Caucasian honeybees

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Frank Benton
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IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to unusually cool weather we have had difficulty mating queens. For that reason, we will not begin shipping until the week of May 13th, depending on the weather. We are currently booking orders to ship or pickup the fourth week of May, depending on the weather.

We plan on adding the Russian honeybee line bred isolated from our other honeybees as an pure line. Russian queens will be added first and then packages next year. Watch here for more information.

Data from our field studies on honey production are in. We tested different crosses for honey production to determine which is best. The number one honey producer was Caucasian queens mated to Italian drones. Second best with slightly less honey production was Carniolan queens mated to Italian drones. The Caucasian stock is from the Georgian stock imported by Sue Coby. The Italian stock is Winters Strain Italian bees developed by my father and myself many years ago for honey production and winter hardiness. As a result, this cross will be as winter hardy as the pure Caucasian stock. Based on these studies and the fact it is almost impossible to maintain pure Caucasian bloodlines, we are moving into a different direction. We will be mating our Caucasian stock to Italian drones (other colonies in the area) as well as Caucasian drones from our colonies. The color of the bees from these queens will not change much from what you have been receiving from us in the past. Most people were expecting all black bees and no yellow ones which is almost impossible to obtain in the real world. The Midnite hybrid came in last and will be discontinued. Sometime after June 1st, we will also have Winters Stain Italian queens available.

Be sure to check out our Frank Benton International Beekeeping Association page. It has very important information about the Caucasian honey bee and the origins of the Caucasian honey bee in the Republic of Georgia.

Starting in 2015, we began producing the Cobey stock for shipment to beekeepers in the U.S. We will be maintaining at least two different bloodlines of the Georgian stock to create genetic diversity within this race of bees. These will be open mated queens mated to drones from drone producing colonies. These colonies will have frames of drone comb to produce large populations of drones to mate to the virgin queens. To make it possible to distribute this stock to as many beekeepers as possible, we will be shipping a very limited number of packages with more emphasis on producing queens. Due to the quality of the Georgian stock, we began exclusively breeding that stock starting in 2016.

Our shipping season will continue from the second week of May until mid-September, depending on the weather. Have a honey of a bee year!

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