Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    YANCEY CO., NC
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    654

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    I wonder if you could take a screened innercover and put the sunkist queen on top if she would draw the resident queen to the bottom of the screen and all you would have to do is lift the screen and pluck the old queen off.With my eyesight it's almost impossible for me to find the queen.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    That may possibly work -- if you try it, let us know how it went.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
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    1,242

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    Joseph.
    What are your expectations from the SKCO's as far as mite resistance, general health, production, wintering, and in general survivability? I know that they are gentle and easy to handle, and that the queens are easy to find.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,373

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    valleyman,
    I have only heard very good things about the SunKist Cordovan variety from Russell Apiaries. It has already been very interesting working with a few of these queens, but I haven't grown a single colony from any of them, yet. I haven't even had them long enough for any brood to emerge yet, let alone for mature colony features to become evident. The queens are performing very well, and I am already grafting from them to grow daughter queens.

    The daughter queens will be mating with whatever drones in my area are available when the time comes, so that will definitely play a part in how the daughter queens perform - hopefully any local drones will be a positive influence. My experience has been that local drones can be a mixed blessing. Russell Apiaries lists many desirable traits being developed in this variety -- I am hoping that they are at least half as wonderful as they appear to be. Of course, my producing open mated daughters from SKC queens does not promise to be as valuable a product as the mother queens produced by Russell Apiaries.

    So, basically you could call it a "leap of faith", though not completely, as Russell has shown himself to be extremely knowledgeable concerning queens, queen rearing, and beekeeping in general.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 06-30-2011 at 02:25 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    etowah,Alabama
    Posts
    453

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    I to am new to Sunkist and to beekeeping in general but plan on using drone frames in my eight hives in an attempt to preserve there genetics.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,373

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    I should mention that some of those, "whatever drones in my area are available", include many drones I use my full-size hives to produce, hoping to saturate the area with desirable drones. But presently many of those drones are, of course, from Cordovan drone mothers other than SunKist Cordovan.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
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    1,242

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    Have you ever considered setting up say 3 drone nucs in a 1 mile radius of your Apiary. If so how does one prevent inbreeding. Oh, by the way the only differience between line breeding and inbreeding is if it works it is line breeding. Go figure,lol.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  9. #28
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,563

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    To ensure the greatest level of apiary health for our customers, we graft from as many as 40 different lineages and plant cells in a rotation... this way each order has as many as 40 different lineages in it... for example, if a customer orders 20 queens, each of those 20 will have come from a separate graft, so when the customer uses these queens in their hives, they will be producing drones from 20 different lineages... so many breeders have gotten away from this practice and the results of failing to do this is inbreeding... imagine someone buying 100 queens, then requeening splits that they move to set up a new yard with... the new yard would now be made up of all sisters and although those sisters will have mated with a mix of drones from the breeders mating yard, they will still only be producing drones from their own genetics, not those of the drones that they had mated with... each egg that the breeder grafted to produce those 100 queens was fertilized by a drone that the original breeder queen had mated with... that is up to 20 drones (but rarely that many)... so in theory there will be as many as 5 sets of genetic mixes within the yard of 100 splits.. it would not take long at all before natural requeening will have created a full sweep of common genetics throughout that apiary...

    In short, Joe has four Sunkist Cordovan queens, each from a separate lineage, and each producing drones from separate lineages... so he can graft from all of them and the daughters of each graft will not be related, and they can mated with a mix of drones (as well as his own of course, which I always recommend for incorporating your own location specific genetics)...

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    I received 2 of these queens about 10 days ago. When I checked a few days later they had both been released, but I couldn't find either one - which of course made me nervous. Checked again today after being gone for a few, and the first hive I checked I couldn't find any eggs (not proof that there aren't any) or brood, and then I saw the queen - not a cordovan, and not marked. One of my black tipped Italian style queens that (probably) got lost on her way back from mating.

    The other hive (in another yard) had the right amount of brood of the right age, although I couldn't spot that queen either. Sure did want to though.

