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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. Second year newbie. Single hive starved out over winter.

I bought a second hive. I installed two russian queens with two italian packages. I have not pulled the cork from the queen cages yet. I don't know of local sources for russian packages. So made use of my local sources and ordered the russian queens elsewhere. ( I know someone is going to ask. I gave the italian queens to a neighbor that lost his two hives over the winter. He has a friend helping with splits).

Bees seem to be settling in nicely. Very gentle.

I have two questions.

1) Someone told me that I would need to keep the russian queens in the cages for 10-14 days because I am introducing them to Italians. I think they are beginning to accept them (only been two days so far). I originnally planned on waiting about 5 days before removing the cork. Is 10 -14 days really necessary. That seems a bit extreme to me. But just a newbie.

2) Seeing a little "tobacco juice on outside of hives. Is this normal for a newly installed package because they haven't been able to take cleansing flights? or do I need to worry about nosema. I have never medicated yet and would prefer to never have to.
I looked real carefully inside. I have seen no "tobacco juice" inside.

I would really appreciate your input.
Thanking you in advance.
Betty
 

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Couple questions first: The Italian queen(s) you gave the neighbor, where their wings clipped ? Is it possible that the old queens flew back home if that's the case ?

When you mean, "Uncork them yet", are you not allowing the bees to release her by means of the sugar cork ? Ultimately, you should let the bees release her.

With the tobacco juice effect on the outside, it may be just a bird depositing something. If the inside looks clean, you should be OK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No the wings were not clipped on the queens. If the italian queens were never installed into the actual hive could this be an issue? They were with the packages in transit but not in the hive. Do you think they could find those packages from say 1/2 mile away?
No I have not removed the corks.
Because of the russian/italian issue.
You think I should? So I am assuming you do not think that 10-14 days is necessary.
Betty
 

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You can tell by how they are reacting to the queen in the cage. If you can push them away and move the bees outside the queen cage, then more than likely they have accepted her. They will also be ttrying to feed her through the cage. If they dont want to budge, then they have not accpeted her yet....pay attention to how they are reacting.....
 

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OK. After re-reading what was said. Any queen cage that I've seen has a sugar cork. The cage must be placed inside the new hive along with the packaged bees in between the middle frames. The cage also has a metal cover over the sugar cork to protect her from the bees in transit. You must remove the metal cover or whatever Non-sugar cover to allow the bees access to the sugar cork. They'll eat their way in to release her after about 5-7 days. The book says to wait 7 days before opening in this case. Again, don't remove the SUGAR CORK, the bees do this when the cage is installed into the hive.

Personally, I would have given up on the Italians and went with the Russians. My friend beek that lives 4 miles down has Italians. By chance, some day may come where one of our drones will cross paths with each others queen. Voila ! instant "Mutts". Why not just get a Russian/Italian hybrid queen(s) and be done with it ?
 

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The following post contains the same information that that I read on another website some time back, and it repeats some of what devdog said:

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showpost.php?p=489960&postcount=5

I would verify the release...

I'm guessing that it may have been 48 hours from the time the package was shaken to the time you received it (or more). Add 4 days in the hive with the candy covered, and perhaps 2 days for the bees to release her and we're up to 8 days that the bees have been in contact with the queen.

If I'm incorrect, at least your posting received a bump to the top. :)
 

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Three, 3. Methods of Introducing Russians to Italians.
According to that study we will have a 93.5% success rate regardless of the introduction delay when starting off with packages.

I believe the study may be little flawed by them using queens from two or three different sources (depending which paragraph you read):

The Russian queens were obtained from two different breeders (suggested by Tom Rinderer of the USDA ARS)
Same page:

Note; Queens used in this project were obtained from Hardeman Apiaries GA, Brachman Apiaries NY, and Warm Colors Apiaries MA.
I guess the bees are more accepting when they have nothing to defend.

Is there a similar study concerning re-queening existing colonies?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
wow alot of info. That rejecting the queen thing makes me nervous. But i just have to give it a shot. Lots of rain right now. Hopefully after church tonight it will let up enough for me to get the corks out.

Thanks for the link very helpful.
betty
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
no such luck. cool damp weather. Rain next two days.
Off on Tuesday maybe can catch time to get in there and get it done right.
 
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