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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

About 5 weeks ago, I re-queened a Italian mut hive started from a package this year. I did it by building out a NUC for the new queen and then dropping those frames into the new hive (bees and all) after removing the old queen and the displaced frames.

Initial impression: Outstanding laying pattern. Bees are easy to work with, even in a dearth. Great producers. My only complaint... holy hell these bees love propolis. It is literally everywhere there was any gap... even on some the hardware cloth I use for venting. Still a few Italians in the mix as they change out the guard.

Inner cover - note the new bead of propolis around the screen. Its all over the place.
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Typical frame from 3rd brood box
Bee Honeybee Beehive Honeycomb Insect


Typical frame from 2nd brood box
Bee Honeybee Honeycomb Insect Beehive


And another one from the 2nd brood box.
Bee Insect Honeybee Honeycomb Beehive
 

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Very Nice pattern she has going there. Looks just like the ones my Russian hives create. I use 2x deeps and they bring the brood to the top of the middle of the second deep. They can produce brood incredibly fast it seems.
 

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I use 10 frame deeps also for brood, easier for splits, and like drlonzo said i also have brood in the top box. Probably 6 frames in top box is brood. Our fall honey flow is about to start I'm so ready for that lovely sweet golden rod and rag weed.
 

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I have only had Russians, but I compare notes with my cousin who keeps Italians and Carnis, and I love my Russians. In 3 years and a total of 15 hives (at various points), I've never had an aggressive hive. I've been stung, yes, but never "attacked." Propolis doesn't bother me. It seems like a tool that bees naturally use that we have, unfortunately, bred away from for convenience. I have had no major problems with varroa or SHB. I've seen them, but it has never been a problem. I had wax moth take over a couple frames in a hive that I weakened by stealing some frames from it to start a nuc -- and unknowingly squishing the queen in the process. Oops!

Go Russians!
 

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About the propolizing... If the workers shown on the frames are Russians they must be the from the yellow line as they look awfully light in color.

Might just be a sign of an impending early fall or another long winter headed your way instead. 5 weeks is hardly enough time to turn a full box of bees from singing under the red,white, and green flag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
About the propolizing... If the workers shown on the frames are Russians they must be the from the yellow line as they look awfully light in color.

Might just be a sign of an impending early fall or another long winter headed your way instead. 5 weeks is hardly enough time to turn a full box of bees from singing under the red,white, and green flag.
No, clearly quite a few Italians still working alongside their eastern sisters. The Russians are the black with light stripes in those pictures. These were only my first initial impressions after 5 weeks - very exciting! The propolis levels before the switchover and after is drastic, but not too sure if was due to the new DNA in the mix or some environmental conditions. My other Italian mut hives in the same area started from packages around the same time have not shown a propensity for gluing things together, leading me to think it might be genetic.

Its not really an issue for me... just need to keep that hive tool ultra thin/sharp to pry things open. ;)
 

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I have the same problem with my russian bees, they love to close up every hole they can. About every two weeks I take a knife and cut out the propolis so they get more air moving in this hot weather. Other than that they are great bees.
 

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I call my Russians,"Putins". And Im putin up with lots of propolis! And its that sticky kinda thin stuff that stains whatever it gets close to.
But the ladies do well and I've actually had beetles get stuck and couldn't get out of the hive glue!!!
They do well for me so far and make average honey yields. But someone wanting the Propolis is missing out if they do not have the Putins!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi Hubert,

I received my USDA Russian queens from Warm Colors Apiary in MA from Dan Conlon. Very knowledgeable guy and a pleasure to work with. I absolutely love working with this queen.
 

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hi zbee dan conlon is a member but he is not a certified member yet but he is working very hard to get to that goal so that may be why your bees make all the porpolis. hubert
I got my 20 russian queens this year from Coy's. Although there is a little propolis there's actually less than several of my Italian hives. I think i may have one hive of the russian's that is nearly as heavy with the propolis as the italian's but the rest are not heavy users.
 
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