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Hey everyone, I'm new on here. I currently do not have any hives, but am buying all the equipment for next year. I started doing my research about 2 months back.

I plan on keeping my bees in a privacy fenced off area on my property thats a solid zone 3b. The fence will be the wind break, because we do get some nasty wind up there on occasion. The only apiary I can find in my area to buy bees from sells Italian and carnolian. The carnolian I'm sure has a chance to survive our winters, but the Italian I highly doubt. But I'd like to requeen one of the hives (i plan on starting with at least 2, maybe 3 hives and grow it to about 10 over the years) the first year with a hardy queen in hopes that at least one can make it.

So heres my question. I've been contemplating buying a Russian queen from a certified Russian queen breeder, or a mut breed from a "northern" producer, such as singing cedars apiaries. What are your thoughts, and have any of you guys been able to try either of these out in a cold climate?

Thank you, Kempe.
 

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Welcome
One of the benefits of filling out your profile is it gives others an idea of where you live.
It has been said that all beekeeping is local and a plant hardiness zone of 3b covers a broad swath of the continent from Aroostook County ME to coastal Alaska with the Northern prairies in between.
Seek out other local beeks and see what they run.Join a local club and learn about you local nectar flow.See if you can find a local to follow around.I don't know any beekeeper that would refuse help hefting supers during harvest.
 

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Unfortunately my phone and this website don't get along. I can't find an option to put my location in while on mobile. I'll do so when I have access to a desktop.

I live in Pocatello, Idaho, which is listed as a zone 5b-6b, however, I don't get have a place here that I can put bees on. So I'll be keeping them on my property in the foothills South of Soda Springs, Idaho. I have tried to contact several beeks in my area, and am awaiting a response from them. 2 of them I know have not had much luck getting a hive to survive. Only 1 hive for the 12 years between the two of them that they've been keeping bees has survived. Another one is a commercial been, but I've been told he can be stingy with his bees. But I still would like to talk to him.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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one can order queens from Golden Ridge in Iowa. they would be local raised and a bit mid season, but packages or NUCs could be started early and then split/requeend late july if you want the Russians.

GOLDEN RIDGE HONEY FARM, INC.

they are about the same distance north as you. If you are up for a road trip they also sell NUCs.

BTW order early :)


GG
 

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Never drove a cager that far, only my bike 😂

I never put much thought into actually making splits my first year. With how short of a summer we have there, I am not too sure that I could pull one off from a brand new hive the first year. It's a great idea to try if I can build them up enough. Thanks!
 

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I've been contemplating buying a Russian queen from a certified Russian queen breeder, or a mut breed from a "northern" producer, such as singing cedars apiaries. What are your thoughts, and have any of you guys been able to try either of these out in a cold climate?

Thank you, Kempe.
You are having no experience may get slapped with a negative experience getting the Russian mixes.
These are not the easiest bees to keep; not your fuzzy softie bees you would work in shorts and sandals.
There could be exceptions, but be ready and get dressed.

On my local board I know cases where the new beeks are now looking for a way out of the Russians (after initially having these rosy ideas - mite-resistance and blah, blah....). I even asked to salvage their Russian queens for them (since they want milder bees) - well, no luck for me.

So get some basic experience and get you ABCs figured out before you get into the Russian bees.
 

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You are having no experience may get a negative experience with the Russian mixes.
These are not the easiest bees to keep; not your fuzzy softie bees.

On my local board I know cases where the new beeks are now looking for a way out (after getting the Russians).
I even asked to salvage their Russian queens (since they want milder bees).

So get some basic experience before you get into the Russian bees.
So then I should just stick to a carnolian or "northern bred" queen to begin with?
 

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So then I should just stick to a carnolian or "northern bred" queen to begin with?
The "northern bred" bees says nothing to me; just a naming gimmick.
But as long as they are easily manageable get either and spend a season or two playing with them.
Then you'd have some idea how to move forward.

For example, I am a swarm runner "by trade" and usually have all kinds of variety on hand.
Some of the swarms I indeed work in shorts, mosquito net on my head and a water sprayer by my side (my backyard as we speak).
Other swarms scare me away now and then (that being fully clad and with smoke).
So a random Russian mix is much more likely to kick you out of their hive.
 

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the "name" of the breed maters little, (unless your dealing with a for real breeding program) it all depends on the producer.
For the most part local stock does better as they have been slected to deal with your considtions

your a 1st year, don't over think it. Get bees, control your mites, make sure they have plenty of winter food...
With out solid local mentor ship you have a good chance of them dieing no mater what you buy.
 

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I think GregV paints an unfair picture of CERTIFIED Russians.All my bees are Rus based.In the past I have purchased (for the last 15yrs) certified Rus Qs from various members of the RQBA.Their positive qualities far outway any negative.I regularly work in
T shirt and veil and have mentored many beginners on Rus bees.All bees sting,especially if you are a clumsy beekeeper.

http://www.russianbreeder.org/members.html
 

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I think GregV paints an unfair picture of CERTIFIED Russians.All my bees are Rus based.In the past I have purchased (for the last 15yrs) certified Rus Qs from various members of the RQBA.Their positive qualities far outway any negative.I regularly work in
T shirt and veil and have mentored many beginners on Rus bees.All bees sting,especially if you are a clumsy beekeeper.

http://www.russianbreeder.org/members.html
Jack, you are making a point, as well Greg is.
However they are different points.

