Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a lovely Russian queen who was successfully placed in an Italian hive & out on June 16. She laid exactly one frame of eggs and has stopped. Now I can't find her, but I'm pretty sure she's still around because the general demeanor is exactly the same as my Italian hive that I know has a queen.

This is my first experience with Russians. I have heard that if/when there's a dearth, she will suspend laying until conditions improve. There's a ton of pollen on a couple of frames and about an equal amount of nectar/honey. She has plenty of open frames to lay in, so I know she's not honeybound.

We have just gone thru an extremely hot & dry June (recordbreaking). Our normal dearth usually runs mid-July to mid-August. Could she have gotten the idea that we're already in dearth?

I'm thinking about throwing on a bucket of feed just to see if that will jumpstart some action. Any comments or suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
Its my first year, so take this with a grain of salt, but I've read that Russian queens judge by how much is coming in, not how much is stored.

Its super dry where I'm at and I have a Russian queen--I've kept them on sugar water and she continues to lay faster than the hive can build cells.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
mothergoosemagic, check again closely, sometimes hives that are queenless will accept the Russian queen and allow her to lay eggs in enough quantity that they can use to replace her then they ball her and you will never see her again. Take your time and make sure you spot her to make sure you are not seeing her replacement eggs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement.

This was a Dwight Porter queen. The hive had only been queenless for 24 hours when she was introduced. Stayed in the EZBZ cage with the orange cap on, then took it off per Dwight's instructions. Three days later I confirmed she was out & walking around.

A few days later I found the one frame she was laying on, and yes, there were some queen cells, but all but one at the BOTTOM of the frame, like typical swarm cell position. Taking advantage of the situation, I removed the frame, made triple sure she wasn't on it, and put it into a swarm hive that I knew was queenless. That was the last time I saw any brood, but I did see the queen that day.

The swarm hive went on to develop several queen cells and I have two clumps caged off in addition to the clump at the bottom. In addition, I was able to excise a single cell near the side of the frame, and that's being taken care of in a nuc next to the original hive. So at least I have 4 potential back ups. Now I'm thinking maybe I should take one of the queen cells & put it back into the original hive. I don't mind risking one, but if the original queen is still there, I don't want her superceded.

I did go ahead and put on a bucket of feed today around noon. Now I'm thinking I might just do a total invasive and see if the girl is hiding somewhere. At least she's marked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@habutti, I think you may be right. I just came down from the beeyard, having taken the hive completely apart. She's not in there anywhere.

I put a frame with a couple of her queen cells on it back into the hive. They should be emerging by the end of this weekend, so I'll see what happens. If all else fails, I can combine this hive or get a different queen.

I just hate that I wasted $25 and a whole lot of time. Oh, well, you live, you learn...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,683 Posts
Once you requeen, disturb the hive as little as possible for 12 days post release. Place the cage in such a way that when you open the hive you can pull out the cage without removing frames. Because you searched the hive too quickly, they probably killed the queen. The 12d is time for the hive to adjust to their new leader.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, Honeyshack. I took the cage off the cell clump when I put it in the hive, so hopefully, they'll be a little more accepting since she'll emerge in their presence.

I will take your 12-day suggestion under full advisement. I'm sure I'll be introducing new queens in the future. I have several hives raising queens right now, and once I confirm the queens have emerged, I'm staying out until at least July 18, and possibly July 25. I want to give them a good 2 weeks before looking for brood anyway.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top