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Anyone out there using Russian stock still exclusively? Do you think Russian stock can be managed profitably for honey production? Is anyone out there trying to improve upon there mite resistance? Now that they have been around for some years now what is the general thoughts towards them?
 

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Maybe it's just me but you don't hear as much about Russian bees as you used to.
 

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Anyone out there using Russian stock still exclusively? Do you think Russian stock can be managed profitably for honey production? Is anyone out there trying to improve upon there mite resistance? Now that they have been around for some years now what is the general thoughts towards them?
There is a guy I know that runs the Bullthistle Bee Club in Norwich; he has Russians for a few years now.mIf you want his email PM me. Deb
 

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I can't say that I keep russians exclusively but my first hive 4 years ago was russians (a daughter of a certified RHBA queen). I still have grand daughters and great-granddaughters of that queen and as of today's hive inspections (worked them without gloves, in short sleeve, veil and light smoke) they are still, by far, my favorite.
Now, to your question on honey production. I have had other bees that seem to gather more nectar and others that may seem more docile (if there isn't a flow or something to do, they will all be on guard duty) but I have never had any that are more hardy and resistant to things that seem to effect most other bees. They winter in a very small cluster so stores are not blown through like others but they do build up fast and earlier than most bees. I would presume that is where they get their reputation for a tendency to swarm. I learned this the hard way but now a little early swarm prevention goes a long way. They don't need a lot babying or special attention so if one were to weigh the amount of time and resources needed to care for other bees that may collect more honey vs. a bee that needs little attention it could be argued that less honey with less work could be more value. IMO.

Oh, I also didn't treat for 2 years because I was new/forgot/lazy/(insert excuse here) and they never missed a beat.
 

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I second Bronco's comments.My bees are Russian based but I raise my own Qs.Every year I bring in a couple of RHBA Qs,most recently from Dan Conlon,Warm Colors Apiary,S Deerfield MA.Bob Brachman,Cold Country Qs, in W NY has good bees also,but I think he has dropped out of the program.
Your honey production depends on the resources in your area.In a good year in N Central CT I average about 80-100 lbs per colony.
 
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