PO BOX 2520
Marion, N.C.,28752
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  1. Are Russians disease resistant? Yes they are. Russians are the most resistant stock American beekeepers have at the present time. Russians are hygienic, control mite populations by various traits and  AFB seems to be no problem.
  2. Do you use chemicals? We DO NOT use chemicals and have not for over ten years. Ask your prospective breeder if they use chemicals in their production hives. You will be surprised how many use chemicals and "treatments" to control pests in their hives!
  3. Are Russians good for new beekeepers? Some of our best success stories come from new beekeepers. Russians are not Italians and require different management. New beekeepers are not entrenched into a management style and can develop practices that work with the Russians.
  4. Are Russians "MEAN"? No. We use best and safe practices when we work our bees. We do respect our bees because we are invading their home when we open the hive. We dress accordingly as weather, temperature, type of manipulation, time of year and queen condition dictates. Russians respond to very little smoke; do not over smoke . Russians respond to just a whiff of smoke on the top bars and maybe a little in the entrance. We handle a lot of queens and this cannot be accomplished if we wear gloves so the bees have to be manageable.
  5. Do Russians swarm a lot? Russians require different management! They carry a small cluster thru the winter. When they have adequate pollen and nectar they can build population at a very fast pace especially after the cluster has hatched  2-3 rounds of brood. They will require space or splitting! I would also suggest reading Walt Wright's articles on checkerboarding.
  6. Do Russians make honey? Absolutely! They will make as much or more honey than other bee stocks. Also remember dead bees make no honey.
  7. What types of equipment work best with Russians? We have found that Russians seem to like 8 frame equipment. This equipment seems to help in heat retention and cluster efficiency. We also carry a lot of hives thru the winter in 5 frame equipment either in deep or double deeps and make sure they have and maintain adequate stores. Swarm management has to be utilized with this equipment.
  8. Can Russian queens be installed into other bee stocks such as Italians, Carniolians, "survivor" mutts etc.? Yes very easily. Follow our instructions on the queen introduction page. Just remember the four day time for cork or candy cap removal. Slow release equals a successful introduction.
  9. Do we select for color? We do not but we do think the dark queens are beautiful.
  10. What are the most important selection criteria? Number one they have to survive! Genetics are important. Desirable traits have to enter into the equation. Traits such as survivability [which involves a ton of factors], temperament, honey production, pest and disease resistance. None of our hives are treated; selection hives and production hives included. And we do have  qualified genetics. We have yards set up for line selection for high quality bees that survive and make honey. Hives are evaluated constantly for desired traits.
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