Temperament of Russian bees - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    545

    Default Re: Temperament of Russian bees

    This comes up here at least once a year.
    My first experience with R bees was 15 yrs ago with Qs from a CA operation that was not a member of the RHBBA.
    Nastiest bees I have ever seen.
    Since then I have only purchased certified R Qs from members of the RHBBA.Although I mostly raise my own Qs,every year I buy a few RQs to keep my stock diversified(different lines are crossed each year).
    Every once in a while I get a feisty hive from open mating and a Q must be pinched,no different than any other bees.
    The bees can be a little runny on the comb and can be a bit testy if they start robbing during a dearth.

    Sat I attended Mass Beeks field day and the hives were provided by a RHBBA member.Open hive demonstrations all day.Although protective equipment was recommended,maybe 10% wore veils.I saw nor heard of any issues.
    Since I was picking up a few Qs,I took the last session at the R breeders station where he was to demo setting up a starter/finisher in a double but pulled off a split when he found that the hive had swarmed ,there were not enough bees and it was loaded with cells.We tore apart the colony.

    Afterward,we looked over at his shade canopy and had a good laugh.He had forgotten to put his battery box (with maybe a dozen caged Qs)back in the screened nuc box he was keeping it in and there were easily a thousand bees flying and clustered on the table.
    Since I wanted a nice yellow RQ,we pawed through the box,pushing bees aside with our fingers to peer into the CA mini cages looking for a yellow one.No protection,no stings,other customers standing in line.

    I went home,popped on my veil(I'm not stupid),brushed off the attendants and installed 2 Qs in 5 fr splits I had made the day before.No smoke,no fuss,in and out,no problems.

    Only buy certified Qs from RHBBA members.
    http://www.russianbreeders.org/members.html

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,233

    Default Re: Temperament of Russian bees

    I watch video channels from the Russia proper routinely.

    The real issue they have with hot bees - when Southern imports get crossed with the local Russians.
    Talking about AHB levels of defensiveness.

    Keep in mind, historically the primitive keepers just kept the bees in the bee trees (where they had to climb up).
    Think for a minute - working the bees 10-20-30 feet above ground on a tree trunk - with hot bees and no good protection this would not have been possible.
    That should give some idea of the original Russian bee temperament.
    The regular Rs are defensive enough, but respond to smoke very well.

    The nastiness is about random hybridization mostly.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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