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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in the northern parts of Ohio, where the Winters are harsh. Clearly my best bet is to start a Carniolan hive within the next week or two, right? Unfortunately the only seller in my area only has Italian bees, as they've sold out of Carnolians. I'm trying to start a Carnolian hive, not an Italian. Not that there's anything wrong with Italians, it's just that they aren't as hardy as Carniolan's in the Winter. My seller does however have a few Carniolan queens left. So I figure I could introduce a Carnolian queen to an Italian hive. What would be the outcome if I do? Could I create a hybrid of Carniolan/Italians for the winter? Is this worth it? Would I even notice a difference if I go this route? I'm a new beekeeper and any information would be helpful.
P.S. I don't have much time to decide, as the shipment of Italians is coming in within the next week or two.
P.S.S. I already checked the forums a bit and I couldn't find anything related to my predicament. If there is another thread related to this, just direct me there.
 

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All the bees in the hive are offspring from the queen, so if you replace an Italian queen with a Carni queen, all the future bees from the new queen will be Carni. Bees life span is only 5 or 6 weeks, so within 6 weeks you'll see all the bees in the hive will have changed over to Carniolan.
 

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Yes, the above posts are correct.
But that is what you want, right.
All Carniolan is good for your harsh winter including the worker bees.
My experience and outcome might not be the same as yours. I tried to introduce an Italian queen into a Carni hive. They killed her the next week. Then I tried to introduce a Carniolan queen into an Italian hive. They also killed her one week later dragging her dead body right in front of me when I was observing the hive activity.
Bottom line is the Italian worker bees are not that acceptable of other queens. Maybe these are the nurse bees so they are more
willing to accept a new Carni queen. You can definitely try and give us an update on your progress.
You can try to create a hybrid also but have to evaluate the queen first. That will take some time to do. And the only way to tell is when they overwintered well.

1st pic, a big fat juicy virgin Carni-80%/Italian-20% hybrid: She's a lot darker now.
 

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The cold hard reality is that you are most likely getting a hybrid queen with carniolan traits or appearance, a pure queen is next to imposable. Even if someone imported a virgin carniolan from her native land where there were no other breeds of bees for hundreds of miles. When she got here and was bread she would carry the genetics of every species of drone residing within a two mile radius, be they kept of wild. As the queen would visit a breeding area where all the guys, of every race hang out. She would then breed with several of them diversifying the genetic pool of her hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Basically what you all are saying is if I take an Italian Hive and breed them with a Carni queen, I'll end up with a Carni Hive within 5-6 weeks, which is ideal. The negative behind this being that the Italian's might not accept her and kill her, killing the hive. I think I'm gonna take the risk and buy the Carni queen, and I'll try to post pics showing what happens. The Italians are already ordered and will be here within 2-3 days of the 17th according to the seller, so I have some leeway time to plan ahead.
Another problem here being I don't know if the Carni queen is a virgin or not. If the Carni queen is a virgin and mates with the Italians, it'll still be an Italian hive if I'm not mistaken?
 

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More than likely the queen you will be getting is mated. If you are paying in the $20-$30 range it should be mated. If you are paying less than $10 it could be a virgin.

If you are in fact getting a mated Carniolan queen, chances are it was open mated (flies out of the hive into a drone congregation area to mate)and would be mated by a large number of drones (somewhere around 13-20). Queen bees will mate with other breeds of bees, so it may have mated with Carniolans, Italians, Russians....whatever else is in the area, all at the same time, so it's offspring will be a mixture of the carniloan queen genetics and whatever breeds of drones it mated with.

The other option is an instrumentally inseminated queen which is inseminated using tools by a beekeeper who raises queens and can somewhat control what sperm the queen is being inseminated with. These queens are usually much more expensive.

But to answer your question...yes...if you put a Carni queen in an Italian hive and they accept her, all the offspring will be Carniolan within 5-6 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for the advice! The Carni queen costs exactly $25, so based on what Mike said that's pretty reassuring. I'm definitely going through with the Carni queen now, and I'll be glad to post pics and information about how it goes in the coming weeks. Thanks for the help, hopefully I'll have a Carni Hive soon. After Beepro's experience integrating her might be difficult. Any advice on acquainting the Carni queen into the Italian Hive would be helpful. Although that information's probably in another thread?

