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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've talked to a couple people at my extension office who are pushing the Russians because of their overwintering ability. Was wondering if anyone around me has any experience with Russians.
 

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A few people around me (near Virginia Tech if that helps) have Russians & there's a fellow over near Knoxville who sells them. After the winter we just had, I'm leaning in that direction, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've read up on them and haven't found any negatives. Of course the dyed in the wool italian keepers say it's just a fad. lol I dunno about THAT but also would like to know if the bees are going to be as GENTLE as the Italian's because I do have animals and I have cookouts with ALOT of kids during the summer and do not want bees that are going to cause an issue and make me have to do some extermination! I wondered about crossing a Russian package with an Italian queen?
 

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Last year, I had 2 hives of Italians, and as far as temperment goes, they were wonderful. Gave up using the smoker after the second time because it was more hassle to get it going than to inspect the girls. As long as the day was sunny & I was fairly quick, they didn't seem to mind my poking around.

At least one local beek also has Carnolians, and they absolutely love them. I'm hoping to do a split by the first week of June if all goes well, and plan to re-queen with either a Russian or Carnolian. Like the Russian for the winterability, and the Carnolian for the production.

Question is whether or not last winter was a fluke, or typical of things to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's kinda what I'm wondering...are they always going to winter over or once the strains get dilluted are they going to just start collapsing.
 

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SG,

Me and my dad have two Nuc's coming from a Russian Breeder association member at the end of this month. There are a few that use them here in Wilkes.

Most will say that their downfall is slow build up and tempermant. I'll try to remember to let you know.
 

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I believe that Russian queen breeder Ray Revis is in NC.
 

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There is no difference in temperament between Russians and Italians. All our hives currently have Russian queens; Saturday we went through all of them (80+ hives) and out of 3 people, only one sting. That's not a normal day, but the Russians are good gentle bees. My only complaint is slow buildup in the early spring to get ready for the citrus flow.
 

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I just ordered a Russian queen to try. BTW, many years ago, I kept only Cancasians with very good results. Don't see Caucasians anymore. Anyone see them now?
Dave
 

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I meant Reidsville NC Norton's Honey Farm - Chuck Norton
You may want to do a search of Beesource on Chuck Norton. I'm thinkin' that a load of folks had a problem with delivery.
 

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Reidsville isn't that far from the Dadant branch in Chatham, VA. Might be worth a trip if the problem has been shipping. Might just have to stop in at Short Sugar's, too.
 

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Locally famous BBQ restaurant. Although I personally prefer Prissy Polly's in Kernersville. Hey, if I'm gonna make a trip, might as well get as much done as possible, right?
 
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