New Beekeeper looking for bee strain insight

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Count Zero, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. Count Zero

    Count Zero New Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    I'm a first time beekeeper in the Northeast (NH) and I'm going to start two hives this year with two different strains of bees. What are your suggestions? Has anyone tried russians?
  2. beebiz

    beebiz New Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Northern part of West TN
    Count Zero, the only information that I have about the Russians is that according to my state apairist, when they cross with the local bees here in TN, they generally become a colony of bees with less than desireable traits and do so rather quickly.

    You said that you are planning to start out with two different kinds of bees. Just in case you didn't know (first time beekeeper), regardless of the "strain" of bees that you start out with, they will cross with each other and with the local area bees. The only way to ensure that you have two totally different races of bees and keep them that way is to requeen with the desired race of queen every year.

    As for the "best" bee race, George Imirie, a master beekeeper from Maine did a paper on the subject. It can be found here:
    He also published several papers or articles on different subjects to do with beekeeping that can be found here:
    and here:
    The articles that are at the site are in downloadable PDF format. They contain a wealth of information about keeping and working bees. Located in Maine, I would think that most of his information would be easily adapted to where you are.

    Being new to beekeeping, I would strongly suggest that you 1) read EVERYTHING that you can get your hands (or your mouse) on about the subject, and 2) try to find a local beekeeper with SUCCESSFUL experience to befriend. Most of these folks are not only friendly, but are all too willing to teach newbies about their bees.

    After reading George's articles, you might check out They not only have a forum for beekeepers, but have an online backyard beekeeping course. It's very good.

    Okay, that should keep you busy for a little while! If you would like some more sources or need any help, feel free to contact me.

    Have fun and good luck!

    Bee Good,

  3. beekeeper

    beekeeper New Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Living in northern New York I have found that the Carniolan ... for me, are the best. They winter well at temps as low as minus forty ... they are very agreeable to work with and require minimun maint. Prior to the Carniolans, like all others I raised the three banded Italians ... they were outstanding workers and the queens fantastic producers ... but, they never survived the harsh winters and had to be replaced each spring ... also, now with the USPS restriction of six hundred miles it's difficult to acquire replacements. As for the Russians I have no experience with them although I've been tempted to try them. Ask the local beekeepers ... they are usually a friendly lot and would obviously have some excellent advice. Best of luck ... and most of all ... ENJOY!