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Thread: Russian Queens

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  1. #1
    3 BeeKeepers Guest

    Question

    Anyone there has experience with Russian Bees. I have 5 hives of which some days I think they are African in aggression.
    Other than that they are really good producers. QQ: What should I look for in determining the qualities of a queen?

    ------------------

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Hi

    You write:

    QQ: What should I look for in determining the qualities of a queen?

    Reply:

    This is an interesting question in today's world. Perhaps this information might help. It's based on selecting bees on a whole-bee concept and looking for as much as the following that you can:

    1. Color (since you mentioned aggressiveness. Remember, with the africanized bees here, color will show instant hybridization for this, as AHBs(scutellata) are uniquely colored.

    2. Largeness of brood pattern (a queen that keeps a large worker force will probably have enough bees to bring in a decent honey crop.)

    3. Lack of disease (Why breed from stock that is sick all the time? Look for a hive that throws disease off.)

    4. Body uniformity (Degenerate stock is of no good it it's deformed, stunted, missing parts etc.)

    5. Lack of cross brace (Ever try to take honey with a flower or bee-go or brush with a hive having a lot of cross brace, and get the bees out?).

    6. Lack of swarming (Ever build your bees up to a good strength, only to find them in the bushes just prior to the main flow?You didget the honey from the hive they left, and you certainly don't get the honey from the hive you just captured, but sure will work hard to carry it through the upcoming winter.)

    7. Body size. (Large is not always necessaryily good. Ever see an animal so large it waddled with decreased efficiency in getting around, defending it self, and propogating itself, without the need of outside help? They don't survive long in nature, but they do with man's help.)

    8. Honey gathering capabilities. (Are they sleek enough, fast enough with large wings in comparison to body size, to gather honeoy fast and in large amounts?)

    9. Hive defense (Do they defend themselves against other strains and races of bees or just other hive colonies, or do they defend themselve against you?)

    10. Hours of flight (Do the worker bees get out in the mornings before you get up and work late into the evenings? Are they smart enough to rest, during the hot of the day?)

    11. Manageability (Can the hives be manipulated manually without disrupting their work force for several days as you do spring set-ups, take honey, and get them ready for winter?)

    12. Pollen gathering capabilities (Do you have to feed pollen or do they gather enough on their own?)

    13. Robbing capacity (Have you ever stopped to think that your best robbers are also your best honey gathers, and that instead of getting rid of these hives for preying on your weak ones, you should get rid of the weak hives instead, or keep everything balanced to the same strength?)

    14. Early and pre-flow build-ups. (Would you prefer a bee hive to build up on stores prior to the honey flow or build up on the honey flow before you take the excess from them?)

    15. Weak flow and winter carryover (Brood and strength). (Do the bees store enough honey for bad times or do you continually have to feed them? dur the bees carry some brood throughout the weak or winter periods or are you often left praying, when will they start up again?)

    16. Cluster ability and fanning ability (Can your clusters generate enough heat to be able to move with the honey in the winter, and cool themselves enough in the summer, so they don't cook themselves to extinction?)

    17. Propolizing abilities (Believe it or not, this is a good trait. It glues top covers on against the wind and the rain, it glues up cracks in bad equipment to keep ou the cold and heat, it glues out mice, rats, and snakes at the entrance fronts, and when glueing bottom super front frames to the bottom board, it keep out the sind and enables a hive to utilize the bottom super for brood, instead of starting in the second super. I myself hate rotating unused boxes to the top all of the time. Note: entrance height here is oldfashioned 3/8 inch high entrance))

    18. Brood nest priming abilities (Do you bees put their honey down low for the winter along with pollen or do you have to do the priming and shifting for them?)

    Yes, there ae many things to look for in a hive to select one for breeding, but if properly done, it will pay you back many times over in stock improvements.

    Many old-timers believe to select only one or a few traits is to invite trouble by not selecting for the rest, which in many cases is not there.

    Therefore it is best to watch colonies for several months throughout the active year to find the best you can, with as many favorable traits as you can, to end up with what you want and be happy.

    Best regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi,

    I would like to add one more trait to Dee's list.

    White wax capping of combs. This would be a very desirable trait if one wished to produce much comb honey. Not the most important trait but one that would make one's product more marketable.

