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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On April 6 I installed two 3lb Russian/Carniolan hybrids packages in single deeps with drawn frames and some stored honey.
On the 9th verified the queens were released (cages empty)
One week later on the 16th checked both hives. Located both queens. Checked brood pattern, looks fine with an arc of capped honey above. Queen are easy to find with the bright blue spot.
Checked them again today April 30. First hive has multiple queen cells on several frames. Checked and rechecked, cannot locate the queen or any eggs. Some of the queen cells are dark on the ends (maybe ready to emerge?) like you can see into the bright white comb. The other hive, found the queen, eggs and no queen cells, just a couple of cups. Both hives seemed to have a lot of bees and are storing a lot of pollen and syrup. I added another deep on top using foundation only sprayed with a little sugar water. Then topped off and reinstalled the top feeders.
Now the guidance:
Leave the queen cells to hatch? If so will the queen open mate in time?
or
Destroy the queen cells and get a new queen
 

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If you feel that there is no queen and your absolutely positive that there isnt because of the bright blue dot on her and you cant see her then you could add them with the other hive. Thats why i started with 2 packages just in case something happened to the first one! But yes if there is no queen you can buy a queen!

 

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id double check for eggs and a queen in your questionable hive

then id order a mated queen -

she will be up and laying with in 4-5 days ( 3 caged- 2 to start)

this puts the hive back about a week

if you let the cells hatch - it could take up to 30 days before she starts laying - thats if she mates on time and is not bird food

also if you let them hatch the cells - the population will be way low when she does start to lay - so while she is out mating and what not - you will need to be giving them frames for eggs and brood from the queenrite hive - so that the poputation does not fall

me personally would be getting a new queen and AND only after the queen arives in good health - would i swish the cells
 

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I'd never cut out queen cells until I knew I had a good queen ready to go or even already in the hive. Actually, in this case, I'd probably just leave the cells in there and let the bees take care of things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the advise. I will go ahead and get a replacement queen.
Now, what are your thoughts on the replacement of the queen? Should she be replaced at the suppliers expense or mine? The supplier told me to call right away if I have a problem with the queens. He specifically said upon the ten day inspection. I know she made it through the ten days, should I push the issue or just pay the price of being a greenhorn and accept that I chances are that I could have played a part in her demise?
 

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You may be wasting your time. One of my hives did this last year. Spotty eggs here and there. Seen several queen cells. Let it go and now their fine. The book says, "If the queen cell is on top of the frame", you're likely good for supercedure. Otherwise a swarm may be the next step if on the lower frame area. My Russians are pretty efficient and have surprised me numberous times. Be patient, my friend. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Speaking of Russians, this is my first year with Russians. I started two packages a month ago. Where can I find specific information on managing Russian bees? I am reading that the Russians make a lot of queen cells through out the year, and that they may stop laying early due to the flow of nectar and pollen. Is there any place that I can look to find a guide to managing the Russians?

Rob
 

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Sorry about asking an off topic question but....

All you guys with the Russians- How do you like working with them? Are they good producers? Are they docile? I have been thinking about requeening with a russian queen but my hives are in my backyard and there are lots of neighborhood kids around to gentleness is a must.

Gareth
 

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We currently have 80+ hives with Russian queens. They are docile and easy to work with and they produce a lot of honey. However, they do not build up fast enough in the spring to go into the citrus bloom in early March. Due to a late bloom this year because of a prolonged cold spell, ours did OK on citrus but had me worried about building up. We'll be switching to Italians very shortly, as they come out in Jan and Feb like gangbusters. With a later spring flow I'd say the Russians would work out just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So this is what I have done. I removed eight queen cells from the hive and ordered another queen. The supplier stepped up without even a question. A new marked queen should be sitting on the porch when I get home from work tomorrow!
I have been really happy with the russian/carniolan bees so far. I have worked them with just my veil and gloves. I am tempted to go gloveless next time.
 
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