Publicity for bees--Michele Landis of the Superior Beekeeping Club and I will be on Public TV 13 Media Meet hosted by Bill Hart. The show will air Saturday at 6:30 pm and Sunday at 2:30 pm this weekend and be on You Tube next week. We will provide a link when this happens. I apologize ahead of time for any mistakes I made.
** Major Honey Flow Now - White sweet clover, knapweed, and now basswood trees are blooming. Bees are very busy (when the weather cooperates). Comb building has greatly increased as well as brood production, and honey storage. Be ready to add supers as needed - when the super is about 60 to 70 percent full. Slip the new empty one under the one already on the hive.
***Queen issues-- I have had more trouble with failing queens this year than in the past - you??? Articles have been recently published in the bee journals about poor queen quality. This makes it even more important to develop our own UP Queens.
****Queen Rearing by David Payant and Jonathon Parsons as follows:
This spring I traveled with Michelle Landis to Manistique to pick up $11,000 worth of bees. The cost
of these bees was $100 package. With the high rate of winter losses, beekeeping in our area is not an
economic proposition. In past years the cost of package bees was much less than the value of the honey
produced. This justified buying the packages. This is not the case today because package bees have
become so expensive.
One of the issues I believe causes are winter losses is our bees are being bred in Southern or Western
states with very mild winters. These bees are not acclimatized to our severe winter demands. Even
bees like the Russian strain that originated in Siberia have now been bred for many years in Louisiana.
In response to this problem and due to the high losses I have experienced in our winters, I decided to
breed survivor Queens. I define a survivor queen is a queen that is survived one or more UP winters in
I posted in the Superior Bee Club forum a message asking for responses from those who are interested
in breeding survivor queens. I got responses from several people indicating an interest in breeding
queens. Jon Parsons was one of the people who responded to my post. We met yesterday and chased
a swarm of bees in Alger County. We also discussed the possibility of breeding queens in the UP in the
hope we could produce a strain of bee adapted to the UP and with resistance to disease and pests.
We contemplate next year we would obtain a breeder queen and using her and local survivor Queens
breed UP adapted healthy Queens. We believe this will lessen our winter losses due to severe weather
and mite infestation.
I have reserved a room at the Peter White library Lion’s Room for Wednesday, August 6 at 7:00 PM.
Jon and I would like to meet with all interested in this idea to discuss with strategies for breeding local
adapted healthy queens. We would propose to breed these queens by grafting and we have equipment
and knowledge of how to accomplish this. Anyone who is interested in participating in such an effort is
encouraged to attend and make plans for next year.
Both Jon and I are grafting queens from our survivors and we intend to do re-queen and set up nucs for
the winter. At the meeting we will discuss these efforts and other experiments we are carrying out in
order to increase over wintering success.
I have done a video of setting up the cell builder for grafting. I also have a presentation on wintering.
Jon has been working on a Powerpoint on breeding.
Yours for the bees,
Jon and Dave
at 7:00 pm in the Peter White Public Library Lion’s Room