    Clay- adding my 2 cents

  4. #4
    3 BeeKeepers Guest

    Post

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dee A. Lusby:
    Hi

    You write:

    QQ: What should I look for in determining the qualities of a queen?

    Reply:

    This is an interesting question in today's world. Perhaps this information might help. It's based on selecting bees on a whole-bee concept and looking for as much as the following that you can:

    1. Color (since you mentioned aggressiveness. Remember, with the africanized bees here, color will show instant hybridization for this, as AHBs(scutellata) are uniquely colored.

    2. Largeness of brood pattern (a queen that keeps a large worker force will probably have enough bees to bring in a decent honey crop.)

    3. Lack of disease (Why breed from stock that is sick all the time? Look for a hive that throws disease off.)

    4. Body uniformity (Degenerate stock is of no good it it's deformed, stunted, missing parts etc.)

    5. Lack of cross brace (Ever try to take honey with a flower or bee-go or brush with a hive having a lot of cross brace, and get the bees out?).

    6. Lack of swarming (Ever build your bees up to a good strength, only to find them in the bushes just prior to the main flow?You didget the honey from the hive they left, and you certainly don't get the honey from the hive you just captured, but sure will work hard to carry it through the upcoming winter.)

    7. Body size. (Large is not always necessaryily good. Ever see an animal so large it waddled with decreased efficiency in getting around, defending it self, and propogating itself, without the need of outside help? They don't survive long in nature, but they do with man's help.)

    8. Honey gathering capabilities. (Are they sleek enough, fast enough with large wings in comparison to body size, to gather honeoy fast and in large amounts?)

    9. Hive defense (Do they defend themselves against other strains and races of bees or just other hive colonies, or do they defend themselve against you?)

    10. Hours of flight (Do the worker bees get out in the mornings before you get up and work late into the evenings? Are they smart enough to rest, during the hot of the day?)

    11. Manageability (Can the hives be manipulated manually without disrupting their work force for several days as you do spring set-ups, take honey, and get them ready for winter?)

    12. Pollen gathering capabilities (Do you have to feed pollen or do they gather enough on their own?)

    13. Robbing capacity (Have you ever stopped to think that your best robbers are also your best honey gathers, and that instead of getting rid of these hives for preying on your weak ones, you should get rid of the weak hives instead, or keep everything balanced to the same strength?)

    14. Early and pre-flow build-ups. (Would you prefer a bee hive to build up on stores prior to the honey flow or build up on the honey flow before you take the excess from them?)

    15. Weak flow and winter carryover (Brood and strength). (Do the bees store enough honey for bad times or do you continually have to feed them? dur the bees carry some brood throughout the weak or winter periods or are you often left praying, when will they start up again?)

    16. Cluster ability and fanning ability (Can your clusters generate enough heat to be able to move with the honey in the winter, and cool themselves enough in the summer, so they don't cook themselves to extinction?)

    17. Propolizing abilities (Believe it or not, this is a good trait. It glues top covers on against the wind and the rain, it glues up cracks in bad equipment to keep ou the cold and heat, it glues out mice, rats, and snakes at the entrance fronts, and when glueing bottom super front frames to the bottom board, it keep out the sind and enables a hive to utilize the bottom super for brood, instead of starting in the second super. I myself hate rotating unused boxes to the top all of the time. Note: entrance height here is oldfashioned 3/8 inch high entrance))

    18. Brood nest priming abilities (Do you bees put their honey down low for the winter along with pollen or do you have to do the priming and shifting for them?)

    Yes, there ae many things to look for in a hive to select one for breeding, but if properly done, it will pay you back many times over in stock improvements.

    Many old-timers believe to select only one or a few traits is to invite trouble by not selecting for the rest, which in many cases is not there.

    Therefore it is best to watch colonies for several months throughout the active year to find the best you can, with as many favorable traits as you can, to end up with what you want and be happy.

    Best regards,

    Dee A. Lusby
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


  5. #5
    3 BeeKeepers Guest

    Post

    Thanks Dee,

    It looks like before I try my hand in queen rearing I will have to bring the your message with me in the hive to look for these traits.

    Thanks.
    John
    3 Beekeepers


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Dee A. Lusby:
    Hi

    You write:

    QQ: What should I look for in determining the qualities of a queen?

