Russian Bees and Beekeeping

Over the last few years, the Russian Honey Bee has been hailed as one of the next greatest varieties of honey bee available in the U.S…

One of the many suspected factors of C.C.D. (Colony Collapse Disorder) is the Varroa Mite…a nasty little pest that sucks the life out of a honey bee as it develops and the growing baby honey bee emerges into the new world greatly weakened, leaving it open to more pests and diseases. Now multiply that by several thousand baby bees, and the newly-emerged generation of bees create a weak hive.

The Varroa Mite is a fairly new pest in the U.S., but not in Russia. While the honey bees in America struggle to adapt to this new pest, the Russian honey bees went through this battle over a century ago and the survivors created a mite-resistant honey bee strain. This mite-resistance is greatly sought after now in the U.S. While there are chemicals to help combat the Varroa mite, the chemical treatments are not perfect, and are often harsh on a hive (generally only a strong hive can withstand these treatments, so if a hive is already weakened by mites, you’ve got a bit of a Catch 22). So, for organic beekeepers and beekeepers looking for a more sustainable way to fight the mites, the Russian bee may be the answer.

And now to the video! Here’s a fun news clip about Russian beekeepers. One interesting observation is that while in the U.S. we use 10-frame (or sometimes 8-frame) equipment, it looks like the hive in the video has 12-13 frames! That’s a big hive!


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