Which bee species?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Zorro_Bones, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. Zorro_Bones

    Zorro_Bones Ridge Runner

    Oct 31, 2005
    We are going to be ordering bees the 2nd week of feberary from dadent and they will be italian and probably brown, whats the opinion on russian?

  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 21, 2004
    deep south texas
    For A better outlook on them I think you might want to go to Bee Source . Com they have a listing there with links to read up on the differnt types of bees..

  3. warrior

    warrior Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    :confused: Italians are yellow with black bands of varying width and number (depending on strain), and no bands in the cordovan strains (maybe this is what you meant as they are golden brown). I'm showing my age but to me a brown bee is that :soap: "dutch" bee (the old fashioned german bee that has justly fallen from favor in beekeeping).
    I am not currently keeping bees but have tried recently to become current in trends in beekeeping so I can only relate what I have read. Russians appear to have some sort of resistance to the mite problems of today. Not that they somehow carry a reduced mite load but that they can carry a load the would kill lesser strains. It has been opined that they must have some sort of immunity to the associated stress and virus complexes known as PMS. As to their behavior they are an offshoot of the carniolan strain and behave accordingly at least to those I have spoken with. I have no experience with any races other than italian and "dutch". I really like the italians myself and would recommend them to anyone just starting out in beekeeping. As a generality italians having been the race most commonly used are the standard all the books have been written about. If it could be said that bees follow a given set of rules then italians would be the most law abiding. It helps greatly for beginners if they can refer to a standard text and have his colony follow pretty close to the text.
    The other races have their own peculiarities mostly due to their adaptaion to their native range. Once a beekeeper has a good understanding how bees react in most situations it is just a minor adjustment to the the other races.
  4. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

    Apr 22, 2005
    Itailians are what 80% of the US beekeepers have. We have some Itailians we place in yards where the land owner is on the border line of not wanting stinging insects on their property due to them being so gentile.
    I admit that 85% of the bees we have are SMR Carnolians, :stars: not as gentile as the Itialians :D :D . Our Carnolions love to glue things in place and one spring chore it to pull frames and scrap them of proplis. Frame grips are almost a must when doing the first spring check due to the frames being glued in so well. Honey production per colony appears to be a bit better on the Carnolions part but since they are in different yards than the Itialians I won't go so far as to say it is a postive fact. The Carnoloins slow down brood rearing sooner in the fall and even during droughts with little nector flows.
    They also build up faster in the spring with more frames of brood and larva on any given April day than our Itialians.

    If just starting out or living in a poplus area I would go with Itialians.

    :D Al
  5. Jack Parr

    Jack Parr Well-Known Member

    Sep 23, 2005
    If a first year experience is worth anything?

    I started this past March with a purchased nuc, five frames chocka-a-bloc with bees and a Russian queen as the "political leader" :goodjob:

    At the same time I purchased a full hive, one deep and one medium, with drawn comb, also chock-a-bloc with bees and a queen of unknown quality or race. The seller was wanting to downsize.

    The Russian queened nuc did a get up and go start-up and soon filled the hive, 10 frames, with her offsprings to the point where I decided to add a second deep for a two brood box set up. The second brood box was soon filled with honey and some brood and then I added an excluder and medium super, nine frames, which was soon filled with honey. Events rather surpassed my ability to understand what was going on but the time frame was from end of April to end of June when I extracted. I should have kept track of events but I didn't.

    The complete hive with unknown queen did about the same and the end results were the same in honey produced from both hives in the same time frame.

    I extracted some 13 gallons of honey in three different occasions from those two hives and left plenty for bee food, probably more than is needed. My last extraction was about one month ago.

    As formerly stated, being a novice I didn't really understand what was going on but now I have a much better handle on the situation.

    The Russian queen led hive has been mild in temperment and I have never been
    stung by them. The other unknown queen hive has been more aggressive but not overly so.

    I have since re-thought about the idea of two deeps for brood and will go with one deep and one medium. The deeps are too heavy and clumsy handling when filled with brood, honey, pollen and clinging bees.

    I ordered two nucs with Russian queens for the coming season from Charlie Harper in LA. I also plan to re-queen some of my other two hives of captured feral bees with probably Italians.

    I might make a couple of splits depending on how things look come swarming time.