New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Rowayton, CT
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    205

    Default New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Hi there, into my 3rd week with a new package here in coastal CT.

    About the hive:
    - Russian 3lb package, some drone came along. They are hanging out for the most part on the provided Honey frames.
    - Medium frames, 1/2 new foundation, 1/4 old drawn comb, 1/4 honey laden old frames put on outside of box.
    - Feeding via hive top feeder sugar solution

    Observations so far:
    - Took about 7 days for the queen to be released from her queen package
    - Bees come and go but don't appear to be that busy at all. Some returning with Pollen.
    - When inspecting hive, many workers put their butts in the air and fan. Is that an indication that a queen is present and they are calling all the bees back to the hive?
    - Last 3 days we've had cooler temps, night time temps low 40's
    - yesterday's inspection, 4 supercedure cells on one frame. Guessing they are supercedure as they are smack on the middle of the frame, and this is a new package.

    I read an interesting post last night. It stated, that supercedure in new packages somewhat frequently and its best to leave them to make their own new queen vs. carve out the cells and buy a new queen.

    Interested to hear other beeks have to say about this situation. A listless new hive that 'appears' to be waiting on something vs. hyper activity is new to me.

    What would you do???

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    4,130

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    yup id let them, sounds like something is wrong with the queen

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Rowayton, CT
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Ok, yeah. forgot to add that I don't see any eggs or larva. I'm terrible at spotting eggs though.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Oyster Bay, NY, USA
    Posts
    476

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Newb here so no advice, except about seeing eggs. I have a hard time seeing them with my eyes (even with glasses) so when I inspect the hive, I take photos and blow them up later to look at. I have seen all kinds of eggs, larvae, etc. that I was too poor-sighted to see during the inspection. If you do that, and still don't see eggs, then you definitely know they're not there.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    You apparently thought that a Russian queen was important enough to order your package with one. If so, then why would you let her be superseded when she has just started? There is probably nothing inherently wrong with her, but she IS a Russian and they like to wait until the time is right to really get going. The other bees in the package are most likely mutts (based on the 7 day release which is pretty normal for Russian queens in mixed company) that aren't used to the slower build up of the Russian queen. I'd double check to see if those are empty cups (normal to keep a few around) or are active cells with larva. If they really are active cells, I would dig them out and give her a couple of weeks before deciding. She must be laying if you have cells, but sometimes they will only do small patches at first, when the time is right she should fire eggs at a much higher rate and all will be well with the world and your new Russian hive.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Rowayton, CT
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    I bought Russians for one reason. I had read that they are more tolerant to disease. After my Carnolian hive last year blew up with DWV and a host of other ailments, I wanted to try something.

    Thanks for the tips about russian queens being slow to get going. I certainly didn't know that! I'm going to go in again today with a looking glass to see if I see an eggs/larva in the supercedure cells.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Rowayton, CT
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    205

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Another thought, does the existing queen lay in supercedure cells or does a worker? If the existing queen is duped into replacing herself, I'd have a new Russian queen, no?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Anne Arundel County, MD
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by gman1001 View Post
    Another thought, does the existing queen lay in supercedure cells or does a worker? If the existing queen is duped into replacing herself, I'd have a new Russian queen, no?
    It would be the queen. Laying workers can only produce drones. Yes, the new queen would be at least part Russian, but how much would depend on the particular drone genes (among those her mother mated with) that go into her egg. And how much her offspring express Russian characteristics will also depend on the drones she has available to mate with. In any case she will be a generation further removed from the known line you paid the extra bucks for.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by gman1001 View Post
    Another thought, does the existing queen lay in supercedure cells or does a worker? If the existing queen is duped into replacing herself, I'd have a new Russian queen, no?
    Yes, the queen is duped and you would have another Russian queen crossed with whatever the original was bred with (one more removal from strain purity)

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Rowayton, CT
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    205

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    As chaotic as this all is, I love it. So interesting.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
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    2,095

