My tribute to J.N. Russell is to successfully introduce some of his queens into my hives. I had a few hives that were too aggressive for my taste so I replaced those queens with Russell queens over the past couple of weeks. I also made five new hives with his queens. I have never used new queens this late in the year, and what I read told me that it can be difficult for a hive to accept a new queen in late fall. So far I have only had one one hive reject its new queen. I couldn’t be happier with this rate of success, although I still have a few queens in the queen bank that are waiting patiently to be installed.
Today I checked this hive that I had re-queened with a Russell queen a few days ago and was thrilled to see this orange queen busily laying eggs in the middle of this frame. I’d never seen a queen glow like this one did – made me think that ol’ Mr. Russell must be paying us a fond farewell.