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Author Topic: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?  (Read 4992 times)

Offline 2Sox

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Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« on: July 16, 2019, 08:44:20 pm »
Don't.  Pissy, nasty bees.  I'll never get these again. They are on me before I even approach the hive. I'm literally giving away three hives to a beekeeper friend who keeps some of his hives in an isolated spot in a cemetery. That's how much I dislike these bees.  My cousin upstairs got stung just sitting on her terrace on the second floor on the other side of the yard!  Houses in my area are very close together and I can't take the chance on anyone else getting hurt. I'm done.
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2019, 09:26:46 pm »
Don't.  Pissy, nasty bees.  I'll never get these again. They are on me before I even approach the hive. I'm literally giving away three hives to a beekeeper friend who keeps some of his hives in an isolated spot in a cemetery. That's how much I dislike these bees.  My cousin upstairs got stung just sitting on her terrace on the second floor on the other side of the yard!  Houses in my area are very close together and I can't take the chance on anyone else getting hurt. I'm done.

2Sox It is to late now as you have gave them to a friend. You might have already thought of it, but didn't give a hoot after all the meanness form your bees, but you could have re-queened the hives and after the older bees died out in a few weeks, your hives should have mellowed out. I hope you have better experiences with you next bees. I do hope you will still be keeping bees?
Phillip
If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.
But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

Offline 2Sox

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2019, 10:08:51 pm »
Don't.  Pissy, nasty bees.  I'll never get these again. They are on me before I even approach the hive. I'm literally giving away three hives to a beekeeper friend who keeps some of his hives in an isolated spot in a cemetery. That's how much I dislike these bees.  My cousin upstairs got stung just sitting on her terrace on the second floor on the other side of the yard!  Houses in my area are very close together and I can't take the chance on anyone else getting hurt. I'm done.

2Sox It is to late now as you have gave them to a friend. You might have already thought of it, but didn't give a hoot after all the meanness form your bees, but you could have re-queened the hives and after the older bees died out in a few weeks, your hives should have mellowed out. I hope you have better experiences with you next bees. I do hope you will still be keeping bees?
Phillip

I can see how you might have inferred that I was giving up bees. No way. But I'm done with THESE bees. Requeening is exactly what I had been planning. In fact I had already ordered Italian queens from Olivarez but I'm cancelling my order in the morning and I will clarify.  In another thread I asked about the best way to move hives because I have workers coming to install ductless AC and they will be working in the backyard with the bees. I had to move the bees on the other side of the yard - 15-20 feet. 

Now, if these bees are in MY face as soon as I merely walk into the yard, you can imagine what will happen to these workers with NO protection and NO comfort around bees to begin with. A disaster waiting to happen.
These guys are coming next week and I don't have the luxury of time.

The most important factor are the wishes and safety of my wife. She keeps a beautiful garden and gets great pleasure from it.  Now she can't even set foot in the yard and if I requeened and kept these bees, it would be weeks until she'd be able to come into the yard again.  Just as important, I promised her I'd only keep 4 hives in the yard (I could get away with 6). But now I have nine after a cutout next week. The fates are against me. That's why I'm giving my bees to my pal Nick.  No worries. What comes around goes around.
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline Bushpilot

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2019, 11:49:38 pm »
I hadn't noted that trait from my Saskatraz. I did note that they really like to build burr comb and queen cups. My sample is small (3), but they all do it, and the Carnis and Mutts in the same yard don't. No big deal, but different.

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2019, 12:01:01 am »
Well 2sox ... I appreciate your input on this. I've been looking at "other strains" of bees, and I always come back to "finding the fix in what I've got". ... guess I'll stick with it.  :grin:
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2019, 01:45:23 am »
FYI. The description(s) given above is definitely NOT my experience with SaskaTraz. In experience sample size of hundreds; I find them to be calm, productive, frugal, slow to start in spring but once they do they are prolific and go hard at it. Please disregard the negative comments made above and in the thread title wrt Saskatraz, they are categorically FALSE. 

