Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Question concerning Russian Honey Bee Temperament 

Over at Permies.com, there was a question regarding if Russian Honey bees were more aggressive or not.    Here was my reply to that:

Well, having many Russian-American friends I can say that they take a great deal of pride in their homes and work! A bit of respect seems to go a LONG way with these folks AND the bees! 

I generally don't notice a behavior pattern that would indicate more or less aggressiveness. However, when I open the hive up for an inspection or split or whatever I do three things: 

1. I move very calmly and control my breath. I know this sounds 'Buddhist' but it works. CO2 seems to piss of the bees. Turn your head smoothly to breathe - Never breathe on them directly. 

2. Use cool smoke from your smoker on the main entrance of the hive and as you open one side of the inner cover. Just a little puff. 

3. THEN, give them a gentle misting of your sugar feed from a fine sprayer. If it is cold (>60 degrees) - give them bit of powder sugar instead. 

This only takes a few seconds and it seems to make your work go a bit smoother and less aggravating to the bees. They appear to me to be distracted by eating. 

Give these methods a try and let me know how you worked out. 

As far as 'racial profiling' of the Russian Bee? I don' think it is necessary or has any advantage. 

...just like with humans! 


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