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Author Topic: Requeening Italian hives with Russian queens  (Read 2339 times)
Cindi
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« on: January 21, 2007, 10:22:35 PM »

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
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2007, 06:32:51 AM »

A double screen is usually two layers of 1/8" (#8) hardware cloth, one on each side of a piece of wood so there is a gap.  None of the bees can get through it but the smell can.  Betterbee and Brushy Mt sell double screen boards.  Betterbee calls it a "Snelgrove" board.  The difference between a Double screen board and a "Snelgrove" board is just that there are entrances that can be opened and closed both above and below the screen.  L.E. Snelgrove used these to manipulate the hive to keep it from swarming.

The best way to stack the deck on queen introduction is a push in cage.  Next is a nuc with young bees.  Put the two together and you've got about as good of odds as you'll get.  Make up a nuc of young bees (brood comb and honey and let the old ones fly home).  Wait overnight.  Put the queen in a push in cage in the nuc over emerging brood.  Come back in four to eight days (in this case eight is probably better) and see if the bees outside the push in cage are feeding the queen or biting the cage.  If they are feeding her, you can release her.  Now you have the queen accepted in the nuc.  Then do the double screen combine thing already mentioned.

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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Jon McFadden
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2007, 08:46:23 PM »

I have Russian Bees. I requeen any Itallian swarms I get using hair roller cages. I first allow the swarm to get settled in with brood; about a month.
The Itallian queen is removed.
The colony is left queenless for 24 hours.
Insert a Russian queen in a hair roller cage in the brood nest
After 24 hours release her.
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Jon, N6VC/5
Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2007, 11:04:53 PM »

Jon, pardon my ignorance, but what on earth is a hair roller cage?  That has peaked my curiosity for sure.  Greatest of days.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2007, 06:29:24 AM »

http://www.beeworks.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=10&products_id=121
http://www.mannlakeltd.com/search_results.asp?txtsearchParamTxt=roller+cages&txtsearchParamCat=ALL&btnSearch.x=0&btnSearch.y=0&txtsearchParamType=ALL&iLevel=1&txtsearchParamMan=ALL&txtsearchParamVen=ALL&txtFromSearch=fromSearch
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Cindi
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Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada


« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2007, 08:33:02 PM »

Well, I gotta say, that looks like quite the interesting gadget.  Awesome day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Jon McFadden
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2007, 01:01:27 AM »

The hair roller cage can't be used by itself. A plug for the open end is needed. Anything the proper size will work. They are designed to work with the Nicot Queen rearing system, where the cream colored cup holders block the open end, or, if you look at the web page from Mann-Lake Michael provided, there is a candy cup with lid which will provide a more costly solution.
Jon
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Jon, N6VC/5
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