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Interesting Queen Intro

1764 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  mothergoosemagic
Wednesday night our local beek group hosted Dwight Porter, who very kindly brought me a Russian queen. I had already planned to split my Cordovan hive yesterday--keeping the Cordie in one deep and introducing the Russian into the other.

Early yesterday morning (before 9 am) I separated the deeps and confirmed that the Cordie was fat, happy & in the desired box. About 6 hours later, I made my first attempt to introduce the Russian as per Dwight's instruction.

Long story short, the girls didn't take kindly to the strangers. Within seconds, there was a clump of angry buzzing about the size of a tennis ball. I grabbed the EZBZ, brushed off the workers and popped the cage back in my pocket. The Russian & her ladies weren't exactly happy either and were still buzzing by the time I got back down to the house. Gave the girls a cool drink & put them back in the dark to settle down.

This morning, totally different story. Despite being told I could place the cage in as little as 20 minutes after they were queenless, I waited the full 24 hours before trying again. :no:

Much more receptive. A large group of workers immediately surrounded the cage, but not the angry balling like yesterday. Within 30 minutes, there were still some bees on the cage but the majority were going about their business and walking on top of the frames.

Should be able to remove the orange cap on the EZBZ on Monday morning. Then give them a chance to release her on their own time. Looking much better this time around. Fingers crossed!!!
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Checked on the cage this evening. Despite being what I thought was firmly wedged between the center frames, it had slipped down and the orange cap was pointed straight up. Not good as that's where the candy is.

Pulled the cage out again, checked that the queen was still alive (she was), and put it back with a small stick to keep it in place. Meanwhile, the girls were pretty hot that I was messing with the queen. Covered the cage, shaking their tiny feet at me, and a slew of them came after me. Glad I put on the whole Armour of God as usual. ;)
There are a million ways to introduce,but I have dropped them down between the frames too. I like a empty super or a queening rim. I make sure that they are feeding her before I remove the cap. It will be a thick goo on the cage. If not then a push in cage on brood. Just like I said a million different ways put its easy. Peace Dave
Sounds like a great idea. I just put a screened spacer on top of all my hives so I can observe without interrupting them.

Because she's a Russian & I am introducing her into an Italian hive, wedging her between the brood frames theoretically limits the workers access to her. This is my strongest hive so there were a lot of bees even after the split.
When requeening, I always leave the hive queenless for 12-24 hours. Have not had a hive that killed the new queen yet. I also have a 2 inch shim that I place on top. I place the cage screen down on top of the frames. No more dropping the cage or having to take a frame out to place the queen cage.
I am starting to totally love the spacer. Makes life a whole lot easier when just doing a quick check without disturbing the girls.

Peeked into the top today between rain showers. About a handful of bees covering the queen and the rest on top of the frames. All calm despite the wet weather.

Was at a fantastic queen rearing class today at Virginia Tech. *Now* I find out Russian queens get quicker acceptance in an Italian hive if it's smaller, not full size like I'm doing. :doh: I probably could make up a nuc and put her in there, but I'm just going to leave well enough alone.
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