There may be problem bees in the area, not denying that. And whatever they are they had to go, for sure, given the situation.  However attributing to the Saskatraz line is folly. Something else is in those problem hive(s). Perhaps they have unknowingly to you requeened themself and mated with feral africanized drones in your area. Only the original queen is SkTz. Soon as there is a daughter open mated in an unkown area the lineage ends and it is no longer an SkTz. The hybrids, the mutts, can be unpredictable.  Or the situation may simply be perhaps wherever the SkTz supposedly came from are the same guy(s) who made the emperors clothes.

This is a good representation of what I see and what you can expect with true SkTz:


« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 01:45:58 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2019, 04:11:38 am »
Thanks for the clarification 2Sox. Yes you are in a tight spot. Those girls are mad! Glad to hear you are sticking with bees.
Phillip
If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.
But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

Offline 2Sox

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2019, 12:11:26 pm »
I hadn't noted that trait from my Saskatraz. I did note that they really like to build burr comb and queen cups. My sample is small (3), but they all do it, and the Carnis and Mutts in the same yard don't. No big deal, but different.

This is very interesting.  I installed just two Saskatraz queens. And from my observations thus far (remember in a yard with several hives it's difficult to be conclusive about this) these demons seem only to come from one of those queens.  I'm going out this morning to test my hypothesis but whatever I find, I can't risk even MARGINALLY aggressive bees in my neighborhood, with kids playing in the yard on one side of my fence, and people barbecuing on the other.  These hives are history.
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline Fishing-Nut

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2019, 12:23:05 pm »
I haven't had that experience either. I've worked a few large saskatraz hives and didn't have any problems. I did find them to be a little more "testy" than some of the other bees but nothing unmanageable. They weren't bouncing off of my veil or anything.  Just a little louder and a lot more jittery and reactive to fast movements or frame bumping while going through them. The only time I've had bees get real nasty with me was actually with my calmest hive. They went queenless (dont know what happened) and whew wee they got VERY NASTY! to the point that I didnt go into that hive for a good while.
Take a kid fishing !

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2019, 01:39:20 pm »
I hadn't noted that trait from my Saskatraz. I did note that they really like to build burr comb and queen cups. My sample is small (3), but they all do it, and the Carnis and Mutts in the same yard don't. No big deal, but different.

This is very interesting.  I installed just two Saskatraz queens. And from my observations thus far (remember in a yard with several hives it's difficult to be conclusive about this) these demons seem only to come from one of those queens.  I'm going out this morning to test my hypothesis but whatever I find, I can't risk even MARGINALLY aggressive bees in my neighborhood, with kids playing in the yard on one side of my fence, and people barbecuing on the other.  These hives are history.

You did what you had to do, I don?t blame you for ditching them under the circumstances. They were not to be enjoyed or worked around and time was running out. No matter their breeding, even if they were half butterfly, they had to go... 😀
If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.
But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

Offline Hethen57

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2019, 01:54:32 pm »
2Sox, I think your experience is in the minority with those types of bees, but I have heard a few others with similar complaints; however, I totally get it.. in an urban setting or with houses nearby, you can't tolerate nasty bees or you will damage neighbor relations and make going into your own backyard miserable.  Generally speaking, on the Varroa resistance spectrum, gentleness is often sacrificed in favor of greater hygienic behavior.  Saskatraz bees are supposed to be more hygienic which moves them further towards Russians on the gentleness spectrum.  Carnis would probably be a decent compromise for your region of the country with the need to overwinter bees in smaller clusters. I raised them near the Canadian border and they overwintered well and were relatively gentle except at honey harvest time.  Now I live further South and have Italians and all of my hives are like the Labrador Retrievers of the bee world... they don't even pay me any attention while doing a full inspection, and I'm not talking about 5 frame nucs (which are generally not big enough to be testy anyway), these are big hives.  Sorry those ones didn't work out, but it can be a "crap shoot" where you have queen genetics mixed with often more than 20 drones of varying lineage...all it takes is that one genetically nasty drone to mix in some bad behavior into the colony.
-Mike

Offline 2Sox

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2019, 02:19:56 pm »
FYI. The description(s) given above is definitely NOT my experience with SaskaTraz. In experience sample size of hundreds; I find them to be calm, productive, frugal, slow to start in spring but once they do they are prolific and go hard at it. Please disregard the negative comments made above and in the thread title wrt Saskatraz, they are categorically FALSE. 

