Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Ever Present .......Feedback

Dear Sir,
I would like to thank you for the artistic articles, the CDROM and calendar. The article on oxalic acid was most interesting about the application timing because all the articles I have read have said one needs to apply OA in December but if I disturb bees in the Highlands then I think it would be hard pressed to say if they would survive the winter, so its great to see that one can apply it in October,so far Apistan works well and I have not seen varroa for a year. I put in for most of the year grease patties at 4:1 ratio (sugar:veg shortening), or are all the wild bees killed of so no re invasion taking place--must be the second reason??
The Buckfast/Ceropia you gave on July 2007 has been a success and produced very quiet and gentle bees(one of the best),certainly not idle and keep working compared to blacks who are more cautious. The only thing that tests the Greek bred bees is to get through our winters. In mid winter it sometimes gets light about 9.30am and can get dark by 3.30pm, as a result the mortality within the hive is much higher than blacks and higher stores needed.
The other Greek bred queen you gave in June2006 went to the Northwest Highlands to a isolated glen into the only hive there and the nearest hive must be over 20 miles away across mountains. They were slightly aggressive at first and swarmed a lot(Carnica influence?) but now its very good tempered and I have never seen such a strong hive. Your pink copy of Br. Adam description in the book 'Best Strains* which I've got they are exactly like that, and have produced 'heather honey galore'.Also the wonderful buzz is much higher pitched(octave) than blacks when working hard and just a slight knock on the hive they go to normal level. No wonder the article from Cyprus in the Beekeepers Quarterly No.91 2008 Feb p.42 wants to keep the native Greek bee from too much hybridization rather like BIBBA and native blacks.0h well have to watch out for too much interbreeding.
Good luck with next year they say years ending in 9 are good ones with higher honey yields?
P.S. Title is 'In Search of the Best Strains'.

Scotland Oct 2008


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