a queen, a queen, A QUEEN!

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by riverbee, Jul 7, 2012.

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  1. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    a queen, a queen, A QUEEN!

    i sometimes wonder if the bees whisper or shout for joy to their sisters when we requeen hives in their own social communication? are they as joyful as we are when queens are accepted?

    some pictures of one of my hives receiving a new queen. requeening hives is not always successful, but a good initial ‘greeting’ of this queen by the bees. these girls were happy and eager to receive her. i placed the cage on top of the frames to watch how they might accept her, and within minutes they were scent fanning. the hive went from a crabby roar to an excited and contented hum. the girls were placing their antenna in the cage and were passing her pheromone along to other sisters in the hive, rather than trying to get their butts in there with stingers. :grin:

    i suspected the hive was queenless, but it was not. the day before i requeened this hive, i went through the hive one more time, and found a supercedure queen that i had missed in previous examinations. she was very small and slender, and knew i had to replace her. i ran her into an extra queen cage (just in case) and left the hive queenless for 24 hours before placing the new well mated queen in.

    i practice indirect release of my queens, primarily because i keep russian hybrids and mutts of, and this queen was a russian hybrid; they can be somewhat particular. 7 days later i checked on her and she was and is laying up a storm and has not been superceded.

    as many times as i have requeened a hive, i am still curious and in great wonder about the communication and the activity of the bees upon receiving a new queen.

    Requeening June 24 2012_001.jpg

    Requeening June 24 2012_003.jpg

    Requeening June 24 2012_005.jpg

    Requeening June 24 2012_008.jpg
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Nice pictures! :thumbsup: I will never figure out why a colony will sometimes accept, sometimes not, and sometimes accept just long enough to replace, an installed queen.
    As G3 says, "Bees are bees and do as they please"
     

  3. bee stung

    bee stung New Member

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    just wondering ,, what is it about russian hybrids ,, that you like ??? and dislike ,,, I was looking in to other types of bees ,, and I'm at the point were , I need to know what about each one is liked and disliked ... that is if you don't mind my asking ..
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Thanks for the description..... I could hear them in my mind's ear. What a wonderful concert. :clap:
     
  5. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    ef~
    "Thanks for the description..... I could hear them in my mind's ear. What a wonderful concert. :clap:"

    thanks ef, especially when they don't dish the new leader, but it is so true about the roar and the hum. i just checked that hive on saturday, and it is as if they were never queenless.

    beestung~
    "what is it about russian hybrids, that you like ??? and dislike"

    beestung,
    survivors and winter hardy, very conservative on winter stores and always have stores left over in spring. in a nectar dearth the queens will stop laying, and the hives go into conserve mode as winter, even to the point that drones will be drug out, so feeding tends to be minimal if any.

    extremely hygenic in many aspects, low mite counts if any, and can get by without treatment.

    they build slow in the spring, but once they do, they sort of 'explode', and when they do, the divides made from the hives are very strong and build quickly into 2 deeps, or 3, and will produce honey. 5 frame nucs will also build quickly into 2 deeps.

    very good honey producers, but you must stay ahead of them on this, and keep them busy, adding supers well before other lines of bees are supered, otherwise your inner cover will be the next frame of honey:lol:.

    also, they readily go through a queen excluder to store honey. if i have a super of foundation on first, i leave the excluder off until drawn. i have very few problems with them drawing out or ignoring wax coated foundation, seems to me they don't really care what it is, including empty frames for comb honey. minimal brace comb, burr comb, wacky comb or propolizing everything, although this year there seems to be a bit more than i care for. i leave it alone because they will just propolize it again anyway.

    i can't really say there is anything about them that i dislike, i think they have some 'quirks' one must learn about them and adjust to in management techniques, as i mentioned about spring divides or supering. they build queen cells constantly through the season, and keep them there, described as 'just in case cells'. they build them, remove them, etc. i would not directly release a queen, i let the bees do this. i wear gloves and a veil,maybe a bit more persnickety than other lines of bees, but i guess i have adjusted and the bees have taught me well.
     