Then I tried to introduce a Carniolan queen into an Italian hive. They also killed her one week later dragging her dead body right in front of me when I was observing the hive activity.
I'm just a little skeptical after hearing about this experience.
 

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Cataleptic, you can't trust everyone on here some talk as if they have done it for years when they just started this year. You can look at the profiles and see who has been on here longer, you will get to know them the more you are on hear also. I could name a couple but I will be a good boy.
 

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I think if you make them queenless for 1-24 hours you can put a caged Carn queen in there... I dont see why they would kill her. The only time I know of that she is killed is when they have a queen, Qcells, or a laying worker. I hope this helps :)
 

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As in anything else there is always an exception. I mentioned that your experiences and outcome might be
different from mine. The only way is to try it and learn from your own experiences. Nobody can say for sure
if this experiment will work out or not. I don't want to sound pessimistic as I am not one.
It has nothing to do with being how long you are a beekeeper. It has to do with
the level of acceptance of the queen bee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVKalyj1xiI
So we follow the same process of a standard queen in a cage introduction. Work out or not it is up to the worker
bees to decide. We can only do so much and let them bee. In about one week you will know if it was a success or not.
Do you think that your supplier is willing to exchange a Carni with an Italian for you?
 

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If you add carpathian or russian or caucasin queen to an italian hive you'll have problems 80% of the time. Italians and carniolans are close enough in their genetics that workers will accept a new queen of either of these two breeds, provided that they've been queenless for a day.

I personally would not call a tiger pattern queen a carni queen, as I would not call a black queen that came out of orange queen a carniolan either. You are looking for burgundy black queen with 0 brood in winter, explosive growth in the spring and gentle as kittens workers. That will be a good indicator of carni queen to me. But that's just me. My carnies are resistant to tracheal mite, my italians do not stand up to mites easily. But if you keep multiple breed in your apiary, pretty soon the only thing you'll be able to do is separate daughter queens by color and hope that breed specific performance goes with it. Breed lots, select the best few.

By the way, carni queens are long and skinny compared to italians. So do not undervalue them based on looks.
 

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Aram, I like your posting. :) Very clear and precise infos. Thanks!
 

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I introduced 2 New World Carniolans 3 weeks ago, into 2 hives of Italians, and both were accepted. As long as there is not a queen, queen cells, or virgins in your hives, you should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm acquiring the bees this Saturday, so in 2 days time. I think I'll be fine. To be specific I'm gonna-
Pick up the bees, place them in the hive
Leave them Queenless for 24 hours
Place the queen in after 24 hours with the hard candy (The candy should last 24-48 hours I believe)
I'll update the thread daily regarding my progress.
 

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I have done this before with the soft candy. When the workers are desperate for
a new queen they will work around the clock trying to release her. My fastest time
was 2.5 days for them to get thru the candy to release the queen. So by the 3rd
day you should see the queen released. Check back in 3 days should be fine.
 

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I've introduced several NWC queens from Strachans and from tarheit here on Beesource into Italian hives and never had a problem with them being rejected. I've made nucs with a combination of frames from Carni and Italian hives and never had a problem. While I am being disagreeable, I also don't think that there is any significant difference in the look of the queens except the color. All of my hives are now a mixture of the above queens. Beware of what you read on the internet.

7-8 years ago I did what you suggesting and went from Italian to Carni. It is interesting to see the color change over the next couple of months. Now I don't know what I have since I raise my own queens from the combination of both breeds.
 

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The combination of both breeds are a hybrid. What I have is the Carni mixed in lighter
color than the pure dark Carni queen. If the daughter queen is from a Carni drone
then her color is much darker versus the drone coming from an Italian genetic. Now
I try to convert the queen back to the Italians coming from the Carni line. Since they
are all mixed now it is hard to tell what you will get until after the queen hatched. It
is always interesting to not know what will come out of the queen cell each time. I'm
expecting at least an 80% chance that they are the Italians since their mom is a very yellow
Italian queen open mated with Italians and Carni drones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I managed to set up the hive and integrate the bees in. Everything's going well and today I'm gonna release the queen, just using a marshmallow. I've waited 4 days to release the queen because I'm trying to be as cautious as possible. There's nothing to really update about yet.
 
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