    One more lesson learned - don't hive valuable new queens right next to mating nucs. OR, the only way to be sure a hive is queenless is to remove a queen from a queenright colony.

    Dagnabit.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    12,001

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    What? The Russell queen got beaten up by a local?
    Sorry for your losses. Some lessons are hard.
    Regards, Barry

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    5,183

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    The locals are pretty tough sometimes. Next time I'm gonna be really really careful.

  13. #32
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    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    Well, the nucs I have the SunKist Cordovan queens in are starting to emerge the workers from these queens, most or even all of them are also Cordovan. Also a few of the queens from the first good batch of cells are emerging -- tomorrow most of that first batch of queens should be out. They are looking very nice. Here's hoping they find some nice, non-AHB drones to mate with.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  14. #33

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    I'm hoping things go well for you...namley because I plan on buying a nuc or two of those Sunkist genes from you next spring
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

  15. #34
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    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    Almost all of my regular nucs and my mating nucs are now occupied by virgins that have emerged in the past three days, grown from the SunKist Cordovan queens. Unfortunately our main flow ended a few weeks early (mesquite), so I am feeding a little 1:1 and pollen substitute to help keep the momentum. I suspect the sudden early loss of the honey flow to be why I had to discard three bars of cells that were not up to my standards. But since I began some feeding of the cell builders they have done a much better job. Those queens may have turned out just fine, but I didn't want to take a chance (they had little or no reserve jelly and were much shorter than my usual cells). Though when I pulled those cells down and examined the pupae, they did not look stunted.

    I started the SunKist Cordovan queens in deep, 5-frame nucs on five medium frames. They appear to be ready for a second box of medium frames and I plan to move one frame up and replace it with a frame of drone comb to help inspire drone production. I'm always hoping the weather will cooperate and make it possible to raise queens through the Winter, but, so far, that's only happened once since I began raising queens (just a few years now). Usually the bees evict almost all of the drones. Perhaps if I continue some light feeding I can get them to keep more drones. That is what I intend to try.

    Our Summer rains have finally arrived and they've reached us this past Tuesday and now Thursday evenings. If we continue to receive rain like this we could have a late Summer wildflower flow, which would be nice. Since we've been at this location (a little more than a decade now), we've had two Winters with enough rain to produce really nice flows that continued into the Spring.

    It has been such fun raising queens and nucs these past few years, I certainly wish I had started this phase of my beekeeping experience decades earlier.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  16. #35
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    Nov 2009
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    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
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    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    I'm certainly enjoying your posts! Please keep feeding us info.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Saucier, MS
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by valleyman View Post
    I'm certainly enjoying your posts! Please keep feeding us info.
    Me Too! keep them coming.

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    Since it's begun to rain and the humidity has increased to average around 30% and it is around 70% right now, at 5:00AM - it has been better for grafting. I grafted two bars of seven cells each. One from one of the SKMQs, and the other bar from an ordinary queen (I'm planning to remove those larvae and replace with larvae from another SKMQ - double graft, as soon as the royal jelly fills about half of the cell cup base). There is still one bar of ripe cells (five cells) that I am hoping to find homes for, the bees just started to remove the wax from their tips, so they'll be emerging soon (I definitely need to, at least, find them a home away from my cell builder).
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    etowah,Alabama
    Posts
    453

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    send one here if you need to get them away My bees were aggressive this morning. All I was doing was adding CD boxes. The third hive got me good. I thinking I had the alarm pheromone going strong by then. I new and have a lot to learn. Hope you and yours are doing well.

  20. #39

    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    My split of my BeeWeaver hive is going ok - at least the old queen in her new home is doing ok. The queenless hive is still putzing along, made a few more queen cells but the original one still hasn't emerged. I may just decide forget it and try introducing one of your queens JC. Email me when they are ready and I'll see what I can do, maybe I'll get a couple as I don't really expect any honey this year I may split again to get ready for next year
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan Queens

    Here are pics of two of the Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan queens:



    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 07-11-2011 at 04:31 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

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