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Same area so therefore same bee variety?


#1

Hi,

I’m a newbie (in Sweden) and confused about what bees to populate my hive with.

I’ve found a neighbouring beekeeper with topbar hives some 500m from where my hive is to be situated. My main concern is not to do anything that may adversely effect affect beekeepers in my area. My ‘neighbour’ has Buckfast bees.

So my question is should I get the same variety of bee as my neighbour?

I also spoke to another beekeeper who lives 30km from here who has a completely different type of bee and was surprised about the Buckfasts. They all have the same type (not Buckfast) in their beekeeping area and fraternity and don’t want another variety in their vicinity. It is also possibility I could get a package of bees from this beekeeper.

Is there anything that should be considered if I do have a different variety?

Thanks


#2

I really hope your neighbors don’t honestly think that there are a multitude of different varieties and “mutts” living around them in the wild… Unless he brings in pure-bred buckfast every year or every other year likely he is not housing true buckfasts either.

bees will only fly about 5 km in search of nectar and pollen so your neighbors are 30km away will have no impact on your hives and visa versa. biological diversity is a good thing, and if you can I would even suggest trying to keep local bees instead of buying them. They are usually much more suited to survive your climate and winters.

Don’t make enemies but ultimately do what is best for you and your philosophy of beekeeping.


#3

Even that is an oxymoron… Buckfasts were a hybrid from the start, from what I understand. Of course, by the time you get to 50 generations of inbreeding, you maybe almost pure-bred. :wink:


#4

Whilst it’s true that foraging bees typically travel up to 5km, they are not the issue, are they?

It’s the drones that mate with queens in the vicinity that will introduce possibly unwanted new genes.

Drones will travel much further, tens of kilometers. They also hop from hive to hive. Marked drones have been found 100km from their original hives.

Of course, bees need genetic diversity, which is why they have evolved so that the queen mates with up to 20 different drones. Inbreeding can be a big problem for isolated colonies.


#5

I can only speak of what I learnt here in beekeeping class. In Germany, we have mainly the Carnica bee and some Buckfast. Since the Buckfast is a crossbreed and both Carnica and Buckfast have the same breeding goals (docile, not swarmy, stay on their comb during inspection and of course a good honey yield) they can’t differ that much anyway. Main difference is the looks. So the “war” between Carnica and Buckfast keepers is really just kindergarden fight. I’d take a hive from the nearest neighbour, that’s the easiest thing to do, if he is willing to share.


#6

Thanks for all the input. I’ve learnt a lot just reading this forum over the last few months.

I think I’ll go with the Buckfast like my nearest neighbour. He was very interested in the flow setup which is reassuring.

We did discuss swarms and splitting once but he has large top bar hives and can just accommodate splitting easily. So I don’t think bees from my neighbour is an option.
So I’ll have to buy in NUC. But I’ve only found a supplier of a package of bees without frames. Also Langstroth frames don’t seem that common in Sweden.
So I’ll have to run with frames using wax foundation I guess and feed them well in the beginning.

The package supplier is from the bottom of Sweden some 3 hours south of me. I’ll keep looking in the meantime for a more local supplier while I finish my hive stand. But I can’t leave it too late, I don’t want to miss out on getting bees or leaving it too late for them to prepare for overwintering.


#7

Why don’t you just ask your neighbour for a swarm? Or you can ask him for a selfmade nuc, just cut some brood comb with fresh eggs out, bind it into a LS frame and put some nurse bees in. That should do it, they can raise a new queen (or you can buy one).


#8

If you offer to pay, he might be VERY interested! :smile: Here in southern California, a 3 frame nuc is about $145 and a 5-Frame is $175. As @AngoraAngy says, all you need to do is cut out some of his top bar brood and food frames, and attach them to empty Langstroth frames with elastic bands. Just keep them the right way up, so that any open cells don’t drain downhill and lose their contents. Something like this should work very well, if he would give you 4 or 5 frames of brood and food stores.

I don’t know prices in your area, but you could start with 100 Euros, and see if that made him interested. :slight_smile: Or ask him where he gets his bees from.