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Author Topic: Question about bee agressiveness  (Read 1320 times)
Umbriel971
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Location: Sault Ste Marie ON, CA


« on: October 19, 2004, 01:33:33 AM »

Greetings!  I have as of late been helping a fellow beekeeper out with preparing his hives for the winter.  We have been checking and medicating his hives etc..  As I am new to beekeeping and have no field experience this has been a great and rewarding experience for me to be able to get some hands on with a gentleman with 30+ years experience.  

I have been reading quite a bit on the Russian strain of honeybee's because they seem to posses many of the qualities that would make them suitable for the climate around here, hardy, mite resistant and winter well.  Also many sites mention that they are quiet.

However, during my working with these hives, the other species he has were quite calm, most likely because of the weather being quite cool and we had little problem with them, the Russian strain however were quite active and the gentleman says that this is normal due to their being a colder climate bee, but the were very aggresive and very cranky. We were not pulling honey frames, just putting strip etc in.  The other colonies hardly noticed us.  Is this unusual?  Could this be the case of having a hive that has superceded with a "hot" queen?  Could this behavior be bred out with replacing the queen with a different one, or is it the case that this particular breed is overall more agressive despite what I have read and only seemed out of place due to the cool weather.

THe gentlemant I was helping says that in general whilst the russians are excellent producers they tend to be more agressive, which again seems to contradict what i have read.  Anyone care to weigh in please?
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Finman
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2004, 09:53:18 AM »

Quote from: Umbriel971


...make them suitable for the climate around here, hardy, mite resistant and winter well.  Also many sites mention that they are quiet.

However, during my working with these hives, the other species he has were quite calm, most likely because of the weather being quite cool and we had little problem with them, the Russian strain however were quite active and the gentleman says that this is normal due to their being a colder climate bee,...


In my experience 42 year "cold climate bee" is nothing to do with agressive/ defensive  behaviour.

Cold climate means that strain has sence to get ready for winter and keep calm in they hive during long winter. If they are "southern bees" they fly during winter, come out and feed brood.

Russian bee is "breeding product of USA", not real Russian.

You have also many other strains there, which have good over wintering abilities. Italian strains are plenty.


Many bees are aggressive when weather is bad. And when evening comes, some became really mad!

Quote

.Could this behavior be bred out with replacing the queen with a different one, or is it the case that this particular breed is overall more agressive despite what I have read and only seemed out of place due to the cool weather. ,...


Many hybrids are aggressive. Agression is bee's natural habit against enemy.  Keep calm is unnatural habit, which has been generated through breeding.


I have not seen Russin bees however my summer cottage is 50 km from Russian border.  In Finland we have real Russian strains, I heard, and they are not good.

I have had Northern race (mad), Caucasian from Canada (lazy), Krainian (swarming, calm) Italians and Buckfast and their every kind of hybrids.

Now I have  3 strains of Italians:  2 from Finland and 1 from Italy,  
also I have  2 Elgons hives which clean mites away. One Elqon gived to me too much stings and I changed the queen.


I think that USA-Russian bee is "young product" and it is not ready yet.

"Some like daugters and some like mothers".
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Blackbird
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Location: Santa Cruz, California USA


« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2004, 11:59:37 AM »

I have a Russian queen and my hive is very gentle for the most part. Of course there are always going to be times when the hive is a bit agitated for some reason or other but I like my Russians. They are indeed very productive and don't mind flying in slightly cooler weather.
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Finman
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2004, 02:01:06 PM »

Quote from: Blackbird
Russian ..don't mind flying in slightly cooler weather.


I had Crainian bees and they are almost black. They really fly on cooler wether because sun keeps them warmer than light Italians.  

They must have 25 Celsius in they fly muscles even if wether is near 10C.

One point is that if colony drops down they brooding when it is cold week on summer, it is not good for yield. Some northern strains are sensitive for "saving mode" .
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