As I mentioned on the opening page, our main goal is to genetically improve our honeybees. We either breed our own queens from our over-wintered survivor colonies or buy northern raised queens from the best breeders in New England.
The best way to describe what breed our bees are is Northern Raised Hybrids, a mix of genetics from bees raised by breeders in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Massachusettes. Most of the original stock is Carnolians but you can bet there is genetic material from Italians, Minnesota Hygenic and Russian bees in there as well. A brief highlight of the various traits we want from these breeds follows.
An excellent forager, this gentle, grey colored bee overwinters well and builds up quickly in the spring. I believe resistant to tracheal mites and many brood diseases. This bee originates in Eastern Europe.
Russian bees were imported by the USDA-ARS from the far eastern region of Russia called Primosky. This bee is said to be twice as resistant to V.destructor as any other bee, has a rapid build up in the spring and winters very well. A good to excellent honey producer, the bees are proving to be very popular.
Starting with queens raised by Michael Palmer in northern Vermont, one of New England’s most respected beekeepers, these bees benefit from Michael’s experience in breeding locally adapted queens from high producing over wintered stock. This makes for a heartier northern raised queen and makes the bees better prepared to survive New Hampshire winters.
This is a strain of bees that was developed at the Univ of Minnesota Bee Lab by Marla Spivak, PhD and Gary Reuter. These bees actually search out sick larvae and remove them from the hive. This helps break the mites' reproductive cycle and reduces the mite load, thereby limiting the spread of diseases in the hive.
Honey supplies 2 stages of energy. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost. The fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy. Read more honey facts.