Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Clatskanie, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    93

    Post

    I have CARNIOLAN, YUGO, ITALIAN and RUSSIAN bees in Long or Horizontal hives that take Lang deep frames. You can work all the hives with out smoke and the bees are joy to have a roundÂ… all but the Russians you take the lid off and you got 20 bees in your faceÂ….. You need smoke and lots of itÂ… I should light the d*&^ hive on fire. LOL But I just had to have Russians as my wife points out every time I talk about them. Any one else had this problemÂ… with the Russian race of bees. I do not want to get rid of them this year any wayÂ… I want to see how they winter and see about the mites

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Post

    >Any one else had this problemÂ… with the Russian...

    Some people have had that problem. Mine seemed to like to head butt a lot and chase further, but they didn't get into a frenzy and they didn't sting a lot.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    HillsBorough, NC
    Posts
    27

    Post

    I have one TBH of Russians and they were quite willing to live and let live, until I wanted to take a peek inside.

    I was suited up but did not have my smoker with me, ( I know take it, have it lit, use it if you need it).... I first removed the follower board, which was in the 6th slot. There were many bees on the brood nest side of the follower board, which led me to believe I need to add another Top Bar.

    While I was already in the hive I thought now would be a good time to look at the first five bars. The Bees did not have the same opinion, they rolled out in formation ( I was glad I had the suit on), I was trying those thin medical gloves , and can now verify that Bees can indeed sting thru them (took three hits).

    Not sure if my assesment of wanting/needing another top bar is accurate. Both side of each bar (I have divided down the middle, hence : both sides), had comb and bees on it. The beard of bees on the inside of the follower board and the many I noticed on the floor of the hive led me to believe that more space was requirement...I placed the new bar in position 6 and put the follower board in 7, don't know if this is correct or not (should I have added more empty bars and should any of them be placed where the obvious brood nest was ??

    I too wanted to try the Russians, but will use smoke next time...
    Wayne - KA4ANQ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ottawa Ontario Canada
    Posts
    28

    Post

    the russians here in Canada would rather drink vodka it seems. no issues.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    439

    Post

    One of the other guys in the bee club I attend had the same issue. Just by coincidence, we both bought our queens from Jester's and at about the same time. I have 10 swarms of Russians and have never had an issue with them. They like to head butt more, but that's only occasionally. Two months ago, this other beekeeper replaced all his queens with Minn Hybrids. At the meeting this week, I'm going to ask him if his bees are still mean.
    I normally work my bees in shorts and tee shirt as does my son.
    What kind of equipment do you wear?
    Jon, N6VC/5

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Clatskanie, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    93

    Post

    <What kind of equipment do you wear?>
    I use a half suit... I just don't like stings

    They don't get into a frenzy... just a lot of head butting... about 20 bees talking to me... But this just taking the lid off.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    439

    Post

    I have several video clips showing various scenes of us working around the Russians. Go to www.qrz.com and do a search on N6VC to get my mailing address. Send me a DVD-r with postage to return it, and I will make you a copy.
    My personal experience has been that previously stung gloves is what gets the bees upset. Others will tell you different, but that's been my experience.
    Jon, N6VC/5

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Rhea County, Tennessee
    Posts
    127

    Post

    ClatsOre:
    I have the SAME problem with one of the two packages of Russians I installed this year.
    One seems fine, in a TBH. A bit more active than the Italians I have, but better coam builders.
    The other is downright mean, and in a LANG.
    Two days ago I was doing inspections and pulled the inner cover off and was met by at least a dozen, probably two dozen, mad protectors.
    I just thought I may have squished a couple accidently (my fault) and proceeded to take an end frame out of the top super to see if it was full. It WAS full, and about to be capped, AMAZING producers, two supers of honey already, even with the local draught.
    Placing it back in, I began to notice this dark ocean of bees overflowing out of the top of the super...NEVER seen that before. The only analogy I can picture is it was as if I had FLUSHED the hive and it OVERFLOWED!
    Except THEN it came after me. Stung twice THAT TIME.
    I went back out yesterday, and peeked under the outer cover...I had left the escape hole open for better ventilation. The MOMENT my eyes caught the shape of the hole in the inner cover, two more workers made a bee line for my nose, and this time I wasn't wearing ANY protection, never needed it just for a peek, even for a major inspection with the Italians.
    I did not jar the hive or do ANYTHING else to provoke them...I am beginning to believe they may have some African blood...
    BUT, they are the only bees that have surplus honey for me at the moment...so, how mad can I get?!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    439

    Post

    Years ago, I kept bees at work. I had been telling one of the engineers that I had an especially gentle hive of bees that I didn't have to use smoke on.
    He expressed a desire to see these bees, so we went out to where I kept them. I was so busy talking that I failed to pay attention to the weather. A front was in the process of moving through and the temperature had dropped a little and interrupted the nectar flow. When I popped the cover, three bees flew out and nailed me on the forehead. Needless to say, the engineer wasn't impressed with my gentle bees.
    I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of bees, including the notorious German Black bees that everyone used to talk about, but I can't recall a single swarm that I have worked with that gave me a problem that wasn't caused by external conditions.
    I had a group request that I show them how to work bees without bee armor. There were only 10 swarms in the apiary, but it was enough to demonstrate with. We got started removing the honey and everything was going great. Then suddenly, the bees took on an aggressive attitude. What had happened? I always put my surplus in the back of my station wagon or camper shell. On this day, we were using an open pickup truck. I was so intent on showing the group proper techniques, that I neglected to put a tarp over the supers as they were stacked in the back of the truck. A robbing spree ensued and the demonstration was terminated. Were the bees normally aggressive? No. External conditions created a bad situation.
    Jon, N6VC/5

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Rhea County, Tennessee
    Posts
    127

    Post

    Conditions...it must be.
    I worked the mean hive earlier in the year, and needed nothing, very calm, but they had little honey then, and I was feeding.
    It has been very dry here for weeks now, and they have honey. That may explain the aggressiveness? I cannot think of any other variables.
    Also, they seem to buzz me, even head-butting, even when walking within 30-50 feet of the hive, then follow me all the way to the house, another 70 to 100 feet.
    I've never had that behavior; dry weather wouldn;t cause that, would it?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    124

    Post

    We have two hives of Russians now and have been really impressed. We did splits from our two other hives of Buckfast and Starlines, and got two queens from Arnold's in TN to make the two new hives. They both have taken off like crazy with making honey and are also much much quieter than the Buckfasts and Starlines. The Starlines in fact tend to follow you and do some head butting as well. My dad has gotten stung by them a few times although they don't bother me as much. Definitely will be buying more Russians as we expand.
    Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by...

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

    Post

    could this aggressive behaviour be the explanation why they can handle varroa better?

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