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Author Topic: The Russians are coming!!  (Read 3352 times)

Offline JP

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The Russians are coming!!
« on: May 21, 2005, 02:14:47 AM »
Somehow, I've convinced my wife, to let me start my new hobbie,bee keeping. Am so excited,can hardly wait. Got my hive bodies this evening, will paint them and have them ready to receive the Russians this week. It seems there's a million things to learn, but I'm enthusiastic. Very glad to have this forum. later.
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Offline Horns Pure Honey

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2005, 10:17:06 AM »
It is great that you get your bees! I dont know much about the russians so I would be glad to hear info that you learn. :D
Ryan Horn

Offline Miss Chick-a-BEE

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2005, 01:26:24 PM »
I think there are alot of us that would like to learn more about the various breeds and how they do.

Good to have you join us,
Beth

Offline Barny

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2005, 02:56:39 AM »
Glad to have you along.  Nice Avatar you got there!  I too am leaning towards Russians.

Offline JP

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2005, 04:04:15 AM »
Barny,
I'm like a kid @ christmas (awaiting my bees)
can't wait to start this exciting new hobby
was told the Russian variety is more resistant to a few things like mites
how many hives will you be receiving?
"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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Offline Jay

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2005, 12:39:53 PM »
Yes, Russians are supposed to be more mite resistant, but with the good does come the bad as well. They also have more tendancy to swarm and they don't like to draw foundation so if you are starting with just foundation and not drawn comb, you may want to start with Italians, who love to draw comb and then re-queen in August or so with a Russian queen. Take a look at this:

Russian Queens

by Dan Conlon

If you are purchasing Russian queens we have a few recommendations based on last season's study (USDA/SARE grant). Russians are clearly more resistant to mites and disease requiring less intervention and treatment. They can be more difficdult to establish as they are slower to draw comb and buildup when natural food sources are scarce. I have compared packages started with foundation, and on drawn comb. The differences in the rate of growth is dramatic. Russians on drawn comb were, on average, four times the size of those started on foundation by August. Those on comb produced a honey crop, while those on foundation went into winter, needing supplemental feeding. Also there is far greater incidence of swarming when started on foundation (Russians like plenty of comb). With this in mind I recommend the following to Russians.

* Start packages on drawn comb (at least six frames). If you want to use Russians but do not have drawn comb, start with Italians and re-queen in August with a Russian queen. The Italians will do the comb work, and this still allows time for plenty of russian bees to be raised before next winter.

* Use pollen substitute and syrup. This is true for any new package, but essential for Russians. they quickly slow the egg laying in response to perceived storage of forage. They are very efficient in this regard, and tend to produce only the workers they can feed. They also need all the stimulation we can provide to get them to draw comb.

* Provide extra room ahead of their growth. Again this must be drawn comb. Foundation is not useable space to a bee. Only after the foundation is drawn do they consider it useable space. Adding foundation will not deter swarming.

* I will have a written report available in April summarizing our new understanding of managing Russian bees. It should help with practical tips that maximize the advantages of working with these disease and mite resistant bees, and help us over a few of the bumps we encounter, buildup, swarming and introducton.

* About 60% of my colonies are now headed by Russian Queens (pure and hybrid). Once established they are gentle, good producers and are less expensive to mantain. The key is to get them built up, and then you can benefit from their strengths. They are more difficult than Italians to start new colonies on foundation.

From Dan Conlon's Bee Package letter.
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Offline JP

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2005, 11:12:05 PM »
Jay,
thnx for the informative post on Russians & Italians
One of my big concerns will be swarming
but, I like a good challenge, within reason.
will let you know how they fare
& thnx again,
JP.
"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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Offline Barny

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2005, 10:52:36 AM »
Well JP I already have quite a few established hives.  I was just going to requeen and go from there.

Offline Beecharmer

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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2005, 11:29:12 AM »
I use an automatic pet waterer.  Then I fill the resovoir with small rocks that they can land on.
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Offline Apis629

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2005, 02:22:25 PM »
Quote
I use an automatic pet waterer. Then I fill the resovoir with small rocks that they can land on.


How is this relevent to the discusion of Italian bees vs. Russian bees?

Offline Stingtarget

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2005, 12:46:53 AM »
Glad I read this post.  Started 2 hives on May 21st.  One is Russian and one is Italian.  Both hives currently have Italian workers and drones and the one hive has a Russian Queen.  Once her brood hatches the hive will phase out to all Russian.

