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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I came across and article out of N.C. State comparing Russians to Italians.(Bees that is:D) It states Russians keep active queen cells during the brood season but destroy them before they "fully develop". I have a swarm and a split from that swarm that that seem to always have one to three queen cells of which some get capped but the queens appear to be doing a good job. Does "fully developed" mean going to the capped stage? I had another post about this with some other possibilities and I noticed a recent post with similar behavior.
Thanks
Rick fisher
 

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I found the same study a few weeks ago and had the same question. I couldn't find any extra info, though, so I decided to assume that "fully developed" means capped. I've had Russians for a few years and have always prepared to split as soon as I saw queen cells under construction. So after I saw this, I held off when one of my Russian hives started building swarm cells. Checked back a few days later and saw it had a dozen capped cells, so I did some splits. Once they're capped, that's a signal to me that they're serious about swarming. But that's just my interpretation.
 

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You don't have much choice if they've capped the queen cells, except to split the hive. How would you know which ones are real swarm cells and which were just "fooling around" cells? I'll vouch for the fact that Russians build a ton of cells; it's one of the negatives about them. I suppose you could always collect the cells and start a Royal Jelly business! :D
 

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I have a Russian that has a capped queen cell right now and there arent enough bees to swarm. Initially i thought they were a dink hive and was going to pinch her heiness, but decided to hold off and see what happens. They have replaced her like 3 times since i picked them up in April on this one hive and thats why the numbers are so low. The newest queen is a laying fool right now so we shall see.
 

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We've had Russians for 8 years. Don't know what they mean by "destroy them before they "fully develop"", but i can tell you they build queen cups like crazy. These are just the little round cups that are placed anywhere on the comb or bottom of the frame. Tear them off, they build more. You better keep watch on them for eggs inside though. As far as I'm and the bees are concerned that's fully developed. I've seen cups come and go, but I've never seen them put an egg in a cup and then tear it down. Once there's an egg in there they won't quit until it's capped.
Arvin
 

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Actually, about a month ago I had my Russians build a queen cup in the center of a frame. An egg was lain in it, and a larva was growing. Upon inspection a few days later, the cell was half missing, larva AWOL, old queen still trucking around and doing her thing. They haven't done it again, but it has happened in my hive at least once that I'm aware.
 

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Im with CA, have seen eggs and larvae in cups, only to have them go missing...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all, Really good info that helps sort this out some. My next step is to find the reigning queen, mark her, and then I can track what's going on here.
The question now is,,,,If they are just building and tearing down w/o actually superceding,,, this swarm has some russian genes in it???
Thanks
Rick SoMd
 

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Funny, you all made me wanna go check the crazy russian hive. Now they are a 2 queen hive. Mom and daughter were right beside eachother. Mom was fat and the unmated daughter wasn't mated yet...very interesting....Heres a pic of the queen cell:

 

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My Russian queen likes to play hide & seek. Did an inspection yesterday and no queen or brood in the top deep--where all the bees are--but the hive demeanor is EXACTLY the same as my Cordovan split. Quiet, calm, & busy, so I know she's got to be in there somewhere. This is a big hive, so if they were queenless, they would let me know.
 
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