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Thread: Russian Queens

  1. #1
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    Big Grin


    I've purchased two new swarms with Russian Queens. I would like to know if anyone has had any experiences with these Queens?

    [This message has been edited by RonE (edited 04-27-2000).]

  2. #2
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    RonE -

    As far as I know, the Russian queens are just being available this year so I presume the experience with these bees is very limited yet. I know some breeders are having a terrible time with them. Poor mating acceptance.

    Time will tell.

    -Barry

  3. #3
    Toobock Guest

    Angry

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RonE:

    I've purchased two new swarms with Russian Queens. I would like to know if anyone has had any experiences with these Queens?

    [This message has been edited by RonE (edited 04-27-2000).]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Hi RonE
    I just hived my first Russian Queen and swarm. Four days after, I went back to see if the queen had gotten out of her cage, she had not. So I helped her out alittle, before I could put the cage back in the hive so got out and went flying away!! I stood there in HORROR! This was don't in any books I read, later I went back to check and she had come back. So far the Russian is nothing but trouble.
    Donna

  4. #4
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    Forest, Oh. Hancock
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    Post

    I recently bought a 3# pkg from tabers honey bee genetics. The pkg arrived 5 days instead 3-4 most of the bees were dead. A few bees shook from another hive helped, I removed 5 frames from a deep, removed the queen cage from the pkg and set it between a couple frames of foundation. Three days later the queen was loose and the bees were drawing comb. Since Good Friday, their arrival, the queen now has 3 full frames of brood and three frames with brood. I just ordered another pkg, if all goes well, I'll order more in the spring.

  5. #5
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    Sequim / Wa / USA
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    Hello to all
    The word got out that there is a poor acceptance of mating about the russian queens IN SOUTHLAND. The jury on the probable cause is at this time still out.
    In another forum I commented on the Color variations of the queens
    We had the opportunity yesterday to observe 3 different markings of "pure" russian daughters of a R breeder queen.
    Abdomen color : 1) Caramel, 2) black, 3) Carmel with black stripes.
    The breeder reported no problem with mating with our LOCAL drones.
    We ASSUME that the race of our "native" bees
    playes a role in successful mating.
    The "Native" race is genetically different and apart of the run of the mill bees . It is by genetic study recognised as a most likely offspring from a caucasian origin, which became "wild " in our forests.
    The story on this you can read in this forum somewhere pertaining to bees/queens for sale and go to Washington state area where you find the breeder : Olympic wilderness apiary by Dan Harvey.
    The mated queen we observed in nucs yesterday have excellent patterns of brood and were readily accepted.
    In my apiary I have mostly local colonies which are dark and I am waiting for the Russian queens to be marketed by Harvey to requeen.
    Catfish


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Raleigh NC USA
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    I have had very pleasing results from the Russian Queens. Recently I divided a colony of Italians that was brusting at the seams with bees and ready to swarm. The queen became honey bound and stopped laying. The bees began to build queen cells. I made the descision to divide the hive and add another super, thus calming the urge to swarm. I order a Italian queen from Kelly for the nuc I started from the division. Much to my surprize Kelly sent Two pkg with Russian Queens in each. I gave one to a friend and placed the other in the nuc that was started from the division. The Russian Queen was accepted in two days and was laying eggs in a nice pattern within five days. The Russian bees look darker and somewhat gray. They are also more docile than the Italians. Latly I have been tending to them without the use of smoke, veil, or glove. This is somthing I could never do with the Italians.
    As far as I am concerned the Russians are great! I trust hope they are somewhat resistant to the varro-mites as the have said.