    Reply:

    This is an interesting question in today's world. Perhaps this information might help. It's based on selecting bees on a whole-bee concept and looking for as much as the following that you can:

    1. Color (since you mentioned aggressiveness. Remember, with the africanized bees here, color will show instant hybridization for this, as AHBs(scutellata) are uniquely colored.

    2. Largeness of brood pattern (a queen that keeps a large worker force will probably have enough bees to bring in a decent honey crop.)

    3. Lack of disease (Why breed from stock that is sick all the time? Look for a hive that throws disease off.)

    4. Body uniformity (Degenerate stock is of no good it it's deformed, stunted, missing parts etc.)

    5. Lack of cross brace (Ever try to take honey with a flower or bee-go or brush with a hive having a lot of cross brace, and get the bees out?).

    6. Lack of swarming (Ever build your bees up to a good strength, only to find them in the bushes just prior to the main flow?You didget the honey from the hive they left, and you certainly don't get the honey from the hive you just captured, but sure will work hard to carry it through the upcoming winter.)

    7. Body size. (Large is not always necessaryily good. Ever see an animal so large it waddled with decreased efficiency in getting around, defending it self, and propogating itself, without the need of outside help? They don't survive long in nature, but they do with man's help.)

    8. Honey gathering capabilities. (Are they sleek enough, fast enough with large wings in comparison to body size, to gather honeoy fast and in large amounts?)

    9. Hive defense (Do they defend themselves against other strains and races of bees or just other hive colonies, or do they defend themselve against you?)

    10. Hours of flight (Do the worker bees get out in the mornings before you get up and work late into the evenings? Are they smart enough to rest, during the hot of the day?)

    11. Manageability (Can the hives be manipulated manually without disrupting their work force for several days as you do spring set-ups, take honey, and get them ready for winter?)

    12. Pollen gathering capabilities (Do you have to feed pollen or do they gather enough on their own?)

    13. Robbing capacity (Have you ever stopped to think that your best robbers are also your best honey gathers, and that instead of getting rid of these hives for preying on your weak ones, you should get rid of the weak hives instead, or keep everything balanced to the same strength?)

    14. Early and pre-flow build-ups. (Would you prefer a bee hive to build up on stores prior to the honey flow or build up on the honey flow before you take the excess from them?)

    15. Weak flow and winter carryover (Brood and strength). (Do the bees store enough honey for bad times or do you continually have to feed them? dur the bees carry some brood throughout the weak or winter periods or are you often left praying, when will they start up again?)

    16. Cluster ability and fanning ability (Can your clusters generate enough heat to be able to move with the honey in the winter, and cool themselves enough in the summer, so they don't cook themselves to extinction?)

    17. Propolizing abilities (Believe it or not, this is a good trait. It glues top covers on against the wind and the rain, it glues up cracks in bad equipment to keep ou the cold and heat, it glues out mice, rats, and snakes at the entrance fronts, and when glueing bottom super front frames to the bottom board, it keep out the sind and enables a hive to utilize the bottom super for brood, instead of starting in the second super. I myself hate rotating unused boxes to the top all of the time. Note: entrance height here is oldfashioned 3/8 inch high entrance))

    18. Brood nest priming abilities (Do you bees put their honey down low for the winter along with pollen or do you have to do the priming and shifting for them?)

    Yes, there ae many things to look for in a hive to select one for breeding, but if properly done, it will pay you back many times over in stock improvements.

    Many old-timers believe to select only one or a few traits is to invite trouble by not selecting for the rest, which in many cases is not there.

    Therefore it is best to watch colonies for several months throughout the active year to find the best you can, with as many favorable traits as you can, to end up with what you want and be happy.

    Best regards,

    Dee A. Lusby
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


  6. #6
    3 BeeKeepers Guest

    Post

    Clayton,

    Thanks for your insight to another area of which I am going to try next year. Just purchased some cassettes that I am going to try from Mann Lake.

    The queens that I have, in their hive white comb. Combining both messages from you & Dee I should be able to come up with somthing.

    Best Regards,
    John
    3 Beekeepers

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Clayton:
    Hi,

    I would like to add one more trait to Dee's list.

    White wax capping of combs. This would be a very desirable trait if one wished to produce much comb honey. Not the most important trait but one that would make one's product more marketable.

    Clay- adding my 2 cents
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


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