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Author Topic: Russian bees in the US  (Read 5465 times)
Boris
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« on: November 07, 2006, 02:27:35 PM »

The number of official Russian queen breeders is limited; it is less than 10. The number of Russian bee colonies in the US is about several hundred thousand. Unfortunately, there is no official data about their total population. Currently, I am trying to obtain more accurate information. I would be happy to receive further information (with relevant source citations) regarding the presence of Russian bee colonies in America (US, Canada).

In addition, I would be happy to receive and publish on my web site comments from beekeepers who have worked with Russian bees.

Click here for more details:
http://www.beebehavior.com/russian_bees.php

Boris
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2006, 02:58:52 PM »

I got Russian bees last year.  They came from CA, but that's all I know.   Since this is my first year, I have nothing to compare them too.  This was the first time the bee place I use here in Oregon, has ordered Russians.

I got one 3lb package mid April '06.  by mid summer, they had filled 2 deeps with brood, pollen, and honey. by the end of the summer, they had almost filled a 3rd deep and had given me 2 full shallows of honey.  At one point it appears I had more than one queen wandering around in there. 

Until robbing started in late summer, I worked them in shorts and tshirt with gloves.  I was stung only when I foolishly place the inner cover on the ground near my feet, and had bees get up my pants.  I have had them go up a loose sweatshirt sleeve and not been stung.  Even when working them during robbing, or when I have taken the honey, I have only had to walk away from the hive a couple of times.

I used Apiguard to treat for mites.  I found very few on the bottom board during treatment.  they are very diligent about keeping the hive clean. 

I don't know how this compares to others experiences, but for a first time beekeeper I was pleasantly surprised at how easy these bees have been to live with.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Boris
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2006, 05:59:55 PM »

Hello Kathyp,

May I post your info to my web site.  Also I would like to know the name of your bee supplier and your short description of this supplier (quality of bees, packaging and so on).

Thank you.
Boris
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ndvan
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2006, 06:52:41 PM »

I have wondered how russian bees tolerate heat.  It gets over 100 degrees every summer where I live, sometimes for weeks at a time.  How do they cope with that level of heat?
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2006, 07:02:08 PM »

It's fine with me if you use the info  Smiley

I got them through Ruhl Bee Supply in Clackamas Oregon.  I do not know who they ordered from except that they are in CA.  I can probably find out next week if you want more info.  The bees arrived in great condition.  I had been told to expect some dead bees in the package.  I found very few.  From their performance, I'd say I got a pretty healthy bunch! 

Heat:  we had a good number of days over 100 this year.  It started in May, then got cold again.  By the end of June and for the rest of the summer, we were over 90 many days.  It was an unusually hot, dry summer.  The bees did not seem to have a problem with the heat.....I wonder how they will do with all this rain!

I'll put in a plug for Ruhl Bee Supply.  They are really great.  They hold classes for new beekeepers, have good supplies at a good price, and are very helpful.  Beekeeping is a family business and they really know their stuff.

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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Boris
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 09:35:38 PM »

"I can probably find out next week if you want more info." 
Yes, please.  Kathyp, now you can review your info here:
http://www.beebehavior.com/beekeepers_comments.php
Contact info is optional.

Boris
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2006, 10:28:32 PM »

I plan on obtaining some Russian stock this coming spring.  I figure to shop locally so will be getting my from Wildnerness Apiaries out of Port Angeles, WA.  They specialize in Russian and SMR stock.
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tigerfankk
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2006, 11:06:01 AM »

I just attended a Bee Field Day here in Baton Rouge this past weekend.  One of the main points was that the Russian bees have reduced Varroa Mite counts and they had plenty of graphs supporting this claim.  Here are some links if you want to find out more info from the presenters.  Maybe you could request their slide decks as well.  Phone and address in last link.

http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=14203
http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/projects/projects.htm?accn_no=407273
http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=64-13-30-00

There are 2 or 3 individuals that sell Russian Queens.  I'll get the ok to publish there names if anyone is interested.
Keith
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Trot
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2006, 08:06:40 PM »

I have no Russian bees, but have heard that they can handle varroa, among other things. And I do mean, Russian bees!
Now, why - is beyond me - are you people talking about those bees that came originally from Russia and have now been propagated mainly in Louisiana, California, Texas (some also in Ontario) - mainly southern states with no particular cold to speak off, much less any snow ?
The bee-pasture in those places is probably - year round affair? All this just don't make much sense to me?!
Russians are Russians! Used to snow and cold, of which people in those places have no clue, much less any experience!?
They, bees, had worked different flowers even, and one can go on and on.  .  .  .

What is there to test?

They know in Russia, for decades, that those bees can and do, coexist with varroa?! The Primorski region is from where the varroa has spread to Europe in the first place?

Now, to propagate such a bee, the way has been done, is like taking an Eskimo and let him loose in Texas and expect to watch  him  how he builds himself an igloo? And when that done - goes out and survive - to raise a family even?Huh

Haven't you Americans learned nothing, prom the past mistakes?  Do you enjoy that much - shooting yourself in the foot?
No, you still like to wander the globe, grab things that tickle your fancy, or you think can make you a buck.  Bring it home and then work it to death - trying to make it your own!?

Take this bees to Alaska! Than do your tests and see for yourself, what those bees can do and what they can't?
The way it is being done now is IMO pointless to the point of being fullish...

No hard feelings?!  Just my two cents.  .  .  .

Regards,
Frank - Trot
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2006, 08:41:38 PM »

 ;)Hmmm,
Try nothing and definitely fail or try something and possibly succeed?
This can be a tough decision to make sometimes.
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ndvan
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2006, 09:12:05 PM »

I'm a newbee and no nothing, so I speak from utter ignorance.  Also, before Tuesday's election I would have been too disillusioned with the USA to bother responding to your post, but today, here's what I have to say:

1.The US has become the greatest country in the world due to our willingness to try new things.  We take in people from every inch of the globe, why not bees?  What we have learned is that ignoring genetics and having an adventerous bent gets you just about everywhere you want to go.   

2.Based on genetics, I probably ought to be about 1,000 miles North, but I've adapted just fine.

3. Italian bees live in Finland (accorinding to Finsky) so maybe Russian bees can live in the lower 48.

No hard feelings (seriously).  Canada is a great place based upon my one visit there.  But your post accentuates the negative a little too much.

ndvan
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Zoot
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2006, 12:12:33 AM »

You might try contacting Bjorn Apiaries in PA. He has been working with russians for a while now and also seems to be doing creditable research into their resistance to mites, wintering issues, etc.
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danno1800
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2006, 10:05:39 AM »

I agree with Zoot about Bjorn Apiaries in PA. I got one of his Russian queens this year to test out. I am very impressed with her performance and plan to order several more from him next year. Hope that helps you make up your mind. -Danno
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Trot
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2006, 10:40:27 AM »

Don't get sore now, gentlemen!  This was not meant to be seen as some kind of anti-American or anti-anything and I can't see why it would be trust in to the outcome of the last elections...

Point is, one can not just take some animal/bug and transplant it to totally different environment and expect it to perform to their wishes.
It is well known what happened in Brazil and Mr. Kerr never once said that he was sorry?
It is well known fact that we have on this earth different races of bees which belong to their respective localities or there about. That chain of events was decided through 100 million years of evolution and not by human preference of some nice golden colour in their bees, etc...
Now, I am not an highly educated man, and you guys can run circles around me if you so wish and that too, is fine by me.  

Point that I am trying to make is that if Russian bees are not performing as expected - it is not their fault!
I read a lot, here in elsewhere and a lot of beeks are disappointed and even blame some of those who provided them with such bees.
Italian bees are here in Canada and yes, in Finland. Carnica too, is not found only in Slovenia, (Carniola!)  
One thing is surely clear to all?  They did not get to those parts of the globe on their own and they only perform best in regions where they originate from.

And yes, many do great work with different bees and that is not my concern. We all know why some of this work is being/was done?!
I too have Italian bees and I know that my strain would not be happy at all if dropped in the middle of Mediterranean...
Many years ago I had preached to fellow beekeepers at our monthly meetings that we should become self sufficient!  Whole Canada depended on bees from Alabama, Georgia, Australia, New Zealand...
Finally, when border was closed for importation of bees - this dependency quickly dissipated... Now bees can even be bought in our parts of the world?! ( But die-hards still cry to open the boarder...)
My bees have never in years been further than where they can fly! And yes - they are Italian, (once upon a time) and I have yet to see  varroa on them. Perhaps there are varroa in the hives - but I have yet to see one...
Now, don't nobody get me wrong now?  I'm not bragging, but am rather thanking Lord tha to this day have not seen one. Ofcourse that can easyly change in a hurry, come next spring...
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ndvan
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2006, 01:32:57 PM »

I am not sore at all.  However, your post did have an Anti-American slant to it.  The reason I mentioned the elections is that, for the last five years, I have had a bit of an anti US government feeling.  Mark Twain once said something to the effect "Love your country always, love your government when it deserves it."  I do not want to start a political debate on this site.  I just had some of my faith restored in the voters of this country that makes me feel better about being an American.  Your post happened to appear when I was feeling extra-patriotic, that's all. 

As to the substance of your post, its my understanding that none of the honeybees kept in North or South America are native.  It woud seem to me that Russian bees ought to work in the cooler parts of this continent, at least.

Thanks, ndvan
   
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2006, 09:26:33 PM »

Bees, like people, can adjust to climatic conditions fairly well.  A hive of bees will adjust their enviormental clock to their new location within a couple of years.  New swarms will have a better chance of survival in the new climate with each occurance. 
Buying bees from Florida for use in North Dakota might be a little risky the first year but if they survive they become alcimated within a few years, becoming cold weather bees verses warm weather bees. 
The most interesting aspect of Russians bees is not that they are generally cold weather bees but that they are genetically varroa resistant.  It is a trait that can and should be selected towards regardless of the weather conditions in any area.
If you want to buy bees that will survive in your area buy bees from you area or from an area as close to you climatic conditions as possible. 
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Finsky
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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2006, 01:25:49 AM »


Here is a Dutch 3- year reseach on Russian bee http://www.mamamoer.nl/ddb/blz/rapportprimoengels2002.pdf

Russian bees are not so good are they are said.

.
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Boris
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« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2006, 09:55:44 AM »

Finski,

Thank you for your reply, but your link (data) is too old.

Boris
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Finsky
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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2006, 12:47:10 PM »

Finski,

Thank you for your reply, but your link (data) is too old.

Boris

You mean that Russian bee has been developed during 3-4 year better?

A year ago Zew Zeland beekeeper went to Germany to search what kind of properties Germans have developed against varroa. He wrote that German have got varroa tolerant stock from Carniola bee which are at least as good as Russian. Russian has bad habits which Carniolan does not have. So New Zelander moved to them that Carniolan semen in orger to get varroa resistant bees in their country. They have not experience about Carniolan and the most frightful habit is tendency of swarming.

New Zeland does not want semen from USA because thay does  want not a sigle gene from Africanized bees. It seems that on Arizona area they nurse calm africanized stock without varroa cure.


I have read writings of Russian bee owners and varroa kill hives if beepeeker do not cure hives.

I have  no idea to try Russians. I handle mites with oxalic adid and I am more than satisfied with it. My aim is to get huge honey yields and not fight agains mites.

I have 30 miles to Russian border. I hope that they drones do not come to my bee yards.

.

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Finsky
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« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2006, 05:23:04 AM »



I looked closer what is happening in varroa resistant bee breedind in NZ but I found only 4 year old plans.
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