I've had Russian bees in my small apiary since 2007 and have had great luck with them. I usually use powdered sugar to treat for mites, but I didn't treat at all last summer because the mite counts were extremely low (in all my hives, not just the Russians).
NC State conducted a study in 2005 comparing Russians and Italians, the the Russians came out very well. My computer isn't letting me copy and paste at the moment, but you can find it by Googling "NCSU, Russian bees."
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