    Get some for your next Queen change.
    Rev. R.E.Voss

    ------------------
    Rev. R.E.Voss

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by beezy:
    I recently bought a 3# pkg from tabers honey bee genetics. The pkg arrived 5 days instead 3-4 most of the bees were dead. A few bees shook from another hive helped, I removed 5 frames from a deep, removed the queen cage from the pkg and set it between a couple frames of foundation. Three days later the queen was loose and the bees were drawing comb. Since Good Friday, their arrival, the queen now has 3 full frames of brood and three frames with brood. I just ordered another pkg, if all goes well, I'll order more in the spring.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Just a shorty
    I have delt with Taber's from Vacaville before and found them VERY accomodating.
    Also the quality is certainly ok. This 5 day dilemma is most likely the problem of the post office. Personally I had to give the local post office a good listening to and rattled the cage. It depends a lot who is one the shift and announces the arrival to you.
    Taber will usually make good any problem
    Good luck with your Russians !!
    There are good bees.
    JDF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Ohio, ill U.S.A.
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    Hi to all, I to purchased a russian queen from kellys. I had a hive that lost their queen and had no eggs or brood to make their own. They readily excepted her and in a few days was laying. My problem is after the first hive body was full and I gave them a second with foundation as that was all I had to offer they drew it all out and filled it with honey, or sugar syrup as I was feeding them at the time.This seems to be as far as they want to go. I mean she has never moved up to the second deep to lay. I thought, maybe not enough room so I put on a shallow super about four or five weeks ago and so far they have only partially drawn out three or four frames. They don't seem to be building up much. The other hive which was started at the same time and same way,ie a nine frame nuc, has filled a second deep and two shallow supers of cut comb and started on the third. All the experts say not to expect any honey the first year but this hive is really unusual and I don't know why. Any guesses. Bobby

  9. #9

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    I, too, got my Russian queen from Kelly's. In fact this is my first year for beekeeping, and the hive has been nothing short of tremendous. I've pulled out about 30 lbs already, and now have doubled my capacity to four supers.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Juandefuca:
    Hello to all
    The word got out that there is a poor acceptance of mating about the russian queens IN SOUTHLAND. The jury on the probable cause is at this time still out.
    In another forum I commented on the Color variations of the queens
    We had the opportunity yesterday to observe 3 different markings of "pure" russian daughters of a R breeder queen.
    Abdomen color : 1) Caramel, 2) black, 3) Carmel with black stripes.
    The breeder reported no problem with mating with our LOCAL drones.
    We ASSUME that the race of our "native" bees
    playes a role in successful mating.
    The "Native" race is genetically different and apart of the run of the mill bees . It is by genetic study recognised as a most likely offspring from a caucasian origin, which became "wild " in our forests.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is an interesting insight to the Russian queen siuation. I'm posting here an email I sent to the BEE-L list as I think it pertains to your comments.
    --------------
    Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 00:38:25 -0500
    &lt;BEE-L@LISTSERV.ALBANY.EDU&gt;
    From: Barry Birkey &lt;barry@BIRKEY.COM&gt;
    Subject: Re: Russian Queens (was Russian aggression)


    &gt;From: Aaron Morris &lt;AMorris@UAMAIL.ALBANY.EDU&gt;


    &gt;To date, my personal experiences with Russian queens has been poor
    &gt;acceptance, some have been drone layers, others have lead to supercede cells
    &gt;which were cut out in preference for introducing queens of proven (in my
    &gt;area) stock (New World Carniolan).


    &lt;snip&gt;


    &gt;I recall an article in ABJ stating the Russians will be good for comb
    &gt;production as they make nice white cappings. All Russians I put into comb
    &gt;production failed miserably. I'm out the queen, I'm out a replacement queen
    &gt;and I'm out any hope of comb harvest for that hive. Quite an expensive
    &gt;trial evaluation.


    Hi Aaron -


    It's truly sad to see so many people having such poor acceptance with their
    Russian queens/stock. Your report fits so well with what others are
    experiencing. As I was thinking through this particular problem beekeepers
    are having, I couldn't help but focus on the background of the stock itself.


    As some of you know, I have been posting on my site a lot of historical
    background information and research done on cell size and it's relationship
    to the bee, much of which was compiled by the Lusby's from their own
    investigations on the same subject. This spring, I decided to take a couple
    of swarms and follow their steps in regressing the bees back down in size to
    their historically natural size of 4.9 cell size, as opposed to the 5.4 cell
    size that all my bees are currently on.


    When I first hived these swarms, I put them on frames that had a 1 inch
    starter strip of 4.9mm foundation. After they had drawn out 2 deeps worth of
    comb, I measured the cell size to see what they had built. It turned out
    that most of the worker/pollen cells were 5.2mm and the drone/honey cells
    were from 6.0 to 7.0mm. On their own, with the help of the starter strip,
    they regressed 2mm. At this time, a month after hiving, I moved the hive a
    few feet and in it's place put a deep chamber with frames that had full
    foundation of 4.9 size and shook all the bees and queen into this new hive.
    Three weeks have passed and I now have this hive in 2 deeps with fairly
    uniform cells of 4.9mm. They managed to regress another 3mm. By the end of
    this summer, I will have culled out any non-uniform comb and they will be
    totally regressed to 4.9mm.


