Re: Temperament of Russian bees
Have Italian, Russian, carniolan, cardovan, and open mated mutts. I find that individual queens and hive conditions have more to do with defensiveness than race.
Russian hybrids tend to be a crap shoot. Some can be more defensive than others. Pure Russian lines tend to be more gentle.
Hybrid Russians are more defensive during the first round of brood rearing and should not be evaluated for defensiveness during that time.
You won't know until you try. I feel the swarm tendancy is more of an issue than defense. Need stay on ahead of them. My Russian colonies don't build up as fast in the spring until the first flow of the season, then look out. They will fill two deeps in days. I run 3 deep hives with Russians.
Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach