We have used genetic stock from the USDA-ARS Russian breeding program since 2001. Russian honey bees are all that we own. We believe it is impossible to raise a quality Russian when there are several honey bee stocks in the mating yards. Drone flooding with pure Russian drones is necessary to insure that the genetics of the Russian stock is not diluted. Our Russian stock has been under intense selection pressure since we obtained our original stock from Steve Bernard. We hear a lot about survivor stock and developing survivor stock. The Russians are the ultimate survivor stock.
As the program moves to phase three select queen producers will be working with the Honey Bee Lab in evaluating and selecting queen stock in one of the largest projects ever undertaken. Breeders will further select and evaluate genetics to produce an even better and more resistant honey bee. We are one of the queen producer operations that will be evaluating and producing queen stock with much assistance and advice from the Baton Rouge Honey Bee Lab. The Baton Rouge Honey Bee Lab is beginning a new five year cycle of research and evaluation with this huge project. Stay tuned exciting new work and RESULTS will be coming with the Russians!
When you consider putting Russian honey bee stock in your yard be sure you select a reputable Russian producer. There are many advertisers out there claiming to have Russians. Be sure and ask where they purchased their breeder stock. For best results with Russians stay away from hybrid stock and queens that come out of africanized areas. Also keep Russian hives in Russian only yards if possible. If you have two stocks in the same yard separate hive as much as possible and compare the different stocks and their characteristics. Sometimes Russians do not fit into a beekeepers management style. Do not start crossing Russians with other stocks to make a "better" bee. The Bee Lab has done a great job with the genetics and the selection of quality characteristics. I seriously doubt that a regular beekeeper is able to make Russian crosses and improve the characteristics. So the recommended way is to buy "real" Russians and keep the genetics as clean as possible!
Revis Russian Apiaries has dedicated our work toward maintaining and improving the Russian stock. We DO NOT cart our bees off to California or focus on large scale honey production. We produce honey to finance our operation and help fund our evaluation program. Since we are a small family owned operation we focus on helping and sharing with our fellow beekeepers. We understand the challenges the hobbyist and sideliner beekeeper faces. We spend a lot of time in our beeyards working on new management techniques for Russian honey bees and queens.
Ray Revis or Mickie Revis will be glad to answer questions or process your order.
The Russian Queen breeding project is a very sophisticated closed breeding project. Recognition needs to be extended to several special people and organizations for making this project successful. Tom Rinderer and the MANY people at the Baton Rouge Bee Lab are to be congratulated on their foresight and hard work in putting together the most successful honey bee breeding program ever!