    I say all this because I know first hand that one cannot take bees that have
    been on 5.4 or bigger cells and put them in a hive with 4.9mm foundation or
    comb and expect them to adjust to this size change over night. It won't
    work. It takes weeks of working the stock down and getting them to adjust to
    a new size. Now if we stop and think about the Russian stock, we need to
    look at what size of cell they are on in there native land first, find out
    what size of cell they are put on when they arrive here in the States, and
    last, what size of cell you are introducing them on. It works the same in
    reverse, to size up.


    I have to believe that an underlying problem people are having with this bee
    can be attributed to cell size. If you take a look at the thermal/cell size
    zone map at: http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/therm_map.htm
    you will see that the native size that the Russian stock comes from is 4.9
    mm - 5.1 mm cell size. As far as I know, these bees are being worked on
    small cell size here in the States prior to them being sold to breeders and
    to you. My guess is you are putting them in a hive that has at least a 5.4mm
    cell size. Now we have a queen on comb that knows your worker cells as drone
    size cells and starts laying drones or she can't make the size transition
    well so she is superceded.


    For this stock to live up to its known "resistance" to varroa, its native
    cell size cannot be ignored? Just read what has been done to the bee size
    over the years and tell me it has no bearing.


    ......is bigger always better? Perhaps in this case we are seeing where the
    two (small bees - large comb) are not very harmonious. Food for thought.

    -Barry



  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Here is a second post I made a few weeks ago that could give some insight for those wishing to try the Russian queens.

    -------------
    Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 21:12:47 -0500
    From: Barry Birkey &lt;barry@BIRKEY.COM&gt;
    Subject: Re: Russian Queens (was Russian aggression)

    Hello George -


    &gt; Why not introduce a Russian Queen to a group of bees WITH NO FOUNDATION OR
    &gt; DRAWN COMB and see what size natural comb is made?


    All this would prove is the propensity in comb size the worker bees have
    that the Russian queen was joined with. I believe the queen does not
    regulate the size of the comb or workers, but the other way around. The size
    of the bees in a colony are regulated by the size of the workers which
    regulates the size of the queen and drones. The worker bees are the comb
    builders in which the queen has to lay in.


    &gt; The Russian bee is Carniolan stock, I was told by Baton Rouge people. As you


    This does not line up with the information I've been told. I've heard the
    Russian bees are a small hybrid Caucasian bee. The Russian bees are said to
    be totally removed from the Italian and Carnolian bees, genetically, which
    are out of the alps, north of Italy. The Carnolian bees are closer relatives
    to Italian. Neither come close to the Caucasian Russian bees which is how
    these are classified, and they are small. Since most beekeepers are
    introducing them into our popular varieties they are having trouble, which
    in the Midwest where I live, is Italian and Carnolian. They say there is no
    problem introducing them into Caucasian type stocks here in the U.S., but
    few beekeepers like small black bees as you know. Bill Gafford of Bolling
    Bee is doing a good business right now with his Caucasian stock, helping out
    beekeepers who bought the Russian stock, to give them compatibility. I don't
    know if the beekeeping public has been aware of this solution.


    &gt; difficult introduction would be involved with genetics and bee behavior of
    &gt; the race
    &gt; rather than cell size.


    I don't disagree that genetics and behavior play a part. I do believe though
    that size does factor into the equation and maybe to a greater extent than
    one might think.


    Perhaps someone from ARS could add to this?


    Regards,
    Barry

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Ohio, ill U.S.A.
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    I've been following the post on the Russian Queen with quite an interest. Since I am an amatuer beekeeper myself I want to learn as much as I can and one way to learn is to ask questions. I noticed that one person said " his or her russian queen laid a lot of drone eggs. Am I all screwed up or not? I was under the impression that the Queen laid eggs, period, not male, not female not worker but just lays eggs and the cell she lays them in has more to do with how they turn out, ie male or worker. One hive I have is producing a lot of drone bees which I attribute to the lousy combs they had to start with. These are the bees I posted questions about earlier with nine frames instead of ten and so far apart that when you examine them the bridge combs tear up the brrod frames and as I have read the bees will repair usually with drone cells. You can imagine what these look like after several inspections. Even with this mess, the bees have done quite well, having drawn out a full second deep and filled one super of cut comb honey. I will remedy this mess soon and the excess drones will all be gone by spring. I will give them ten frames of good drawn comb and see what happens. I think they will be alright given the right circumstances. Thank you for letting me put in my two cents worth. Bobby

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