Before we get into detail with the topic mentioned above, the basic situation of queens reared in Germany should be identified:

The largest group of German beekeepers is not engaged in breeding They take part at the economic progress through mating their queens with the free drones from the environment, but this varies from region to region. A much smaller part of beekeepers deals with the production (let it be understood: not with the breeding) of queens by taking pure breeding queens from breeders or institutions to raise economic queens.

The smallest group of beekeepers form the actual breeders. In our point of view, this group of people has scientific work including the performance assessment, selection and cross breeding to do. The creation (it s nothing else) of a profitable line often requires years, and nobody can give the breeder a guarantee that his efforts and investments of capital and work will be crowned by success.

The experiment - beginning in the 50s to influence the German race through the dissemination of Carnica positively, failed according to our opinion.

The main reason for this seems to be the consistent decrease in the number of beekeepers, accompanied by the shrinking number of bee colonies and beekeepers. Most of the beekeepers belong to the first group described above against them, however, is a group of professionally oriented Buckfast beekeepers who correspondingly have a large number of bee colonies and often hold their colonies regional far apart. We think it s daring to believe that an uncontrolled and free mating of queens could bring the desired result.

The indigenous German bee is no longer dominated by the Carnica bee. The visual features of those bees leave no doubt that the Buckfast bee has influenced the appearance of the German bee. An uncontrolled hybridization of Carnica and Buckfast is unproblematic in F1-generations and indeed even positive. Thereafter, however, (F2-generations and others) the bees show many undesirable features in such colonies. The loss of quality of our German bee is favoured by incorrectly situated Schutzradien bei den Belegstellen.

One is content with the domination of breeding drones to different drones and exploits this qualitatively doubtful genetic material for the breed. Let s consider the genetic peculiarity of multiple mating and keep the distinctive sex determination mechanism in mind: the work of our Belegstellen must be critically evaluated.

Queen reproductions through Standbegattung is unfortunately more difficult to realize because we are neither able to categorise the drone density nor the drone quality of the environment in a realistic way. At this point I would ask beekeeper colleagues to show solidarity. If one has problems with bee colonies, one shouldn t blame the neighbour who is working with another breed and maybe disrupts our work.

Often beekeepers (mostly "old hands") complain that their bees have yellow stripes and since this has been found out, it is simply no longer with beekeeping..." We are the only ones who are responsible for faults in our beekeeping. We early recognized the dilemma and operated with the displacement breeding by Dr. Liebig.

So we decided to arrange about 70 bee colonies in the Märkische Kreis area and reinforced them with further drones to reach the aim of having more breeding drones than other drones ( in our case: Carnica drones). Regularly we bought material from well-known breeders to prohibit an increase of inbreeding. Unfortunately the results were not as good as expected: only 50% economic queens. Our expectations weren t fulfilled.

We tried to cover the requirements of queens by buying bees but this attempt failed as well.

This was followed by further attempts ...

After several setbacks in the breeding work, we have found a place in the Hochsauerland for several years now. There is no other beekeeper beside us. The place is not perfect for beekeeping because of low temperatures and unattractive altitude but we consciously renounce of a part of our honey harvest.

We can live with this loss because we are now able to cover our need for good economic queens by ourselves.

The results are impressive - the so-produced economic queens deserve that name.

Harvest assiduity, swarm inactivity, gentleness and vitality of these colonies do not only convince us - our bees are flying in France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania.

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