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Author Topic: Russian VS European  (Read 2607 times)
Shawn
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« on: September 13, 2007, 04:38:28 PM »

Due to I am new to bee keeping and have not yet purchased or captured any bees I was wondering if I could buy Russian bees. I have seen there is a program in LA offering Russian queens at $100.00 each. Can you buy a package of Rusian Bees? I have not seen any good articles about requeening Russians into European bees. I know it has been done but with both success and the queen being killed. My thought on buying Russian bees is for the mite resitance. A friend here has European bees so the honey production is not my goal. I am doing this as a hobby and as far as I know, no one else around here has any russian bees. I have seen some black and gray colored bees in the area, thinking they are Russina. One was in my patrol car the other day with her legs full of pollen. Before I started getting interested in bees I would have smashed her on the window. I opened hte door and gently shewed her out, not even getting stung. My son will be getting european bees and keeping them in the same yard area. WOuld this be a concern? Im just puting this post out fishing for some advise.

Thanks
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TwT
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2007, 04:58:07 PM »

you dont need to buy a $100 queen, those are breeder queens, if you want russian packages buy from a supplier that sale russian open mated, it want bother anything putting a riussian hive in the same yard as italians or any other line of bee's.... here is a list of suppliers

http://www.beesource.com/suppliers/usbees.htm
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Shawn
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2007, 09:09:29 PM »

TWT,

Thanks for the reply. Is there someone that you recommend?
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acbs
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2007, 09:27:36 PM »

Shawn, 

I would recommend either Arnold's Honeybee Service in Knoxville, Tenn. or Jester Bees in West Ridge, Ark.
I haven't bought packages from these suppliers, but I have purchased nucs from both of these.  Have been pleased with both of their bees.  We would highly recommend Russians from either one.

Arvin & Colleen 
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Shawn
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2007, 09:57:46 PM »

Cool Thanks!
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Shawn
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2007, 10:12:37 PM »

I guess maybe I should ask if anyone would say witch woudl be better to start out with or if there is any disadvantage in getting Russians.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2007, 10:51:00 PM »

Russians are generally a good cold weather bee, something you might need come winter in the Rockies.  The other recommendation would be to go for Carniolins or NWC (New World Carniolins).
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acbs
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« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2007, 03:25:02 AM »

Shawn,

We started with Russians and would highly recommend them to anyone.  If you're leaning towards starting with them, we sure wouldn't discourage you.  We have only positives to report about the Russians we have.  Started ith 2 nucs in 2004 and will go into this winter with between 35 or 40 hives.  We have not yet had a hive die out in the winter.  They have excellent mite resistance.   But, we are beekeepers here.  You'll find just as many favorable comments about the other races of bees from the other beeks.  You'll get many different opinions from many different beekeepers.  It can be an ugly can of worms to open.   
Good luck with your choice.

Arvin & Colleen
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super dave
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« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2007, 08:27:48 AM »

i got a nuc of russkis this spring they are doing great so far and friendly too--
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Erik T
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2007, 09:33:02 AM »

My Russian/NWC crossed girls are little sweethearts.  I can get right infront of the hive without upsetting them.  I frequently work them wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

Sometimes I wish they were a tiny bit more aggressive.  Specifically towards SHBs.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2007, 12:24:01 PM by Erik T » Logged
Mici
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2007, 05:59:29 PM »

from what i recall, Russians aren't mite resistane-they're not bullet proof, they just do a bit better than others. so, having a Russian queen does not mean you don't have to look for mites and treat.

this was stated as one of the many rookie problems-thinking that by having Russian queen you're good.
strange that no one else pointed it out.
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Erik T
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2007, 06:15:37 PM »

from what i recall, Russians aren't mite resistane-they're not bullet proof, they just do a bit better than others. so, having a Russian queen does not mean you don't have to look for mites and treat.

this was stated as one of the many rookie problems-thinking that by having Russian queen you're good.
strange that no one else pointed it out.

