I was reading a site that Finsky put on:http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/entomology/apiculture/PDF%20files/2.16.pdf
In this article it was explained that the Italian colonies do not readily accept the Russian queen because of the very different odour that this species possesses. Under normal circumstances Italians will accept a new Italian queen quite readily, say within a few days, but it takes longer say up to a month before the Russian queen is fully and safely accepted.
It is recommended when introducing a new Russian queen to split the hive in two and put a double screen between the two boxes, leaving the Russian queen in the bottom and the Russian queen caged for at least minimum of 7 to 10 days. It is recommended to leave the double screen in place for quite some time, say a month. If the Russian queen has been accepted after this time, then the Italian queen can be removed and the colonies united, the double screen being removed.
So, then, my question is:
What kind of screen is used.
I say this because I made a big mistake last summer. I thought that I would try to run a two queen colony. So I did what I thought would work. I put a double queen excluder on a colony that was queenright and then I put another queenright colony on top of that. I thought that it would work.
Well, it did not!!! A few days later I was being nosey and wanted to see if the queen below was still laying. So I removed the top colony and looked down inside and found the queen. Oh brother. What a site!!!
There was the poor queen in the lower box walking on the face of the comb with a dead bee attached to her thorax. I picked her up and carefully tried to get this bee off. No such luck. It was attached to her thorax so hard that I knew there was no way I could get the dead worker off of her. So I killed her. Didn't know what else to do. She could not run around the rest of her life with a bee attached to her thorax, how could she ever put her head in the cells to check them out.
So, now I had a queenless and a queenright colony, so I simply united. that did not work either. The next day I was out there snooping around and there was a group of bees on the grass near the front side of the hive. They were doing something. I looked down closer and there was the queen that was in the second top box, dead, on the grass. So I guess they killed her. Yikes!!!!
So, blunders I have made and hopefully learned by them. Instead of giving this messed up united colony a new queen, I split them up and gave some to each of the packages that I had purchased a little bit of time earlier. So many things to learn, so many things to do. Great day. Cindi