  6. bee stung

    bee stung New Member

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    thank you for taking the time as it was not a quick 10 word reply ,, I have been thinking about trying other race's ,, but most of the ones I ask give a quick reply , and not much information ,, thank you again
     
  7. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    you are welcome beestung, you asked and i really couldn't give you a 10 word reply, it would really not have answered your question, and you would have been left wondering or having more questions. it is very nice to get some insight from someone who has experience with russian bees, not very many beekeepers keep russian stock in their entire apiary, i do, well and mutts of....:grin:
     
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    After reading your description on the russian race, one wonders why they aren't used more frequently. Seems like they have everything a beekeeper would want.
     
  9. bee stung

    bee stung New Member

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    first 3 years I had Italian ,but did not seem to winter for me ,,, then I went to Carniolan ,, they over wintered good , now I have Carniolan mutts ,, but have been looking at others ,, what I like is something I can work with no shirt ,no vail , little smoke because the grand kids love to help with every thing to do with the hives ,, but still want to keep my mind open to others ,, [h=5][/h]
     
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Great photos. I introduced my first queen (with 3 children waiting in the house as I opened the cap to her cage), and it was so hot I didn't really get to look much. Just gave them 24 hours to get to know each other, then turned her loose. But the roar to the contented hum, that I can hear in my mind's ear....

    Russians sound quite interesting. I might have them - I just bought VSH nucs. They are a bit persnickety. Wouldn't work without a suit. Thank you for the description Riverbee.

    Gypsi
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    what I like is something I can work with no shirt ,no vail , little smoke because the grand kids love to help with every thing to do with the hives

    tecumseh:
    I myself prefer an italian bee* but then again I am not keeping bees in Minnesota. no so unexpectedly the russian bee does NOT have the reputation of a Cordovan (which is about the kind of bee you described in the above snip). matter of fact the russian's disposition (seems to be somewhat magnified in F2 and beyond generation) is 'hot' to 'very hot'. I think the restriction (of queen breeders) in the russian program is designed to largely address the question of disposition (I myself suspect this change in the program may address the problem in generation F1 but is quite likely to resurrect itself in generation F2 and beyond).

    I have had a few new world carnolians here and I do quite like that line of bees. They are not as workable as my Cordovan.... but then again almost no other kind of bees is either. If the carnolian (actually more likely a New World Carnolian) has worked for you in the past (at your location) what about them do you not like?

    *I myself quite enjoy knocking off a package of bees or rearing early queens or making up nucs for new first time beekeepers and almost any of the small clustering type bees (russian bees now and the midnight in the old days certain qualify for this distinction) will never work to do this here.
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    ef said:
    "[FONT=&amp]After reading your description on the russian race, one wonders why they aren't used more frequently. Seems like they have everything a beekeeper would want."[/FONT]

    ef, we all wish for a 'silver bullet', i can't honestly say that russian hybrids are that silver bullet, i can only speak from my experience with them, and i would say they possess traits and genetics very valuable to northern climates, and i have achieved great success with them in my climate, however there are some trade-offs, as tec pointed out about their disposition.

    beestung said:
    "[FONT=&amp]first 3 years I had Italian ,but did not seem to winter for me ,,, then I went to Carniolan ,, they over wintered good , now I have Carniolan mutts ,, but have been looking at others ,, what I like is something I can work with no shirt ,no vail , little smoke because the grand kids love to help with every thing to do with the hives ,, but still want to keep my mind open to others [/FONT]"

    beestung, italians do not overwinter well here in the midwest. the queens are prolific layers through nectar dearths and too late in the fall, they consume stores and die of starvation and can suffer great mite infestation without treatment. carnis can overwinter and equally possess some traits and genetics valuable to northern keeps. if you are looking to work bees with no shirt and no veil, or with grandchildren that like to help, then perhaps russian hybrids may not be the bees for this unless gloves and veils are worn, especially with the children. they are not as gentle as italian bees. the use of smoke, i only use enough smoke to move the bees as necessary, and no more.

