Queen Mating Question
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    sheffield, illinois,usa

    Default Queen Mating Question

    i have both russiam hybreds and italians in the same bee yard, am wanting to make queens out of the italian hive as its allways been massive and a good producer, very very gentle bees, i'm wondering if the italian queens will mate with russian drones and vice versa, i read somewhere that both species of bees have a totaly different smell . but the packages i ordered, the lady said they are russian queens put in with italian packages, i wonder how well this will work, it must work tho or they wouldnt be selling them like that, just wonder what your thoughts are about this.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand

    Default Re: Queen Mating Question

    As to mating, generally they will intermate freely. I do recall reading a study once showing evidence that certain queens may preferentially mate with certain drones, but this was not a rule just a tendency. For your own mating you should regard it as a free for all, first come first served!!

    Italian bees are pretty forgiving as to which queen they will accept. Most bees will accept most queens however we did used to have more trouble getting AMM to accept italian than italian to accept italian.

    I've read that africanised bees can be hard to successfully requeen with a different breed.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Brandon, MS USA

    Re: Queen Mating Question

    The only troubles that they have in breeding between those strains are the Russian drones are smaller than what is "optimal" for grasping the larger Italian queen... thus lessening the likelihood of a successful mating...

    However, you said you have Russian "hybrids"... most likely Russian/Italian... thus out of their breed standards, and likely larger than a pure Russian would naturally be...

    The issue that I would see arising is that you may have more Russian genetics available in the mating area than the Italian genetics that you wish to propagate... grafting from the Italian queen that you like, but then mating the sisters with drones from the Russian hives will not yield the results that you are hoping for because the Russian drones will effect the population of the new colonies laid by the new queens... for the best results, "select away from" the colonies that show the traits that are not ideal to your preference.... that is, physically move the colonies that you do not want in the mix... or if others around you keep bees, move only the best colonies to as remote of a location as possible in order to establish a mating yard where only the best genetics are available.

    Just a note... the reason you find Italian packages are used with other strains of queens is because of the early build up of the Italians... for Russian bees in the package to go with the Russian queens, they would have to wait much later in the season before they would have enough bees to shake proper packages... like Oldtimer said, the Italians do not care what type of queen they have, so long as she is healthy and properly mated, they will keep her... other strains of bees are more picky about the type of queen (namely AMM, AHB, and pure Primorsky).

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by rrussell6870; 03-09-2011 at 03:08 AM.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Azle Texas USA

    Default Re: Queen Mating Question

    My hobby beekeeping put in to service 9, " persay different " races of Queens last year and plan on putting into service at least 7 this year. I'm tring to saturate my area with different genetics. Good or bad, don't know.


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