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 and CRADA holder Charlie Harper. We hear a lot about survivor stock and developing survivor stock. The Russians are the ultimate survivor stock.
As our business model changes and improves we have some exciting plans and opportunities to continue improvement of our Russian Honey Bee stock. Stay tuned exciting new work and RESULTS will be coming with the Russians! We feel with the changes we are making we will provide a more sustainable product since we will not be introducing chemicals and harsh treatments into our hives.
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 over the past twelve years. 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.
We strive to produce bees that meet very high standards. We keep constant pressure on our test stock. We do NOT start applying chemicals to our hives when a hive has a problem. We let nature take its course. We either replace unsatisfactory queens with new high quality genetics or let nature do the work. Sometimes there are factors out of our control and nature needs to take its course. We are amazed at some of the results. While others are throwing chemicals at hives to get a desired result we have elected to stay treatment free. Our Russians continue to improve and our losses decrease when we do our part.
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!