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Observe considerable foraging difference between subspecies


#1

Many of my foraging bees are my new Italians, and I still have a good amount of what appears to be a Russian hybrid, as they are very dark in color remaining from the package.

My Italians are bringing in huge bundles of pollen, probably 4x’s the size as the Russians. And it is consistent every time I go and watch the entrance. The Russians bring in little petite bundles of pollen and then an Italian will follow with two giant bundles.

The Italians are definitely much younger bees potentially 4-5 weeks younger depending on how old the Russians were when I got the package. Is age the more significant piece of data over the much better foraging or does subspecies make much more of a difference? Any opinions on this?


#2

I am sure that age plays a role. Most of the russians must be looking forward to retiring to guard duty by now. :smile: Having said that, italians have a reputation for being immensely good foragers. They balance this with a huge winter appetite… You may have to feed overwinter if your nectar flow doesn’t give them a lot of stores by the fall. So I think you are seeing a mixture of both effects. For your climate, I still think that the italians are the best choice.


#3

I might be on the other side of the planet but I see a very similar behaviour between the italian bees and caucasions (which are from russian stock), I leave double the amount of stores over winter for the italians as they like to eat and will forage even though there is nothing flowering, where as the caucasions bunker down for the winter and only consume a small amount of their stores. Haven’t noticed any difference in the size of their pollen baskets, will lookout for this now that you mention it.:slight_smile:


#4

You need to speak to the Russians, but in time the Russians may be Italian’s. But in the end 90 days I believe there will be a middle ground found for the hive and one will gather less while the others will gather more as the sisters will blend. What is the Queen. But in the end there might be a takeover of the Africans , they work hard but we must be good husbands and use what will mellow the hive and blend to make them all happy.


#5

I still love ya, @Rodderick ! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Nice observation. Italians are certainly hard-working, but they need their supply lines, as you say! :smile: