Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Carolinian Bees

The bee boxes will be one of the first things we move. Right now I take one tablespoon of honey each evening as recommended by naturalist. It is on the helpful remedy listed that I researched. One of the other things is apples. At this moment as I write I'm eating a bowl of fresh applesauce for breakfast. Research has found that if a pregnant woman eats at least four apples a week, her child's chances of getting asthma drops by 50%. That is huge and so... worth it.
My lungs were damaged when I was three years old and my asthma did not appear until I was an adult. It is allergy induced and almost always it is air pollution that does it. The air in this county is getting rather polluted though not that you could see. Each winter I seem to get worse and better come spring and summer when the air is less dense. This winter by far being the worst yet. Within hours of being in a city where the air is polluted, and despite medication, I will have pneumonia. The doctors believe our moving eliminate my winter problem.
In the early days of our history people often traveled to the west for their lungs. West I will travel also just not so far west since I'm already there. And sorry Oregon and Washington I know you are further west yet but my asthma doesn't like your heavily populated state, been to see you 6 -8 times. Keep in mind when I say that you are heavily populated, that we live in the least populated state.
We are going to be so far in the sticks  soon that I had to set up satellite Internet because there was no other service available. Yes, we will have electricity since we won't be that far in the sticks.

The bees will arrive in April to supply my honey needs and they will not be the usual Italians we've raised in the past nor even the Buckfast bees we've had. These are going to be Carolinians. The bee in the onion plant picture is an Italian. Note the lovely yellow body and gray stripes. The Carolinians are gray with black stripes, fuzzy, and slimmer. Maybe more colored like this gray bubble bee, just skinny. I don't know. I've never seen a Carolinian bee. 

The bee supplier said 3/4 of his hives he places in Wyoming are now this kind of bee because they are more suited to the north. They are winter hardy. The queen can increase her egg production dramatically in the spring and drop off dramatically also when the food supply dwindles. This makes them more suited to areas like ours with short growing seasons. This also means that they will not eat up as much of their honey supply because the numbers in the hive are greater than the supplies being brought in. A big bonus come winter.  

They don't do well in the heat and we don't have much of that. But this does mean they will need shade from the summer sun to do well. They don't produce a lot of honey comb. That would mean smaller honey cells. It might also mean a smaller cells for the eggs. That equates to a smaller bee being hatched unless they make those particular cells larger. You usually want a larger bee because they can carry larger amounts of pollen and nectar. I never saw where they said this bee is smaller. We shall have to see.

 The honey production is said to be lower. But if you factor in that they don't eat as much honey because the queen can control the population better it might not mean that there is a significant amount less of honey for us.    
The Carolinian bees are native to Slovenia, Romania, Yugoslovia, Hungary, southern Australia and now the Rexroat's home.
This bee is second in popularity in the U.S. to the Italian bees. The Carolinians do not have trouble with the Varroa mites A biggy in bee keeping since these mites live on bees and weaken them until they die, the bees I mean not the mites. The bees are gentle and that means the grandkids and I can continue sitting in front of the hives to watch.
Best of all the bees are home bodies just like me. I think we will get along just fine.
If you are interested in bee keeping and decide to order bees. Be sure and research the different kinds of bees to find out the ones just right for your area. The best person to ask is bee keepers in the area. It can mean the difference between success and failure your first year.  

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