My first year I supposedly purchased Russian Bees. they were fairly gentle....they did not make it thru the winter however....Last year I supposedly bought Italian Bees...they are extremely aggressive, protective of their hive....but they made it thru the winter...I realize there are a lot of other factors involved here but that has been my experience....
While russian bees have soime different traits they are still honeybees. Don't buy into the hype, pro and con. My first bees were russian mutts. They gave me 70 lbs of honey and a split the first yeare and mafe it through the winter too!
I think you may have that backward, Italians generally are very Gentle. Although hybridizations can result in aggressive traits. I am a proponent of the philosophy that there are few pure strains left these days. The case in point is that many sell bees based on characteristics rather than actual breeding. If a bee looks Russian then they call them Russian, same goes for Italians, Carnis, or Caucasians. they all have desirable traits as well as undesirable traits.
If you speak Russian Maybe they will be more comfortable,:lpf:
I have one colony of Russians and 3 colonies of Carnis. My Russian colony built faster , put up more stores and was just a very slight bit more aggressive . My Russians also depleted most all their stores this winter too . I was fortunate enough to be able to access the hives early enough to start feeding sugar blocks back in Feb. . I like my Russians but they do seem to take a bit more management .
ha rs! politics aside. i read that they constantly make swarm cells. any truth to that? any thoughts on managing through it? these are going to be in an urban area where swarming may be more... frowned-upon.
I started with two packages of Italians last year from Kellys and had queen issues with both. I purchased two nucs of Russians from a gentlemen last May and they overwintered without any issues. I have found them to be very gentle. I mowed and weedeated around my two hives without any issues. They both built up two deeps, the top boxes were full of honey last fall. When doing inspections I often found queen cells in the midlle of frames, but I heard that was normal for Russians. They are building up big time right now and I am keeping a close eye on them to hopefully prevent swarming and get a good honey crop out of them. I am going to get two more nucs from this same gentlemen next month.
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