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingJim View Post
    You apparently thought that a Russian queen was important enough to order your package with one. If so, then why would you let her be superseded when she has just started? There is probably nothing inherently wrong with her, but she IS a Russian and they like to wait until the time is right to really get going. The other bees in the package are most likely mutts (based on the 7 day release which is pretty normal for Russian queens in mixed company) that aren't used to the slower build up of the Russian queen. I'd double check to see if those are empty cups (normal to keep a few around) or are active cells with larva. If they really are active cells, I would dig them out and give her a couple of weeks before deciding. She must be laying if you have cells, but sometimes they will only do small patches at first, when the time is right she should fire eggs at a much higher rate and all will be well with the world and your new Russian hive.
    Say what??????????

    Whatever!!!!!!!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Rowayton, CT
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Honey-4-All, can you elaborate?

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
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    2,095

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by gman1001 View Post
    I bought Russians for one reason. I had read that they are more tolerant to disease. After my Carnolian hive last year blew up with DWV and a host of other ailments, I wanted to try something.

    Thanks for the tips about russian queens being slow to get going. I certainly didn't know that! I'm going to go in again today with a looking glass to see if I see an eggs/larva in the supercedure cells.
    There is one reason why very few people buy , sell or produce russian queens at the is point....... None of what you say they "will" do is actually of much help and the sons of a gun are decent problem children at best...

    Don't drink the Russsian Koolaid

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Rowayton, CT
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    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Pretty sure I never said they "will" do anything Honey-4-All. I did say I had read a few things though...

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Rowayton, CT
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    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Update: I just had to go inspect again.

    - I know see curly larva in cells, not a lot but some! So, I have that going for me.
    - Total of 8 superS cells. I tried to take pics but the bees just covered them and would not let me get a good shot. Anyway I've attached 3 pics for your viewing pleasure. The workers were very busy going in and out of these large cells.IMG_1654.jpgIMG_1655.jpgIMG_1656.jpg

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Greensboro, Georgia,USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    i do use a frame of "drawn out black plasticell" in the brood nest to help me see the tiny eggs. Since my eyesight aint what it use to be, it has helped drastically. just something you may want to try. The yellow color plasticell is the 2nd best and the white colored plasticell is no use to me for trying to see the tiny eggs.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by VikingJim View Post
    You apparently thought that a Russian queen was important enough to order your package with one. If so, then why would you let her be superseded when she has just started? There is probably nothing inherently wrong with her, but she IS a Russian and they like to wait until the time is right to really get going. The other bees in the package are most likely mutts (based on the 7 day release which is pretty normal for Russian queens in mixed company) that aren't used to the slower build up of the Russian queen. I'd double check to see if those are empty cups (normal to keep a few around) or are active cells with larva. If they really are active cells, I would dig them out and give her a couple of weeks before deciding. She must be laying if you have cells, but sometimes they will only do small patches at first, when the time is right she should fire eggs at a much higher rate and all will be well with the world and your new Russian hive.
    Ok, I know I'm just new to this but this sounds wrong..... if the bees have decided to supercede her, it will still be the same genetics you wanted, just in a new queen. They may decide to scrap the idea before the new queen hatches... but if there's something seriously wrong, you've lost your chance for a replacement other than ordering one. I'd let them sort it out.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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    152

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by gman1001 View Post
    Another thought, does the existing queen lay in supercedure cells or does a worker? If the existing queen is duped into replacing herself, I'd have a new Russian queen, no?

    Precisely. Workers can only lay drones.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    3,408

    Default Re: New Russian Package - Listless, W/Supercedure Cells, odd behavior

    Those look like queen cups, and russian bees keep them around more than other strains. Empty as a rule, unless they want to raise a new queen.

    I see plenty of larvae in the regular cells, so your queen is laying just fine. Look for shiny cell bottoms -- in new wax, the royal jelly looks like nectar or honey on the bottom of the cell since it's white like the new wax. On used brood comb the royal jelly is obvious -- often called "milk brood" because it looks like each cell contains a drop of milk.

    You will have capped brood in a few days.

    Peter

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