Russell Sunkist Queens - Page 4
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  1. #61
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    1,563

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Moonbeam hive... two deeps (the upper deep with three outer frames of foundation to study comb building throughout winter), and one medium of foundation on top...

    Entrance... more active than the pic shows...
    http://i1040.photobucket.com/albums/...s/IMAG0833.jpg

    Top of upper deep with bottom of medium foundation in rear...
    http://i1040.photobucket.com/albums/...s/IMAG0839.jpg

    Bottom of upper deep...
    http://i1040.photobucket.com/albums/...s/IMAG0841.jpg

    Top of lower deep...
    http://i1040.photobucket.com/albums/...s/IMAG0840.jpg

    Average bee coverage for this hive is 13 deep frames... brood and stores could not be calculated due to temp and wind, however, the upper deep was quite heavy even with three frames of foundation in it, leading to the assumption that the brood frames in this chamber are still well banded with stores...

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  3. #62
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Lathrop, CA
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    51

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Did these hives receive any supplemental feeding?
    Last edited by hystad; 01-19-2012 at 05:08 PM.

  4. #63
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    3,406

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Impressive pics. As expected, it just made me more anxious

  5. #64
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by hystad View Post
    Did these hives receive any suplimental feeding?
    No. No feeding or treating for anything aside from the powdered sugar/Tylosin mixture for last year.

    Instead of feeding, I prefer to just spread seeds at different intervals... this causes a mild bloom year round and of course placement has a lot to do with that...

  6. #65

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    thanks guys for the pics

  7. #66
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,373

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    It's Winter, and watching most hives with foragers out in 40'sF and just as the sun is coming up they are bringing in several different shades of pollen. That behavior is something I am not quite familiar with from most other "strains" of bees I had been keeping. Several hives are already beginning to build up their populations. This will be my first Spring with SunKist Cordovan's, I can hardly wait.

    I have built more benches and am working on building more 4-way, 3-frame, medium mating condo's.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #67
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Homestead ,Iowa ,USA
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    9

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    i just went to the hives today, sneaked a peek at a Nuc of Sunkist, not cor. colored, and they are doing very well, really suprised they look so good. We have been blessed with a much milder winter than normal, but, I will take any advantage I can get. I will be adding to my Queens with more of R. Russells Queens, very satisfied with them.

  9. #68
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    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    1,563

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Ok guys... so how are they looking so far this spring?

  10. #69
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    Sep 2005
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    Greensboro, North Carolina
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    3,406

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Nice to see you back Doc!

  11. #70
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh PA
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    399

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Had started 2sunkist(not cordovan) and 2vsh nucs last summer. They all are doing great. I think sunkists are stretching their stores too far. Vsh are more cautious with stores. Sunkists are the biggest clusters I've seen at this time of year. 3-4 frames of brood vs 1-2 in VSH. I had to feed one of the sunkist.
    I'm very happy. I think I like VSH better so far. Time will tell.

  12. #71
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN
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    319

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Dr. Russell you mentioned seeding at intervals. I just ordered a lb. of ball clover from you and then read that you are supposed to plant it in Oct/Nov. Can I plant it this Spring in Nashville TN? There are some roadsides that would benefit from some bee forage. . .also would it bloom this season or is it biennial?

  13. #72
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    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
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    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Balhanapi, the Sunkists will fly further, progress to forager faster, and fly in cooler weather than most bees... thus even in early buildup, they tend to find what they need to make it work... as a commercial bee, I always recommend that they winter in doubles with a super... the resulting populations are well worth the space...

    Nance, it will bloom this season... you just want to get it down while its cooler and before it dries up... as long as there is precipitation, it will continue to bloom... it reseeds itself very well, and whatever stand you get this year, will grow much larger next year... I have been researching the effects of clover for sometime now in the hopes that it may be able to offer an offset to the lack of cover crops in field crops and over fed soils in orchards... the idea is to incorporate the use of clovers as for these purposes as well as roadsides in order to not only be beneficial for the immediate use, but also to provide a food source for bees that has been diminished over the last few decades with heavier mowing and hedgerow clearing...

