Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE03-490.
It appears beneficial to track the performance of different bee strains because variation does exist between different queen strains which are commercially produced for resale. I must add however, that although I was looking for a stain or stains that appeared to be superior and certainly the New World Carniolans look pretty good, that it would be a little short sighted at this point to eliminate the other strains from further consideration, based soley on this one project. By selecting bees which “consistently” perform better in a specific region and under a particular individual’s management pratices, beekeeping operations over the short and long term should improve and become more profitable and efficient. Beyond that, the bees that perform best (in this case New World Carniolans), should be used to do some queen breeding locally, using both purchased queens and the survivor stock on hand. Hopefully by sharing or trading queens with other local beekeepers to maintain a large gene pool a local or regional queen breeding network can begin to take shape in the Northeast. This is the direction I intend to take and I’m certain some measure of economic gain will result in my beekeeping operation and for others who pay simular attention to the details. Selecting desirable bee strains will not only aid a beekeeper in their ability to maintain their desired number of hives, it could also provide some supplemental income by raising queens and nucs to sell on the side. In plain language it’s pretty simple, dead bees don’t produce honey, provide pollination services and are becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to replace.