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Discussion Starter #1
So far i am impressed with the Russian bees, the queen seems to be laying better patterns than my Italians did last year out of the gate. They are a very gentle bunch of bees to work with nothing like some of the stories i read about. photo-156.jpg photo-155.jpg
 

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How long have you had the Russians, and how strong are the hives? Packed out hives yet? I've not heard positive things about the temperament of Russians from my Northern Beek friends...but after years of dealing with So FL ferals, they may seem like kittens. Just curious. Thanks!
 

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I've 10 hives of Russians myself that are packed into a single deep at the moment, getting ready to put their second deep on in a couple days. They are WAY nicer than the Italians. I like them so much better that i'm having 10 more queens sent to me on the 1st. The brood pattern is awesome too..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How long have you had the Russians, and how strong are the hives? Packed out hives yet? I've not heard positive things about the temperament of Russians from my Northern Beek friends...but after years of dealing with So FL ferals, they may seem like kittens. Just curious. Thanks!
I picked up a 4 pound package with a extra queen on 4/26/14 and split them into 2 hives from day 1, both hives are several weeks ahead of the Italians i had last year, i keep a log book every time I am in the bees. I honestly don't see anything mean about them, I can tell you they are the 1st ones out in the cooler mornings so time will only tell. I pulled 3 frames out of 1 of the hives and stuck them in a nuc box to try a split from them.
 

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My current package is supposed to be carni/russian hybrids, but I swear my queen is a pure russian: these are the most defensive bees I've ever had, they propolize like crazy (I spend more time trying to get the bars apart then I do looking at comb) and they're runny as hell. On the other hand, they build out incredibly fast, but all the same I'm going to requeen in the fall with a purer carni (if I can find one).
 

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I picked up a 4 pound package with a extra queen on 4/26/14 and split them into 2 hives from day 1, both hives are several weeks ahead of the Italians i had last year, i keep a log book every time I am in the bees. I honestly don't see anything mean about them, I can tell you they are the 1st ones out in the cooler mornings so time will only tell. I pulled 3 frames out of 1 of the hives and stuck them in a nuc box to try a split from them.
It all depends on the queen genetics, I've had one hive of russians from last year. Good winter population but poor slow build up and no honey production this year. They will be requeened this week with a Coy Bee Farm russian queen. I split off a nuc with they stock last month and they out grew the box before I realized it and they swarmed so Coy queens will really start laying a solid strong pattern quickly. Give them a lot of room!
 

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I brought a nuc home from Coy's around the 10th of May. Plopped them on an out yard that was loaded with white clover and let them get crowded in the first two weeks. They swarmed about a week and half later. It was entirely my fault. I was used to crowding bees to get comb drawing accomplished and these bees just didn't need it. Good Queens.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My bees came from a local guy in our area, who keeps them up here till November if my memory is correct then moves them to Georgia to winter them, so he gets packages ready for sale. So far i couldn't be happier with them. He also Carnis to might try them next spring to see what they are all about.
 

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Just hived a pure Russian nuc from Charles Walter (WV) last week. He shipped them to me express mail. This is my first ever hive and also my first time working with bees. They're very nice bees. I didn't wear any head protection other than sunglasses when hiving them, and didn't get stung at all. I'll be checking them very soon.
I almost went with Bob Brachmann because I've heard so many great things but he wouldn't ship and I couldn't drive up to MI the week he was going to be there.
If you want pure Russians, you might want to check out the Russian bee breeders website for their list of members. http://www.russianbreeder.org/
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I did a check on the split i made on June 21st and things are looking good, I have 6 queen cells that are closed up!
 

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I have a couple of Russian hives, and yes they are very docile, but they seem to always be way behind the Italians and Carniolans. Not very impressed. Never had any honey off them for the past two years. The others produce an average ten gallons a year.
 

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We have used Russians for breeders several times and find that the aggressiveness can vary. Russians can be hotter but also can be very gentle. Whoever is breeding hot bees is not selecting for gentleness very hard. I have some very gentle russian hives. I personally like them and I would rather be given 10 russian queens over 15 italians.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I checked on the split I made from the Russians tonight and I have 6 queen cells that are looking good, they have turned a darker color of tan or brown, here are a couple of pics i took with the Iphone photo-157.jpg photo-158.jpg
 
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