There may be problem bees in the area, not denying that. And whatever they are they had to go, for sure, given the situation.  However attributing to the Saskatraz line is folly. Something else is in those problem hive(s). Perhaps they have unknowingly to you requeened themself and mated with feral africanized drones in your area. Only the original queen is SkTz. Soon as there is a daughter open mated in an unkown area the lineage ends and it is no longer an SkTz. The hybrids, the mutts, can be unpredictable.  Or the situation may simply be perhaps wherever the SkTz supposedly came from are the same guy(s) who made the emperors clothes.

This is a good representation of what I see and what you can expect with true SkTz:



HP,
I'm am very pleased that you are pleased with your Saskatraz bees. Thank you for the video and I wish you continued success. However, I take umbrage with your comment to disregard my comments; comments only based upon my experience.  What was you purpose in saying this?  Was it to encourage me and others to express ourselves here? Or to intimidate and insinuate with a not so veiled insult? Did you want to be mean? You know, it IS possible to be critical AND kind at the same time.

However, I am critical of myself. I could have simply said, "In my opinion" and told my story. It was good that you began with your own experience, which had me see where I could have been more thoughtful about what I wrote. 

Some of your above post is useful and I've learned from it. But I think, you could think more about your purpose before you post. People sometimes mistakenly feel that the way they will shine is to put someone else in the shadows - a mistake I too have made. Humility is something I'm learning about too.
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline 2Sox

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2019, 02:28:57 pm »
2Sox, I think your experience is in the minority with those types of bees, but I have heard a few others with similar complaints; however, I totally get it.. in an urban setting or with houses nearby, you can't tolerate nasty bees or you will damage neighbor relations and make going into your own backyard miserable.  Generally speaking, on the Varroa resistance spectrum, gentleness is often sacrificed in favor of greater hygienic behavior.  Saskatraz bees are supposed to be more hygienic which moves them further towards Russians on the gentleness spectrum.  Carnis would probably be a decent compromise for your region of the country with the need to overwinter bees in smaller clusters. I raised them near the Canadian border and they overwintered well and were relatively gentle except at honey harvest time.  Now I live further South and have Italians and all of my hives are like the Labrador Retrievers of the bee world... they don't even pay me any attention while doing a full inspection, and I'm not talking about 5 frame nucs (which are generally not big enough to be testy anyway), these are big hives.  Sorry those ones didn't work out, but it can be a "crap shoot" where you have queen genetics mixed with often more than 20 drones of varying lineage...all it takes is that one genetically nasty drone to mix in some bad behavior into the colony.

Thanks for this.  It's nice to know that there are people who can understand and sympathize with my situation.  And thanks to you too, Ben Framed for your understanding.  One of the things I like most about Beemaster is that most people here genuinely want to help and have a good effect on others. We never should underestimate how important this is, and how much this contributes to the encouragement of those who come here to express themselves.

