What are the most preferred bees species for Australia. I have been looking at a Nuc that consists of European/Italian bees. Are these OK?
Not totally sure but guess those European Girls will due. That’s what I have up here stateside… They are hungry little eaters n tend to not keep a small cluster long up here so quickly devour their honey supply. They are pretty productive n easy to get. Guessing most of the swarm (if any) tend to be Mut of this blend.
I’m sure other locals like Jeff n others will pop in here with better local advice. But Italians work for me.
Perfect, but the best bees are what your local beekeepers are using successfully. Even mutts are OK.
Live bees are the best ones! lol
Italian’s are the most common in Oz.
In Australia I very much doubt that there are any pure strains left except for isolated places like Kangaroo Island.
Bits of each in varying degrees.
Thanks for all the replies. Looks like it is in the hands of who is first to have an available “Nuc”. My second Hive was shipped today from the flow factory, so have a lot of work to do.
If you go for Italian strain you will be on a good thing. I doubt very much you can get a pure Italian but one with the genetics will do you fine. The only kicker is that they need lots of stores for a winter but hey, winter only lasts a month anyhow.
Alive and local are my favorites
I am seeing the Italian genetics in the bees JeffH supplied to me, they are hard workers but like to consume honey too. Very calm and quiet so they would have my vote and I suspect the majority of bees in Aussie are of Italian genes. I would go for them for any urban hive.
I did my weekly inspection today and there is frames of sealed brood, unsealed brood Nectar and sealed honey and pollen, considering this is towards the end of April and this past week has been averaging 27c in the shade I am thinking winter will be mild and maybe last a week when it finally comes…
I’m enjoying my different ‘races’ very much. Sometimes I wish I knew more about their genetics, but that information is somewhere in the mists of time.
True, those Italians eat well, not just in winter, but the queen doesn’t even stop laying in a dearth. Carniolans do.
I got a couple of queens my lady friend mentor called a ‘tiger’. Carniolan/Caucasian mix. They have stripes. They gum everything up real quick and are good for propolis collection. And they have longer tongues.
My one Cordovan’s girls are beautiful redheads, very docile, but not great storing food. They are drifters, find them in neighbouring hives. But since I only got that one Cordovan, I don’t know if they all have that tendency.
I really like my Carnies.
Basically you can tell what breed your queen is by her appearance, and the drones are true to her breed too, because their appearance is not influenced by a father.
Most of my queens are from my other mentor who breeds queens in 20 lines, so most of the time I get limited information about their genetics.
Interesting field those bee genetics.
Well after much research and advice, all my queens are now Carniolan, bought from a well known Beekeeper/expert queen breeder, just down the Mountain from where we live.
Congrats! I reckon you will go well.
How many queens did you get? Know the lines?
I have 5 Queens/brood boxes. All awaiting Spring/Summer, which is when I will add the supers’.
Those Carnies will be the first breeding up and collecting in spring, when the Italians are still having a winter break.
Just make sure you give them a feed now to build up some foundation.
Always good to spoil a new nuc.
You may see written on the queen cages what line they are. L20, L18 etc.
Thanks for the advice. I have made a feeding trays by placing a plastic containers (safe variety) with 1:1 sugar water. Using mesh screen, cut to fit the dimension of the container and stapled untreated pine pieces to this so it floats. Placed this under the hive roof and worked great!
Question: I get different responses to how often you should open up your hives to check on the bees. Especially as our Winter approaches?( Mount Tamborine can get quite a lot more cold than SE Qld generally
It is said to use 1:2 sugar for winter so the bees store it. There is conflicting opinions out there, but my lady mentor said for nucs now 1:2, more syrupy.
I overwintered 3 nucs last year and was horrified to find one starving once. No stores, nothing. A couple of sandwich baggies got them through. The others were fine.
I didn’t know then they may need food, despite foraging activity.
Perhaps learn their weight by lifting the back of the hive.
A brief inspection on a sunny winter day will show you if they have Honey left. They store up the top of the frames and more on the outside frames. No need to lift brood frames.
Feed them up now, but surely they forage still too?
Your colonies will be the very first in the starting blocks in spring.
I think we are a bit warmer here in winter, our mountain facing the ocean. Our bees tend to forage all year round.
I agree with the 2:1 as well. every few weeks.
Many areas around Mount Tamborine where there seems to be ample natural food though. Have also used untreated pine piece, same cut as the top of the frame. Then filled sandwich bag with sugar/water syrup with tiny needle holes. This only on the Brood Boxes with flat roofs. The other ones with Gable roofs I use the floating mesh feeder I made.