ARTICLES   


 




Bee Races and Strains

 
BUCKFAST

Origin:
Brother Adam at the Buckfast Abby in England
Cross of many races

Strong Points:
Good honey producer
Low incidence of chalkbrood due to good housecleaning techniques
Reports of disease resistance
Produces little propolis/brace comb
Do well in cold/wet spring
Low amount of brood during fall (uses less honey stores during winter)
Brood rearing ceases during late fall
Build-up rapidly once started

Weak Points:
Slow to build-up in spring
Less honey or pollen (depending on your area) due to erratic spring conditions (weather)
Low amount of brood during fall (use less honey stores during winter)



 
STARLINE

Origin:
Not a true race (several Italian stocks combined)

Strong points:
Gentle temperament
Early and fast build-up
High brood production (lots of bees and honey)

Weak points:
Cold and wet springs (Maine) will reduce the nectar flow (pollen also) and you must feed these bees.



 
CAUCASIAN

Origin:
Caucaus and Little Caucaus mountains near the Black Sea and parts of Azerbaydzhan

Strong points:
Gentle
Calm temperament
Reduced tendency to swarm (this is because these bees slowly build-up in the early spring which reduces the amount of bees on the comb)
Able to seek forage due to their ability to fly in unfavorable weather conditions (cool and wet)

Weak points:
Wet cappings
Susceptible to Nosema
Use large amounts of propolis



 
CARNIOLAN

Origin:
North and South of the Karawanken mountains (Austria and Yugoslavia)

Strong points:
Small clusters during the winter months
During the spring,they build-up quite rapidly
Calm and gentle
Very little robbing
Production of propolis and bur comb

Weak points:
Unknown at this time. I will add information when I do more research.



 
ITALIAN

Origin:
Apennine Peninsula located in Italy

Strong points:
Do not forage long distances
Produce a lot of bees during brood rearing (lots of honey) robbing will occur

Weak points:
Because they do not forage for long distances, robbing will occur.
These bees are colored focused and might lead to drifting in your bee yard.
Feeding might be required due to their brood rearing late in the winter.



 
MIDNITE

Midnite is a hybrid derived from Caucasian sources. The bees of a Midnite queen are dark color and extremely gentle. In fact, this hybrid was developed expressly for the hobby beekeeper. However, the honey producing capabilities of this hybrid are so improved that many commercial producers are now discovering and using it. In honey production capacity, it is now rivaling the Starline, while still retaining its gentle nature. In belief, dark bees are more resistant to mites.

Note: I have the Buckfast, Starline, Italians and the Midnite honeybees in my yard. l will add more information about these bees as I progress in my beekeeping experiences. I will add the New World Carniolans in 1997. Midnite and Starline bees were obtained from York Bee Co. The Italian bees came from a nuc, supplied by a Maine beekeeper. Buckfast (queen) from a Canadian beekeeper.


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