"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2019, 05:43:09 pm »
HoneyPump. I read one of your posts earlier in the season, where you said (if I recall right), that the main reason you were on this forum was to share all the beekeeping experience you have. I am very glad you give it, and I read it with expectation. However, I will agree with 2Sox some.
Being a great beekeeping teacher requires more than superior knowledge and experience, which we know you have. (I know little about bees, but I know a lot about teaching.) It takes patience and compassion at the follies of students. Of course we newbees are more ignorant, less experienced, and quick to give up, but sometimes your posts come across with impatience and a hard attitude. I think that's why 2Sox asked you about your purpose. Do you really want to help us? I wonder if you have forgotten the first years of beekeeping. So, keep working with us. Your replies often cause me to think in whole new directions, which I really like (and need) a lot. We newbees need people like you.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2019, 06:11:53 pm »
This is another good thing about beemaster, we have experienced beekeepers here as well as inexperienced beekeepers of all stages from all around the world. Sometimes each of us can misunderstand one another, as well as being misunderstood by one another. But the good news is, we always seem to come to together for the good of one another and the good of the bees. Mr Claude told me a good while ago he was here for the good of the bees as well as the beekeeper.  I am secure in my mind that Mr Claude has nothing but good intentions for the beekeeper as well as the bees. Different teachers have different methods, of teaching and I think we all have, here, the same purposes and goals in mind. To help each other, learn all we can, and make friends along the way. Sometime we each can error from time to time. Especially Ben Framed. I also feel as we get to know one another better we will become more tolerant of one another?s different methods. As long as we keep on as we are going,,  communicating, we should all be fine; helping to make beemaster even better than ever.
Phillip
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 06:29:41 pm by Ben Framed »
If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.
But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2019, 06:31:51 pm »
HoneyPump ... We newbees need people like you.

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You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline beesnweeds

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2019, 06:56:42 pm »
What are Saskatraz bees ?  Are they crossbred New Zealand / Australian bees?  What's the original source of bees for these queens?
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Offline beesnweeds

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2019, 07:28:52 pm »
Maybe the OP did get some hot Saskatraz bees.

This off the Saskatraz site.

Introduction An important part of any breeding program is the commercialization and distribution of the breeding stock to the end users. A long term objective of the Saskatraz project (www.saskatraz.com) is to produce Saskatraz production queens in adequate numbers, at reasonable prices, for commercial beekeepers, in the spring of the year. Since the Saskatchewan climate is not suitable for production of large numbers of queens in a timely fashion attempts were made to have queens from Saskatraz breeders produced in Chile, Australia and Northern California. We succeeded in establishing commercial queen production capabilities in Orland, California in 2012-2013 with David Powell and Ray Olivarez, two large-scale queen producers who both ship to Canada. 

If some of these queens are coming from Chile and California I can see how he could have gotten some unsavory queens.
Everyone loves a worker.... until its laying.

Offline 2Sox

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2019, 08:10:49 pm »
Maybe the OP did get some hot Saskatraz bees.

If some of these queens are coming from Chile and California I can see how he could have gotten some unsavory queens.

True that.  I posted earlier that this morning, I was going to check that third Saskatraz colony on the oppsosite side of the yard away from the demon splits.  Well, they were as gentle as sweet Italians.  That demon split is apparently *hot*. Glad to be rid of them.
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Are you thinking of getting Saskatraz queens?
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2019, 08:19:23 pm »
I do not ever post without specific purpose. In this case I wasn't going to contribute to the discussion at all other than seeing a need to change the direction of first impression that a first reader would get from:
 -Don't.  Pissy, nasty bees.- 
The statement is not supported by the vast majority of experience with the actual SkTz bee.

The OP's experience and concerns were certainly not discounted or discharged either. I specifically acknowledged that uncontrolled outcrossed hybrids can be unpredictable. The -demon split- may be part of the answer.

It is only the rebutting of the all-in-one-bucket stereotyping of the SkTz in the opening statement of the thread which was my focus. My post was well intentioned for the broader audience, respectful, concise, and I make no apologies for it. If it is taken some other way, the suggestion is try re-reading it from the positive perspective intentioned. I never mean offence, nor take any offence. I am a pretty clear straight forward objective type of guy. Feelings do not convey through text on such a forum.

For Information about the SaskaTraz bee goto:   http://www.saskatraz.com/index.htm

...THP
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