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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A drawback to living in Maine is that I don't have access to Russian nucs or packages. So, if I want Russian bees my alternatives come down to splitting my own hives and giving a Russian queen or purchasing packages, doing something with the supplied queen, and then installing a Russian queen. What are the problems/challenges of the 2nd method - ie using a Russian queen in an otherwise queenless package? (3lb Italian packages)
 

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Introducing a Russian queen to bees of another race can be done, but it may take more time. I like to introduce the Russian queen into a small nuc colony made up of very young bees. I place this nuc colony above a double screen on top of the colony which I wish to requeen. Leaving the original queen under the double screen for about 4 weeks, then removing her and the double screen thus uniting the colony headed by the new queen. This method also has the benefit of having two queens laying for a month in the same colonly. Be sure to have the entrance/exit for the nuc colony on top facing the opposite direction of the bottom colony.
 

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To add to what BeeAware has mentioned. I first will add a second box above the nuc place a queen excluder between them and move all the open brood into it for a day. Most of the nurse bees will move upward to tend to the brood, nurse are less hostile to a new queen. The old queen will remain below and continue to lay eggs.

On the second day I will replace the queen excluder with a double screen board and introduce the Russian queen using an introduction cage. The benefit is if the introduction of the Russian queen is unsuccessful you still have a laying queen. If successful you can eliminate the old queen and you will not see any delay in brood rearing.

If you are starting with a package establish them in a Nuc until the queen has started laying and them perform the manipulation I mentioned.
 

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Both Carl Webb and Hubert Tubbs, members of the Russian Queen breeders association, use the following method with great success. I have used it for two years introducing a total of about 25 queens.

Find and pinch the old queen. Place the new queen in her cage (with or without attendants) between frames of brood. Leave the cap on the candy and close the hive up. Four days later open the hive and retreive the caged queen. Observe the resident bees interaction with her. If they are calm and feeding her through the cage and otherwise not showing aggression toward her then remove the candy cap and return the caged queen to the former position between brood frames. Check back in 7 to 10 days and you'll have an accepted Russian queen. If you find resident bees acting aggressively towards her after the 4 day period then don't remove the candy cap and replace her in the hive for another period of 1 to 2 days and repeat the process. I have always found acceptance after the 4 day period and have never had to put her back for additional time. This method works equally well with introductions to Italian or Russian hives. If you're introducing to a queenless package you won't have an old queen to pinch or brood in the hive unless you add brood from another hive but I believe this method would work equally well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I want to see just how well pure Russians do with mites. I've got a location I'm working on at an organic farm and the concept of pure Russians should appeal to them. The farm is several miles away from anyone else that keeps bees and is fairly close to a National Park. About as good isolation as I'm going to get around here. With the responses so far I'm starting to lean more and more to the option of making up nucs using bees from my own hives. The issue there is I want to expand in this new year and thanks to a late bear episode I went into winter with *only* ten colonies. And I do want to make some honey next (I mean this) year.
 

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If you wish, Contact David at Long Creek Apiaries for Pure Russian Queens. [email protected] or visit his site: www.longcreekapiaries.com . I'm not sure he'll even respond or sell you anything with the purpose you have. He may feel the need to keep the gene pool untouched. Anyhow, see if he'll respond.
 

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If you wish, Contact David at Long Creek Apiaries for Pure Russian Queens.
Snip

If I was directing someone towards a source for "Pure Russian Queens" I would suggest that they buy from one of the members of The Russian Honeybee Breeders Association .

The following is from Long Creek's website:

"We are happy to announce the formation of the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association. As a breeder that follows the guidelines of that organization, we are implementing the principals of the USDA-ARS Russian Honeybee Program. There are strict rules and procedures to follow to insure the integrity of the Russian stock."

While Long Creek "follows the guidelines" and they are "implementing the principals of the USDA-ARS" they are not members of The Russian Honeybee Breeders Association .

I'm not sure he'll even respond or sell you anything
There seems to be mixed reviews concerning Long Creek Apiaries... the most recent comments can be read here:

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=232835
 

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After reading 4 + pages of total opinions, mostly OK, and OK from my standpoint, aggravating 2+ moderators, the only thing I've learned that can be vouched for is the fact that he does not communicate as much as people wish.

This year was a great exception to the "Weather" being very rainy. Before I got my 2 colonies, we had 12" of rain in the past 3 weeks prior to delivery. Our weather patterns usually go straight through Tennessee. My In-laws live close by Parrottsville, TN and were also complaining of heavy flooding and cloudy days. This does affect bees to the extremes. I had to call a couple times, however they got delivered and did just fine.

