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Breeding Better Bees

Using Simple Modern Methods By John E. Dews and Eric Milner

Since 1859 many thousands of queen honeybees of foreign race have been imported
into this country with the apparent intention of producing better bees than those already here, but it can be shown that this has had the opposite result. It is out considered opinion that the major problem of beekeepers at the present time is the excessive number of mongrel bees in the country. Many of these mongrels are bad tempered, swarmy, relatively unproductive, unthrifty, and unsuited to cope with the vagaries of the climate. This poses social problems for the beekeeper and his neighbours and economic and management problems for the beekeepers. Unfortunately neither of these problems is as yet recognised by many in the beekeeping community. The prime cause of the problem is the continued importation of foreign bees.

In this country the native honeybee, Apis mellifera mellifera, ie, the Dark European honeybee, is the bee most suited to the climate. Contrary to popular belief, it still exists in a pure state and can be distinguished from mongrel bees and other races. With a National Bee Breeding Programme based on the German system, these bees, some of which already have the good qualities most beekeepers require, could be selectively bred and improved.

Surely, the time has now come for a radical re-appraisal of the state of the honeybee .. at the time of writing there is no recognition of these problems by our national beekeeping organisations and institutions .. this book examines the matter in greater detail and offers guidance to those who are concerns to have better bees.

Breeding Better Bees

Using Simple Modern Methods

By John E. Dews and Eric Milner






3rd Edition