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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Brevard, Florida USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Italian queen in a Russian hive results

    Here's an update on my attempt to introduce an Italian queen into a Russian hive.

    I live in Central Florida. I had a mean hive that I started from a Russian nuc that I bought from a guy in Valkaria, Fl.
    I got tired of this mean hive, so I killed the queen, and introduced a fertilized Italian queen from a local hobbyist beekeeper, but being July in Florida, she overheated in her little cage and died. So I then bought a few Italian queen cells from a large beekeeper in Mims. That worked and I now have an Italian queen, but the hive is still mean. I think the Italian queen mated with local psuedo-African drones. It has been about three months since introducing the new queen cells, so all the workers and brood from the old queen should be gone by now.

    I might replace this queen with a queen that was fertilized with good stock, but I'll probably have to wait until spring.

    Gator.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    4,333

    Default Re: Italian queen in a Russian hive results

    Getting a bred queen this time of year may be tough. so the idea to wait until spring would be a wise one, It would be a shame to pinch off the queen only to have the replacement fail, and then not be able to get another.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    3,396

    Default Re: Italian queen in a Russian hive results

    Have you had problems with skunks or raccoons bothering the hives? Critters harassing the hive at night might be making them mean.

    Agree with Tenbears, wait till Spring before doing any thing. Their attitude with the present queen might improve by then too.
    "Sometimes the best action is no action at all."
    Started 2011, 3-10 frame hives; 2016, 53-8 frame hives.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,167

    Default Re: Italian queen in a Russian hive results

    Welcome to Beesource!

    If your mean hive was partly Africanized, you won't get "nice bees" for a generation or 2 just by re-queening with a gentle queen. Some of that defensive behavior is learned from bees already in the hive, it's not 100% genetic.

    None the less, use your cappings fork to get rid of the drones from the meanest hives. Check them for mites while you're at it. Add a comb of drone-sized cells to the gentlest hives, and keep the pollen patties fresh every few days in the drone colonies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Brevard, Florida USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Italian queen in a Russian hive results

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Welcome to Beesource!

    If your mean hive was partly Africanized, you won't get "nice bees" for a generation or 2 just by re-queening with a gentle queen. Some of that defensive behavior is learned from bees already in the hive, it's not 100% genetic.

    None the less, use your cappings fork to get rid of the drones from the meanest hives. Check them for mites while you're at it. Add a comb of drone-sized cells to the gentlest hives, and keep the pollen patties fresh every few days in the drone colonies.

    Thanks for the replies.

    I have no signs of predators like raccoons in the area.

    I'll wait another generation to see if that helps. I only have one hive. Can I kill all the drones in the hive?

    Gator

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,167

    Default Re: Italian queen in a Russian hive results

    With only one colony, it's probably not the best idea if the other drones in the area are the source of the "mean" traits.

    Better to get some mild-mannered queens and breed from the gentlest ones every year, as you get more colonies, kill the drones of the mean ones, add drone comb to the good ones.

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