I have noticed that since May 21, the Italians have drawn out 6 frames and the "Russian" hive only 3 frames.  Italian hive has a good brood pattern already...about 8 inch circle, capped.  Russian queen doesn't seem to be laying yet..no larvae and no caps.  Russian hive was terribly aggressive until yesterday.....don't know what changed...had been stung EVERY time I checked them until yesterday.  I mean, I take the inner cover off with plenty of smoke through the hole and BAM...they're all over me.  I'd expect the "Russian" hive to be drawing comb similar to the Italian hive since both hives are Italian workers.  Any thoughts?

As part of the N.C. Cost Share, I was provided the two hives and two 3lb packages free of charge in exchange for the research for N.C. State Univ.  They provided me with Duragilt frames.  Sprayed them with sugar water and they seem to be taking to the plastic.  Is it too late to barter for some drawn comb and move it up to the brood nest or would the Russian hive completely forsake the plastic?

Italian queen has slowed down in laying and there are 6 or 8 supercedure cells.  We did have 4 days of cool weather and rain last week.  I'm gonna leave them alone and hope the queen is okay and the workers destroy the supercedures.  Anything to worry about??

Thanks all, I'm a newbie.

-Joel

Offline JP

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2005, 04:59:37 PM »
Joel, I started two Russian hives on May 26. I did my first real inspection 2 days ago. 5 of the ten frames were drawn in each hive & I noticed eggs & brood in both hives. Queens seems to be doing fine. As for their personality, I've been in the bee yard many times & have yet to have even one buzz me, these bees are very docile. I've been told by a twenty year veteran, who is also a commercial beekeeper that when you see the bees bringing pollen back to the hive you can usually bet that the queen is in there doing her job.
"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
and
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Offline Finsky

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2005, 05:28:12 PM »
Quote from: Stingtarget



First you'd better change your name. Russian have learned english, I see.

Quote
Russian queen doesn't seem to be laying yet..no larvae and no caps.


There is something really wrong. Would you put in Russian hive one italian larva frame. If they are queenles, you will se queen cells.


 
Quote
Russian hive was terribly aggressive until yesterday.....don't know what changed...had been stung EVERY time I checked them until yesterday.  I mean, I take the inner cover off with plenty of smoke through the hole and BAM...they're all over me.



No hive is worth that. Varroa is not so difficult to handle that you must stand that kind of offensive. Not nice at all.


Quote

Italian queen has slowed down in laying and there are 6 or 8 supercedure cells.  We did have 4 days of cool weather and rain last week.  I'm gonna leave them alone and hope the queen is okay and the workers destroy the supercedures.  Anything to worry about??


When bees has started those queen cells, they are not going to destroy them.

Two possibilities: 1) colony will swarm 2) or it will change the queen.

If your colony is full of brood and food, there is not enough free space, it may also swarm..  

You can give larvas and eggs to russian bees. They grow them upp, when they have no brood work to be done. So Italian queen can lay eggs more.

You can also give queen cell to Russian and you see, what happens.

*** Very interesting knowledge. We have not Russian queens in Finland but it seems, that I am not going to touch that one even with stick.  :shock:

From my bee hives it is 50 km  to Russian border. I got 23 years ago my first varroa hive. To keep varroa in order is not problem here.

Offline Stingtarget

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2005, 09:14:51 PM »
Egg laying in Italian hive has stalled.  Bees are bringing in pollen and storing sugar syrup, drawing comb etc....but queen laying seemed to almost stop.

Russian hive is doing better - Guard bees bounce off my veil like it's fun for them but I didn't get stung one time when I checked them to top off their syrup.  Queen is laying and plenty of eggs in cells BUT...not one of the cells have been capped yet.

I'm afraid that if I put a frame of Italian brood with the supercedure cells into the Russian hive the Russian queen would be killed.  This would defeat the purpose of the research for North Carolina State University.

Any idea why eggs would not be capped?

Offline Kris^

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2005, 10:51:14 PM »
Quote from: Stingtarget
Any idea why eggs would not be capped?


Eggs don't get capped.  Eggs hatch and the young first go through a larval stage.  The larvae are capped when they're ready to pupate, about 9 days after being laid for the regular worker.

-- Kris

Offline Stingtarget

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The Russians are coming!!
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2005, 10:44:22 AM »
Thanks, Kris

What I was calling eggs looks to be larvae about 3 or 4 days old.  I used the wrong term to imply that the queen was visibly laying.  I'll check them again in 10 days or so to make sure there are cappings and if so I'll leave them alone.  Just want to make sure that the Italians have fully accepted the Russian queen.  I was afraid that she may be laying and the larvae not getting capped.  Dumb I guess....bees will follow their natural instinct.

Joel