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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Jay, Maine
    Posts
    259

    Post

    I am a new Beekeeper with my 1st wintered hive and 3 more packages/hives on their way. I have Italians.

    I am wondering however, if what I've heard about the RUSSIAN bees is true? Do they winter in the cold climates extreamly well? Are to "go getters" and work hard building comb and gathering pollen/honey? And most of all, I understant that are the most (I understand not totally) reseisant to the Varroa Mite?

    Are these things true? Are there other reason why I should re-queen with a RUSSIAN or are there reasons that I SHOULD NOT?

    Any help on this matter would be truly appreciated.

    Bob D
    Brentwood, New Hampshire
    ABC Honey Farm
    Jay, Maine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,447

    Post

    >I am wondering however, if what I've heard about the RUSSIAN bees is true?

    That depends on what you heard.

    >Do they winter in the cold climates extreamly well?

    There are my personaly observations and may be different that others have seen. They don't winter any better, they just winter on less stores in a smaller cluster. They are more frugal. But then so are the Carniolans.

    > Are to "go getters" and work hard building comb and gathering pollen/honey?

    IMO all bees are.

    >And most of all, I understant that are the most (I understand not totally) reseisant to the Varroa Mite?

    From my experience, they seem to survive heavy Varroa infestations better, but they do not seem to be able to control the mites any better at all.

    >Are these things true? Are there other reason why I should re-queen with a RUSSIAN or are there reasons that I SHOULD NOT?

    The Russians are odd in many ways. They seem to build more queen cups and then tear them down or not use them. They seem to be more defensive, but in different ways. They will follow you further, they will head butt you more. They don't seem to get into a frenzy, like I would describe hot tempered bees doing, but they are more defensive. They sometimes will head butt you before you even open the hive. Some say they are swarmy. But that's true of any bees that are frugal and then suddenly build up. It's not that they are swarmy, just that things change in the hive more quickly and you have to anticipate. If you keep the brood nest opened up they won't swarm. If you don't they will, but the same is true of Italians. It's just that the Italians are more consistent about rearing brood and building up instead of shutting down every time there's a dearth and then rapidly building when there's a flow.

    All in all, I would prefer the Carniolans.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Post

    I like the Russians that I have seen but they are definitely not the most aggressive "go-getters" when it comes to foraging. They may not produce quite as much honey as quality strains of Italians (although a USDA study contradicts me on this point).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    Anyone have the subspecies name for the Russians yet? Apis meliferal __(what?)__
    WayaCoyote

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Western North Carolina
    Posts
    105

    Post

    I agree w/ M.B. ... I tried a Russian, when she arrived I figured that she would be wearing a crown and have jewels around her legs. IMHO ... the Russians have been over promised and publicized ... they just haven't delivered. Why are they always compared to the general Italian population and not an Italian such as the M.H.I or to a New World Carnolian?
    BUT...just to set the record straight I am a 100% N.W.C. fan!

  6. #6

    Post

    I have had russians for 4 years now. We started with them because of their "mite resistants". In my very limited experience they do not survive without treatment for long. We tried for the first couple of years before wising up. As to how they forage and winter....i cant tell you since i have nothing to comapare them to. I would like to try a different breed of bees soon at a different location. Everything i have heard is that you can not keep russian bees and say italians, etc.. in the same yard since they will interbreed and most of the good qualities will be lost.

    Anybody from the Piedmont of N.C. would like to give me any advice on to which breed of bees to try? I figure if I am going to have to treat anyway I might as well get the "best bee" for the area.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,269

    Post



    [size="1"][ April 04, 2006, 08:41 AM: Message edited by: loggermike ][/size]

  8. #8

    Post

    I'm not real experienced with bees yet but I do have a background in working with purebred and cross bred livestock, so I think it's important (for me anyway) to ask this:

    For those who had (or have) Russians can you post and let me know if you have had 'pure' Russians (AI'd queens) or a daughter queen from an open mated Russian queen.


    Thanks!