    gypsi~
    “russians sound quite interesting. i might have them - i just bought vsh nucs. they are a bit persnickety. wouldn't work without a suit. thank you for the description riverbee.

    you are welcome gypsi. i don't work the bees without gloves, veil, smoker, and i typically wear a suit as well, i usually have weed whacking around the electric fence to do, so exposed skin is not a smart option.:lol:

    tecumseh~
    “i myself prefer an italian bee* but then again i am not keeping bees in minnesota. no so unexpectedly the russian bee does not have the reputation of a cordovan….†and “the russian's disposition is 'hot' to 'very hot'. i think the restriction (of queen breeders) in the russian program is designed to largely address the question of disposition (i myself suspect this change in the program may address the problem in generation f1 but is quite likely to resurrect itself in generation f2 and beyond)."

    the russians do have a reputation for their disposition, and tecumseh, i think you are correct about the russian program addressing disposition. i do purchase queens and bees from an rhba member, and like to talk and learn from the keep and his wife about the program. i think, based on my own experience, describing them as being hot or very hot to some degree is not deserved, however they are not italians, carnis, or cordovans, and must be worked accordingly. i would not wear shorts and flip flops to work them. i always wear a veil and gloves and i always use a smoker as necessary. when they are content and happy, for the most part they could care less of your presence in a hive, and if they get persnickety about lifting a frame, a little smoke at the frame ends before lifting the frame changes this. if there is a problem in the hive they will let you know it, and then i would describe them as’ hot’. there will be a bit of a roar in the hive when the lid is lifted, and they line up at the tops of the frames, stare at you and dare you, or you will have them zinging the veil and gloves. when i observe this behavior, i know something is wrong.

    i think also, they are more ‘sensitive’ to weather changes, rough handling, and the dropping of equipment.

    i think if i were you beestung, i would stick to keeping the carniolans, under the circumstances you described, no shirt, no veil, and grandchildren, and especially if you have achieved overwintering success with them, however it doesn't hurt to have a 'scrapper' in the yard to challenge you:lol:
     
  13. bee stung

    bee stung New Member

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    [​IMG]riverbee






    I think I will do as you say and stay with what I have for now ,, see when I first got bees ,I just wanted a hive ,, but after I got the first hive ,, my wife and kids saw how after I was with the bees ,, I was so relaxed ,, it was like I took a pill , and even if I was stung I was relaxed ,, they told me after the first fall , that bees were in my life from then on ,, the grand kids are all ways with at the hives ,, but I thought about if other race of bees would work as good or better ,, I'm one that likes to try stuff like that .. I read what you said about
    them to my wife ,, as soon as I came to this "" they are more ‘sensitive’ to weather changes, rough handling, and the dropping of equipment. "" my wife said "" rough handling "" OH NO THERE NOT FOR YOU ,, your worse then a bear when your in the hive ,,, she said no way will you ever get russian bees ,, well ,, now I have to deal with her be for my thoughts go farther . will have to think about this
     
  14. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    This was exactly how it was for me! No doubt it has been a game changer for you as it was for me. :mrgreen:
     
  15. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    beestung,
    i am looking at your post # 13 this morning, i see my avatar and member name, and i am thinking, how did i manage that, and a post about 'taking a pill' :lol:
    then i see your member name......:grin:

    "she said no way will you ever get russian bees ,, well ,, now I have to deal with her be for my thoughts go farther . will have to think about this"

    let us know how you fair on that discussion and decision making......:lol:
     
  16. bee stung

    bee stung New Member

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    after 44 years I kind of know if theres a chance to change her thinking ,, I talked to her today ,, this one I think is going to be hard if not impossible to change ,,