True Mici.  The russians imported and bred by the USDA are supposedly mite resistant.  That doesn't mean mite proof, you still have to stay on top of the buggers.
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Shawn
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2007, 06:22:28 PM »

Mici,

Thanks. I did read that in an article I found while researching the russian bees. I still planned on doing everything the same when it comes to mites. My reasoning to get the Russians is because of their calm nature. However I have also read that the Russians can be a bit more aggressive than the europeans. Like ACBS said it depends who you are talking to and if it is a company it depends what they are trying to sell. I have not heard anyone yet say that their Russian bees have been aggressive at all. I need to be very careful on the aggression because our city is already on the look out for the bees. When I went to the planning zoning committe some were against the bees but the majority said go for it. I was told the US department of Agiculture has a program for first time beekeepers. They supposly will give you a hive, medications, and needed supplies for one hive. I have made some calls by pulling some strings and I am waiting for an answer. I also am doing some networking for places I can place the bees for some great pollen. I now have access to a large melon field and an apple orchard.
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tom
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2007, 06:29:25 PM »

Howdy

  I like the carni's but i do have two carni russian cross and a italian russian cross waiting to see how thier offspring will turn out. But if you want to expand your yard then carni's will do it for you i have only lost one hive so far and saving my other hive that fail to rebuild queen cells before they killed off the drones but i have them in a nuc and they refuse to give up they are still kicking but i am planning on getting some russian next year but i heard that the blue russians are very gentle.I have nine big hives still going which are all dark bees and two hives that are still mostly italian butthier queens are the carni russian cross.

Tom Wink
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acbs
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2007, 08:48:26 PM »

Mici,

Sorry if you understood me to mean our Russians are mite proof.  I simply stated "they have excellent mite resistance" and I will stand by that statement.  I made no claims of having no mites.  Nor did I make any claims that " by having a Russian queen you're good."  We medicated our 6 hives the first year mainly because we got a couple of Russian queens open bred to Italian drones from another supplier and their hives developed a mite problem.  (Note: I did not name or recommend that supplier.  I'm not saying all Russians bred with Italians are going to have mite problems, the 2 we had did.)  The only medication we used was wintergreen oil in grease patties.  We medicated a few of the 10 hives we went into the second winter with just simply because "as rookies" we thought we were supposed to.  Didn't medicate the third winter and have seen no need to and are not planning on medicating this year.  Used SBB on all hives until this year, but even the ones with solid bottoms are doing well.  Yes, I've seen a few mites, especially in my starter hives, but, once their strength builds, they have "resisted" the mite population growth to a point where medication is not necessary.    As far as aggressive behavior and all other points, "We have only positives to report...."  We have absolutely no complaints and no reason to consider trying other bees.
As I implied in my other post, I expect other beekeepers with other bees could copy this post and just substitute 'Russian' with his preferred bee.  I would not question his statement.  I can only report on our personal experiences with our bees.
I'm sorry if my other posts misled anyone, and I hope this clears things up. 

Arvin
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Shawn
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2007, 09:22:42 PM »

I understood and dont believe there is anything in the workd that is full proof.
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BeeJay
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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2007, 09:25:04 PM »

LAst year had Italian, and they didn't survive the winter Sad This year I got a Russian nuc and they have done great! I opened them today no mites visible, so I removed the sticky board from under the hive and no mites either! Both hives seem to be mite less Smiley I will check again tomorrow but so far so good!
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Shawn
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« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2007, 07:58:15 PM »

TWT,

last night when you heard me say that the  russians continously make queen cells and then end up killing them before they emerge. I found the site again. It was a study from the NCU.  Here is the link to the study. I know all studies are mostly book work but that is what they say. www.cals.ncsu.edu/entomology/apiculture/PDF%20files/2.16.pdf.

Thanks a lot for all the info last night. I believe I will order from Dixie bee supply for the russians and I might order the goldline queen for my sons hive. Do I need a specific spieces of bees, Itilian, russian, new world cardiolan?
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acbs
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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2007, 10:09:24 PM »

Shawn,

Interesting link you posted for TWT.  Had to look at it after it was mentioned they killed queen cells before they were fully developed.  Maybe it's just a difference in terms or definitions, but what they call 'queen cells' I would call what I think they're talking about 'queen cups'.  It's worded in such a way to make it sound as if the 'queen cells' are an organism and develope on their own instead of the fact the bees build them.

It took us a while to get used to seeing those in our hives.  For some time every one we saw (usually several each time we got into a hive) we mashed or removed somehow.  We came upon some information about their tendency to build these cups and finally realized we didn't need to worry about them.  We might peek in them just to see if they contain eggs, but that's it.  It's like they have a continuous course of "Queen Cup 101" for all of the newly hatched bees to learn and practice how to build them.  Kind of like a wax shop class.

Arvin
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« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2007, 12:12:02 AM »

there is a big difference between queen cells and queen cups, a queen cell is a queen cell, and have never heard of a worker bee killing a queen cell unless it was a queen doing then dirty dead, that is a bunch of bull about bee's killing a queen cell, it never will happen, trust me,unles there is something wong with the bee's and never heard of that cause......maybe someone has, but not here, i would like to read some....
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Never be afraid to try something new.
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