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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Blythewood, SC
    Posts
    149

    Post

    I am planning on re-queening 2 of my hives ( 1-Italian, 1-Russian Hybrid) with pure Russian queens in the spring. I have read that extra care should be taken when re-queening with Russians, but I would think with my Russian hybrid hive I could re-queen as normal. Any thoughts?
    Also any tips on re-queening Italians with Russian queens would be helpful.

    Thanks
    Patrick
    "To escape criticism-do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."

  2. #2

    Post

    (I'm no expert) but I picked up several queens from Don (Fatbeeman) this past year and re-queened several Italian hives with them. I had the best luck pulling the cage cork after she had been in the hive 3 to 4 days. I also wouldn't recommend punching a hole in the candy.

    After the 3 or 4 day when I removed the cork from the cage I checked the hive for queen cells at the same time. I didn't lose a single Russian queen with this method. I lost several while trying to re-queen in shorter time periods.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,197

    Post

    You will have problems with requeening a russian hive. Its not a major deal, but I would recommend using a push in cage instead of the standard cages that queens are shipped in.

    Its fairly easy to requeen an Italian colony with a Russian queen. Its much more difficult to requeen a colony that is already part Russian. In my experience, Buckfast bees are as hard or harder to requeen.

    Fusion

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    ppg,
    The amount of time given for acceptance is the key. This is closely related to the flow and time of year.

    In requeening a standard italian with an italian, you can do a queen release in 24 or 48 hours with almost no problems. In some cases, running the queen in with a little smoke also works, although I don't suggest it.

    With russians, this time is increased. I plan on 3 or 4 days for requeening an italian hive with a russian. This is for spring and summer conditions when nectar is still being produced. The later in the year, and as the flow stops, the time may increase by another day or two.

    One of the things I have experienced and noted here before, and I can find no references to the subject, is that it seems some hives go through the motions of accepting the new queen, but with problems after the fact. The new russian will be laying eggs, moving about freely, and all seems fine. But off on another frame, there will be a queen cell in the making. So after getting the queen accepted, checking for eggs, and feeling good about getting the hive changed over, you come back 2 weeks layer, and your nice russian is nowhere to be found. Its as if they tolerated her long enough to ensure success raising a new queen, but they get rid of the russian queen when the time is right. This is not connected with swarming or other clear indications of other trigger impulses from the bees. This is not common, but have seen it a number of times.

    With that said, its not hard as fusion said. Just don't be in a hurry. Allow an extra day or two.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Blythewood, SC
    Posts
    149

    Post

    Thank you three for the hints. Is Russian acceptance an issue with just Italians or is it the same for all non-Russian hives.
    "To escape criticism-do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    581

    Post

    When you introduce the Russian queens, do not allow the bees to eat the candy. Put tape over the candy end and release the queens after 3 or 4 days if there is no aggressive behavior towards the queen. I introduce my queens into small nucs to get better queen acceptance. If you do not have 5 frame nucs, a double screen from Rossman Apiaries or Brushy Mountain Bee Farm will give you a nuc above the original colony. Be sure to destroy supercedure queen cells before and after you release the queens. A mated queen will not kill queen cells.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    pgg,
    I was just reading an article last night about this. It was it in the American Bee Journal. I'll look for it when I can, but my back is currently out and I'm looking to go to the emergency room...

    The point is that the research center put out warnings that acceptance would be very, very, even VERY difficult, but doable. I'll try to present their tips and give the issue number when my back allows. It also refers to the differences in management that would surprise many Italian keepers (ie gang-buster buildup which requires extra early supering).

    I think JC has a great idea with the nuc, getting it started. Another idea would be to use a cloake board or floor without a floor to requeen the portion of the colony of young bees and force the older bees to endure some queenless time...

    I'll get back to you when I can sit longer.
    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Blythewood, SC
    Posts
    149

    Post

    Thank you both. Waya, sorry to hear about your back.
    "To escape criticism-do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Lancaster , S.C.
    Posts
    154

    Post

    pgg, I've been using Russians exclusively for about three years now. Bottom line is takes patience and persistance to successfully introduce Russian Queens to any existing colony. I usually take about 9 to 12 days before turning them loose. This makes it problematic during the spring if you're looking to make a honey crop.While the push in wire cages are probably best, I just leave the Queen in the cage after removing all attendant bees and place her in the brood chamber with a sealed up candy entrance. After 3 or 4 check the cage. If workers bees are trying to get to the Queen by biting through the wire, put her back. Keep repeating this until the workers are not showing aggressive tendencies. Finally , before releasing her, check for Queen cells. As has already been suggested, do this again 7 or 8 days after the old girl is released. Sometimes they can be very persistant. With all that said, I'll continue using them.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,162

    Post

    I will go out on a limb and suggest that success in requeening any line is subject to a variable that has to do with degrees of relatedness. The more distant the genetic kinship of the new queen the more challenging it may be. Russians are the first major genetics imported on a large scale in a long time, aside from AHB.
    JBJ
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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