  14. #73
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    5,183

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    Balhanapi, the Sunkists will fly further, progress to forager faster, and fly in cooler weather than most bees... thus even in early buildup, they tend to find what they need to make it work... as a commercial bee, I always recommend that they winter in doubles with a super... the resulting populations are well worth the space...
    That's exactly what I'm seeing so far. My SC daughter queens are stand outs too.

  15. #74
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    2,324

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Welcome back Dr.Russell

  16. #75
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    Apr 2011
    Location
    Homestead,Iowa,USA
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    32

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Well, I just checked my Sunkist hives today, the original Queen is doing very well, with 4 frames of brood, both sides, lots of fuzzy little new bees, the daughter of a Sunkist Queen that went into winter fairly light, has 3 partial frames of brood, all are doing well, considering we are in the middle of March in IOWA! Could still get nasty around here, but it was wonderfull to get into the hives so early. 78 for a high today, way nice. Paul

  17. #76
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Frisco City, AL, USA
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    99

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Dr. Russell, I got a Sunkist nuc last summer that exploded - overwintered 4 deeps high (10 frame), completely drawn out (I had planned to split the hive, but the cold weather arrived before I could do so). The hive swarmed on me this week, but I was able to catch the swarm and I split the hive into 4 hives, all with at least one capped queen cell. If they build up this year like they did last year I should be able to get a honey crop from them also They are some awesome bees!

  18. #77
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bryan, TX
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Thanks Doc for the emails and taking care of my order. Looking forward to the SKCs

  19. #78
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hughson, CA
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Great thread. I am currently grafting from a Northern Select SunKist breeder queen I purchased last fall and have to say I am truly amazed with its' genetics. Out of all of my breeders, it has put on the most weight and significantly outgrown all the the others. During the winter it was pulling in a tremendous amount of pollen while all the others were not even flying. Based on my observations, I would concur that forages from the colony cover a larger area in terms of gathering pollen and nectar than most bees. Definitely something special.

  20. #79
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    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    Ok guys... so how are they looking so far this spring?
    They are looking good, very good.

    Well, I'm presently running all my hives and nucs with Russell Apiaries SunKist Cordovan stock. Also all my hives and nucs are no longer headed by earlier rounds of daughter queens. Most of the more recent queens show a large percentage of Cordovan female offspring, many producing almost 100% Cordovan workers. All colonies, whether Cordovan or non-Cordovan are easily managed and not overly defensive, as well as very industrious. In earlier years a small percentage of open mated daughter queens would develop colonies with somewhat overly defensive traits. Unexpectedly I have not yet seen that happen while I've been working with the SunKist Cordovan strain.

    I'm still using the same MQs, originally obtained from Russell Apiaries, and though sometimes a few of their daughters are not homozygous for the Cordovan trait, most are. Presently I am even evaluating a few of these new daughters as possible MQs.

    Of course that doesn't permit me to make any direct comparisons, but I can still compare them with memories of my previous bees. Today we had some much needed rain, enough to hopefully continue the wildflower flow we've been enjoying for the past month or so. Between storms I went out to see how things were going: it was approximately 45F, a little breezy, and dark with clouds; most colonies were flying, I was surprised and fascinated. They weren't bringing in pollen, of course, but I'm wondering what it is they were up to.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  21. #80
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Georgetown,S.C. 29440
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    65

    Default Re: Russell Sunkist Queens

    I received my Sunkist Cordovan Queens in June 2011. I have been feeding them 1/1 sugar syrup all winter. These hives are in 10 frame brood boxes on 8 1/2" foundations. The bees are very mild and easy to work. Eight frames are full of brood, eggs, honey and pollen.
    Two frames have uncapped nectar. All hives have good numbers with some capped Drones. One hive has a few hatched Drones with a started Queen cell. The weather was 73* with mild winds. I am very satisfied with Russell's Sunkist Cordovan Queens.

    Henry Lowrimore

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