"So a random Russian mix is much more likely to kick you out of their hive"

I would agree the certified Russians are a certain demeanor.
then the F1s and F2s are a different demeanor, at times even meaner that the F0s

some of the crosses are not the same as the parent Queens, and Many of the certified are fine, so you both are correct and actually talking about different "strains"

He clearly is a "swarm" catcher, and you a certified stock owner. Different playgrounds IMO. he did state "random Russian Mix". you did "state Certified", so not the same.

I have Both so I can understand the comments, I do get the "pure" Queens, and have F1s and F2s and F3s. Depending on who dropped a truckload of commercials, next door, the week your hive mates from supersedes, or swarms, Will impact the crosses.

As well I have ordered different "pure" Russians from different places, and they are not really the exact same, so its not like comparing Ford to GM, it is many shades of Gray.
If you let your bees out cross with near by stock, you would likely see drift. If you requeen from certified then they do stay true.

I have a couple F3s I am going to have to give away, :) Almost never had a pure hive be mean. here the baby daddies matter.

GG
 

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I think GregV paints an unfair picture of CERTIFIED Russians.All my bees are Rus based.In the past I have purchased (for the last 15yrs) certified Rus Qs from various members of the RQBA.Their positive qualities far outway any negative.I regularly work in
T shirt and veil and have mentored many beginners on Rus bees.All bees sting,especially if you are a clumsy beekeeper.

http://www.russianbreeder.org/members.html
Again - Russian mixes.
You can only maintain your certified Russians for so long without continuous buying.
The random mixing does unpredictable results, with Russian mixes sometimes being compatible to AHB in hotness (in rare cases).
But in general you will not work Russian mixes in sandals and shorts - which some people think the beekeepers do after watching Youtube.

Two years in a row now, our local bee importer is selling what they market as "Russian hybrids" (while not reveling the sources).
As for me - great. Hoping to catch some of these (maybe I got one I think).
As for some of the local beek comments - "Help! I need to re-queen these things!". LOL
 

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Exactly, GG.
Thanks.
splitting hairs for some, to me they are different as different can be.
Helps me to realize the DCA is more important than I thought originally.

can even be the deal breaker or maker.
Some of the TF who seemingly coast have a great DCA, some of the guys who have VSH go to pieces in 3 years have the opposite.

Still looking for that "great place" for mating.
It feels like the U.P. would work, treat it like an "island" minus the boat part. :)
Find a county with few or no keepers, bring in the drone hives and the breeders and do a batch or 2 then take it all back.

need a place that is harsh enough to winter kill all the ferals/escaped bees, and 3 months of summer, nice enough to hatch and breed queens, but not nice enough for the commercials to "leave" truck loads there.. Where the package buyers have been discouraged by winter kill to just give up. O and the bear fence need be erected :)

GG
 

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I agree with msl's advice above. It is fun to research where you may want your hobby to go, but you need to get the basics down with some local bees. Try to find a beekeeper in your area that has been keeping bees for many years and does not have to buy bees each spring. Talk him/her into selling you a couple of nucs and let that be your start.

If you are interested in Russian Bees, Thomas Rinderer (a co-founder of the Russian breeders program) and Steven Coy (a member of the program) just released a book in March of this year. It is very well-written and makes the case for Russian bees with some great citations to studies and research. The book is a little pricey, but the kindle version is reasonably priced. https://www.amazon.com/Russian-Honey-Bees-Thomas-Rinderer/dp/1655328131
 

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......

If you are interested in Russian Bees, Thomas Rinderer (a co-founder of the Russian breeders program) and Steven Coy (a member of the program) just released a book in March of this year. It is very well-written and makes the case for Russian bees with some great citations to studies and research. The book is a little pricey, but the kindle version is reasonably priced. https://www.amazon.com/Russian-Honey-Bees-Thomas-Rinderer/dp/1655328131
Interesting book.

One detail bothers me about the Russian bee breading program - they are all down South.
The Russian bee is inherently a northern bee - this is how it developed and how it still is in its very original source (which is the Russian Far East).
Breeding the northern bee in subtropics and tropics just does not sound right to me - whatever they develop over the years is not a true Russian bee anymore. The very basic wintering factor has been removed.

The proper place to breed the Russians is up North.
Washington Island, WI is one such place - very similar to the original Russian source.
If to pay money for them, I'd look at https://sweetmountainfarm.com/
 

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They are not all in the south. There are member-breeders in Massachusetts, Indiana and Iowa.

I have no experience with Russian bees. I was just interested in the book and the history of the program.
 

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They are not all in the south. There are member-breeders in Massachusetts, Indiana and Iowa.

I have no experience with Russian bees. I was just interested in the book and the history of the program.
For these efforts to be really proper, the breeding should be setup in USDA zones 3-4 also (none of Massachusetts, Indiana and Iowa are in zones 3-4).
 

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Zone_map4.gif
Very little zone 3 in the US, the market is too small as is the growing season
 
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