How's it going?
I know it's been a while, and I know you know how I am, so we won't even go there.
I so can not believe it is almost March! Super crazy! I am not ready yet, but I don't think that matters anymore. I'm going to pick up where we left off, throw some random things in the mix, and move on! For those of you that do not know me, nor do you have a clue what I'm talking about, please take some time to browse through this blog.
My name is Candi. I live in Texas. I am a beekeeper. I teach beginner beekeeping. I run a small family farm. Mostly honeybees, but I have managed to throw some chickens and a couple of goats into the mix. You know, just keepin' it rural. Not to mention, the dogs, the kittens, the horses, and one crazy steer. Go ahead and browse around a bit. We'll wait for you to catch up.
We will wait...
Let's jump right in.
As you gathered from the previous post, I've had some negative experiences with a couple of queen breeders in Texas. I am certain there are some really awesome ones, but I've never had the luxury of doing business with them. Not only did I struggle with the lack of customer service, but I also started noticing some really unacceptable behavior in my hives. A larger then acceptable number of them were starting to have aggressive tendencies. I don't like mean bees. It really takes all the fun out of beekeeping. Something about them coming at your head at full speed tends to make it seem a little more like work. Get what I'm saying?
I mean, let's face the facts. I live in Texas. We have bees with Africanized genetics down here. Part of being a good beekeeper is managing your hives to limit the possibilities of picking up those genetics. The problem comes when you are replenishing your bees with genetics from the same breeders. Especially if they are reproducing those undesirable qualities. Over a period of a few years, I went from having the occasional aggressive hive, to aggressive hives becoming the norm. I mean, full-on-want-to-kill-you-bees.
There are a lot of factors in this scenario, and as I started to slowly figure things out, and realize my mistakes, it became clear to me what had to bee done! I have always been a big chicken when it comes to killing a queen to replace her.
That changed in 2015.
I frequently refer to it as terminating a queen now, but it is murder. I will also acknowledge that I do not even hesitate at this point in my career. If a hive becomes aggressive, that is it. That queen will be terminated and replaced with a queen from gentler stock. The days of giving them every opportunity are over. I have also started purchasing all of my queens from various breeders in California. I'm hoping they will all have that west coast, laid back, beach mentality. You know what I mean?
I'm very excited to see how well we did in this department. The proof will come this spring with the spring build up. I really doubt I will be breeding my own queens this year. I can't imagine in what world that would take place, but I'm okay with that. We are entering this year with the goal to replenish our stock with characteristics we find desirable.
We will build on temperament as a foundation, and then add the other qualities we find desirable. Then, and only then, will we consider breeding our own stock.
For those of you who are new here, thank you for stopping by. I hope you'll come back. Even though I've just revealed to you I am a murderer of epic proportions...It's okay. I won't hurt you. You can trust me.