool proved to be very valuable in building resistance to the tracheal mite and tolerance to the varroa. Naturally, money would be the first motivator for the project. In the U. S, the Italian bee is known for being prolific and ideal for honey production.
Most commercial beekeepers prefer this race of bee for that reason. Since the queen is so great at her job, this race is also fantastic for pollination services. Pollination is about the size of the colony rather than the number of colonies.Tweets by mannlake. How do I know which one I need? This is a tough question to answer, because chances are there are several other questions you have to ask yourself first before you can choose which bees you should get.
What do you want to get out of having bees? Where are you located? What bees will work best in the climate you are in? You could go on and on. The types of honey bees most commonly seen in the United States are Italians, Carniolans and Russians. Another variety of bees that has recently become available are Saskatraz. The most common type of honey bees are Italians. These bees originated in moderate to semi-tropical conditions on the Italian peninsula, which is known for its long summers and mild winters.
Italian honey bees adapted by delaying their brood rearing until late winter and continue to produce brood until the beginning of the winter. Being that these bees are accustomed to moderate to semi-tropical conditions, it is no surprise that they thrive in the United States.
Southern states offer less management issues for this variety of bees, because they have a longer growing season, typically with an abundance of nectar and pollen producing plants. That being said, the northern U. Though, it should be noted that there might be more management issues, since the growing season in this area is shorter and there is less time for the bees to store food for the long winters.
Carniolan bees are another common type of honey bee. These bees were originally from the Carniolan Alps, which are located in parts of Austria and Slovenia. Thriving in this unpredictable environment, Carniolans are able to withstand cold winters and can quickly adapt to change.
Adapting quickly to change makes Carniolans the perfect fit for the short summers in the northern U. These bees know to gather a lot of food when the warm weather arrives and know how to cut back and maintain their hive when the season winds down.
Russian honey bees are a mix of Carniolans and Italians, among others. This variety of honey bee is able to adapt to moderate and subtropical climates, making them most appealing in warmer states that have a longer season. They would also fare well in the northern states, but would be impacted by a shorter season.
Saskatraz bees are the newest hybrid variety of honey bees, created at an apiary in Saskatchewan, Canada. Being that they have the positive characteristics of all the common honey bees. It is believed by many that bees would fare well in any location and could be raised by beekeepers of all levels. Check out the Olivarez Honey Bees, Inc.
I have only discussed four out of the many varieties of honey bees. Do you ever have other species of bees available?Wondering where to buy strong, healthy package honey bees? Orders need to be placed ahead of time to make sure you get your bees; we normally do not have any additional packages available on our pick up days.
Place your orders for live bees as early as possible, as packages can sell out pretty quickly. We do not charge a cage fee, and the package bee price already has sales tax built into it. Some places might show a lower price to begin with and then charge taxes and fees on top of that, but with ours the price you see is the end price that you get charged, with no extra fees! Your package will include a mixture of nurse bees, forager bees, guard bees and drones. The queen will be a mated, unmarked young Saskatraz queen, and she will be in a queen cage, hanging within the package of bees.
Package bees are for pick up only from our location in East Peru, Iowa. If you are ordering other beekeeping equipment that you would like to pick up at the same time as your package splease feel free to place on the same order; however, if you would like to order other equipment and have it shipped to you ahead of time, please place on a separate order from your package s.
Lappe's Bee Supply promotes successful beekeeping and is dedicated to providing our customers with the highest quality of products possible.
Our package bees carry a money back guarantee. If you do not agree that we are providing you with a high quality package of honeybees at the time of pickup, you do not have to accept that package, and we will give you a complete refund of the purchase price!
The guarantee ends when the you leave with the package s ; anything that happens with the bees after that time is completely the customer's responsibility. Saskatraz queen bees have been selected for high honey production, good overwintering ability, temperament, and good mite resistance. The queens lay a lot of eggs and larva, so they build up their population earlier in the spring to bring in lots of pollen and nectar. They maintain a strong workforce all summer long by the continued high brood rearing, and as a result, they have an excellent foraging ability and high honey production during the honey flow.
Strong beehives are able to resist wax moths and other bee colony pests more efficently. As with all packages, you will want to feed sugar syrup to them immediately after you place them in the beehive; by doing so, you will increase their beeswax production to get the them to pull the combs on the frames so the queen can start laying quickly.
Saskatraz bees easily adapt to most climates, they overwinter well, and they have a very good mite resistance; however, you still need to treat every spring and every fall for mites, since there is no such thing as a completely mite resistant honeybee. They also produce minimum propolis and keep a clean hive with lots of worker bees.
Saskatraz queens have been crossed and open mated with different genetic families, including Italian Hybrid and Carniolan, so the coloring can be different on the queens, from a lighter yellow color with a black tipped tail, to a tiger striped color, and even an almost pure black color.
Our packages are brought to us from our suppliers in California in a custom designed, climate controlled truck that keeps the bees at just the right temperature with the right amount of fresh air, which guarantees that your bees will be the healthiest bees possible! Our package bee suppliers have over 25 years of experience in package bees and queen breeding.