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Background:

I bought 3 packages and installed them on April 27th. All are doing will with new emerging bees now. They are lined up on a hive stand side by side and the one on the right is twice as strong as the other two. When I installed them I believe a lot of the bees that were flying from all three packages ended up in this third hive on the right.

Situation:

Bought a russian queen from Walter Kelley, she arrived yesterday and I pulled a couple of frames of nectar/honey and a couple of frames of brood in all stages and a couple of frames of partially drawn comb from the strongest hive and put them into a new hive about ten feet away from the original three. The queen cage was placed on top of these frames and hive covered. Today when I checked on them they are completely covering the queen cage, the cork is still in place. There are also a few of the displaced nurse bees doing orientation flights around this new hive.

Question:

If I move this new hive over next to the strong hive that I took the frames from, will some of the returning foragers choose this hive as there home? Would the forager bees be less likely to accept this new queen and damage/kill her? Should I just shake in some more nurse bees and leave the new hive a short distance from the others? How long should I wait to pull the cork and let the bees start working on the candy plug?
 

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if all hives were laying but for whatever reason most of the forragers were drifting to one hive, you could have just switched the placement of the hives around to help even out the work force. I would probably still do this so the new hive will have a workforce.
 

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It sounds like everything is on course. Except you need to remove the cork from the candy end of the cage, so the bees can eat it and release their new queen. If the extra bees that joined your new Russian queen in the made-up split, weren't willing to accept her, they most likely wouldn't have volunteered to join her.

It generally isn't difficult to get typical EHB's to accept AHB or Russian queens, it's difficult to get them to switch back again, once they've had a taste of the Russian queen pheromones.
 

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I wouldn't move the split again. But, no I don't think anymore bees would leave the split than already have. Normally the older bees will leave and return to the original hive on the first day they are able to fly. But, the bees in the split will start to orient to their new spot if you move the split again your going to confuse those bees.
 

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Did I read that Russian queens sometimes come with (push in) wire introduction cages - which allow them to begin laying before they are released in the "conventional (queen candy plug) manner? The benefits appear be many-fold. Extending the introduction time while getting down to a bit of business, improved introduction success, and laying a few potential "successor seeds" , in the event the introduction fails.

BTW - having the package bees all over the (unreleased) queen cage isn't unusual in my experience. I have no hands on experience with Russians but follow the topic with interest.
 

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RUSSIAN QUEENS - Don't pull the cork for at least 3 days if you have candy in the end. If you have no candy and must use a marshmallow, wait 4 days. I know it sounds strange but i've done enough research on this topic to kill a horse. The acceptance rate of a Russian queen is much lower if you don't allow the extra time. It is due to the fact that her pharamones is so diff from the italians. I have just made up the same type of split that MajorJC has and i'm following the directions from the Russian Honeybee Breaders Association http://www.russianbreeder.org/ Using push in cages over top of emerging brood gives her a workforce while she waits as new bees know NO queen yet and will take her as their own immediately.
 
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