After checking the BBB, They received a "D" rating only due to the bad weather and file dates THIS last year of 2009 in July. My order was delayed too, but for a legitimate reason. Also, he's been in business for 3.5 years. Most places have a rocky start before becoming established, especially debts that mother nature takes time to replenish.

Back on topic:
I ordered my #3 package for next year without any fear of them keeping my $$ and giving nothing. I paid in November and the check has not been cashed yet. If there's a reputable Russian Honey Bee Apiary out there, then please let us know where and when....and how much....
 

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If there's a reputable Russian Honey Bee Apiary out there, then please let us know where and when....and how much....
The members of the The Russian Honeybee Breeders Association are not hiding in some undisclosed location.

They are here:
http://www.russianbreeder.org/members.htm

The story of the "Primorsky" bees can be read here:
http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=2744&page=1

As for the Better Business Bureau report of Long Creek Apiaries...

There were 7 complaints
These complaints concerned :
1 regarding Delivery Issues
6 regarding Refund or Exchange Issues

These complaints were closed as:
2 Resolved
5 Unresolved

28% of the complaints were resolved :s

The report is here:
http://www.bbb.org/knoxville/busine...g-creek-apiaries-in-parrottsville-tn-90010951

Bad weather should not have prevented them from issuing refunds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Whoa there folks - I have a supplier for Russian Queens - not the one mentioned in this thread. And yes they are a member of the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association. Let's keep this thread on topic please.
 

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Whoa there folks - I have a supplier for Russian Queens - not the one mentioned in this thread. And yes they are a member of the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association. Let's keep this thread on topic please.

:) You may have made a good choice... :)
 

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If you have doubts as to the benefits of the USDA Russian there's tons of literature, not the least of which is found in the June 2009 issue of BEE CULTURE. Inner Cover author Kim Flottum writes the following:

"The most effective method to combat varroa mites is to use honey bees that are resistent to varroa mites. They exist. You can buy them. You can make them. You have to want them. They are the Russians. They are the survivors. They are hygenic. They are better than the rest. If these bees aren't in your colonies, on your list to buy, on the way to your colonies today...then you are on the list of those who are on the way out."
 

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FORGET all the hype about introducing Pure Russian Queens into Italians or mutts!!!
Last July I recieved my pure Russian Queens from Bob Brachman in Ny. I pinched the Queens that were in the hives, put the new Queens between frames of brood, with the Queen facing down. Some of these had been in the mail for a week and was released by the next day. All were released within 3 days. 8 out of 9 survived and were laying within 3 days. 8 out of 9 is not a bad average & the 9th one was my fault. A friend split the shipments with me and he was 5 for 5 doing the same. For Gods sake they are just Queens not some monster that you have to get them to take. I had a drone layer out of 1 of the Queens. I ordered 1 Queen from Ray Revis and when she arrived I pinched the old Queen an used the same method as before. She was out in 3 days and was laying 3 days later. I'm not the only one that will tell you this, and if you do a search on the subject you will find this to be true.:doh:
 

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Thank you for the reply. My plan is to split my hives a few days before I receive the Russian queens. I would be introducing them into hives that had no queen for a few days prior to her arrival. From what I have read, you put her between two frames and after four days she can be released from the cage.
 

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Following Valleyman's advice will be great if it works like he says. I would not be surprised if it worked most of the time. However, it won't work all of the time if you are trying to put a Russian in with Italians/Mutts, particularly if the Italians/Mutts are aggressive.

Unless you have Russians already, queen acceptance can be an issue. Take it slow by putting the queen in with the cork still in the cage for 5-7 days and then check to see if they have started to act nice. When I have tried to introduce Russians in the past, they Italians stayed aggressive to the queen in the cage for several days.

If you have non-Russian bees that are also hot, then you may need to go to more extreme measures such as getting the queen established in a nuc and then doing a combine. And then you still may need to hold your breath. I had a couple of hot hives that basically refused to accept a Russian queen.
 

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DQPESTCONTROL; I would advise you to not make your splits until the day before introducing your new queens or even the same day. If you give them more than about 24 hours queenless they will start queen cells and will never accept your new queens. You will be wasting whatever money you spent for the queens. Our best results from splits have been to make the splits in the morning and introduce a queen or cell that same afternoon; they know they're queenless within a very short time after removing them from a queenright hive and will be anxious to get queenright again ASAP. ;)
 

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If you have non-Russian bees that are also hot, then you may need to go to more extreme measures such as getting the queen established in a nuc and then doing a combine. And then you still may need to hold your breath. I had a couple of hot hives that basically refused to accept a Russian queen.
Neil, do you not agree that any genetics that you put would have had the same problem with these aggressive hives? How long ago did you have the problems with acceptance? Last year I heard a lot of what I experienced.

Fishstix I agree with your analogy. Keep em waiting and they will build their own.
 
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