    LaRae

    [size="1"][ April 02, 2006, 05:24 PM: Message edited by: LaRae ][/size]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,269

    Post



    [size="1"][ April 04, 2006, 08:40 AM: Message edited by: loggermike ][/size]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,599

    Post

    jnbgcpd,

    tarheel bee, who posts here occationally, has SMR queens
    I'm getting some nuc's from him soon
    I've been over and talked to him, he sure says all the right stuff
    natural cell
    doesn't treat
    breed the survivors
    send him a PM

    http://www.beesource.com/cgi-bin/ubb...ile;u=00002644

    I'm really looking forward to trying his stock
    he's in Chapel Hill, heck of a nice fellow

    Dave

    edit: oh yea, he also has Russians so I think his queens are SMR Russian cross

    [size="1"][ April 02, 2006, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: drobbins ][/size]

  11. #11

    Post

    LaRae,
    The russians we have are "pure" russians. They are from mother queens out of pure released stock, but open mated in mating yards. The breeder states that they are not any other breeds of bees around(i believes he gives free queens to anyone in the mating area). So I would say they are as "pure" as you can get with open mating.

    Drobbins,
    Sounds like something i would like to try. Thanks for the advice.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A french guy living in Chester, UK
    Posts
    133

    Post

    the name for the russian bee is
    apis mellifica causica

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A french guy living in Chester, UK
    Posts
    133

    Post

    Michael
    I am very surprised that you recommend to use the Carnolian bee.
    Brother Adam says about this bee that it swarms a lot, too much for a commercial operation

    I also have heard of the russian bee as being one of the most gentle bee around.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Crown Point , (NW) Indiana
    Posts
    529

    Post

    [the name for the russian bee is "apis mellifica causica"] - Incorrect

    This is the Caucasian honeybee of Caucasian Mountains in Western Russia near Georgia.

    The current USDA strain of Russian bees comes from the East Coast of Russia near North Korea.

    [size="1"][ April 08, 2006, 02:26 PM: Message edited by: NW IN Beekeeper ][/size]
    There is always more than one way to skin a cat, that's of course if you're into eating cats.

  15. #15

    Post

    Re: scientific name of the Russian honeybee.

    Weren't many strains of honeybees brought to the Russian Far East from various parts of Eurasia during settlement?
    Also, isn't this region outside the natural range of Apis mellifera?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,447

    Post

    >I am very surprised that you recommend to use the Carnolian bee.
    Brother Adam says about this bee that it swarms a lot, too much for a commercial operation

    Any bee will swarm if you let it. Any bee that builds up explosively in the spring needs the anticipation of that explosive growth by the beekeeper to avoid swarming. But any bee requires the intervention of the beekeeper to avoid swarming. A frugal bee that builds up rapidly at the right time is a good thing. But you have to watch for that explosive growth.

    >I also have heard of the russian bee as being one of the most gentle bee around.

    That has not been my experience.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,349

    Post

    We have not used Russians yet. We make it a point to stay away from the next "Bullet Proof bee" until the final verdict is in. As on this post I have not heard a great deal of positives. We rotate our purchased stock every 3 or 4 yrs. Usually buying 2 or 3 different stocks in any given rotation. We have used Carni's numerous times through the years and have found them to be one of the best all around bees, as good or better than buckfast which is also a mainstay. As far as commercial production Ray Oliveraz in Ca. runs 9,000 hives and a good proportion are Carni's. They are very consistent stock IMO.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    439

    Post

    I have kept Russians since my Italians went the way of the mites in 2000.
    My first two nucs went without treatment until 2005. This was when I decided to go Russian.
    I captured two Italian swarms last year. The Russian swarms show no signs of mite damage. Both Italians show mite damage. The Italian swarms will be requeened with russians as soon as the queens are ready.
    I am using a Nicot system to raise queens.
    Here is the current status:
    http://nordykebeefarm.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=6
    Jon, N6VC/5

  19. #19

    Post

    Jon have you heard if the AHB in the SW corner of Ark migrated north yet?


    LaRae

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    439

    Post

    Hi LaRae,
    They have moved north of Ft Smith.
    They expect some movement along the interstate this summer and in our area of central Arkansas by next summer.
    Will and I are putting together an II platform and plan on doing II next year. There is talk of legislating a requirement to have only pedigreed european queens in all hives. I've started practicing everting the drones while sitting around the hives.
    We're practicing raising queens this year so we should have a batch to practice on next year. Following the timeline we laid out from published material, everything is working perfectly.
    http://nordykebeefarm.com/forum/forum_topics.asp?FID=6

    Sue Cobey has an extremely informative tape , showing different platforms, which demonstrates how these systems work. We were going to send Will to Ohio in June to take her class, but we both feel we can assemble an adequate system and technique on.
    Jon
    Jon, N6VC/5

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