"Kathyp" from Boring, Oregon

  I got Russian bees last year. They came from CA, but that's all I know. Since this is my first year, I have nothing to compare them too. This was the first time the bee place I use here in Oregon, has ordered Russians. I got one 3lb package mid April '06. by mid summer, they had filled 2 deeps with brood, pollen, and honey. by the end of the summer, they had almost filled a 3rd deep and had given me 2 full shallows of honey. At one point it appears I had more than one queen wandering around in there. Until robbing started in late summer, I worked them in shorts and tshirt with gloves. I was stung only when I foolishly place the inner cover on the ground near my feet, and had bees get up my pants. I have had them go up a loose sweatshirt sleeve and not been stung. Even when working them during robbing, or when I have taken the honey, I have only had to walk away from the hive a couple of times. I used Apiguard to treat for mites. I found very few on the bottom board during treatment. they are very diligent about keeping the hive clean. I don't know how this compares to others experiences, but for a first time beekeeper I was pleasantly surprised at how easy these bees have been to live with. It's fine with me if you use the info I got them through Ruhl Bee Supply in Clackamas Oregon. The bees arrived in great condition. I had been told to expect some dead bees in the package. I found very few. From their performance, I'd say I got a pretty healthy bunch! Heat: we had a good number of days over 100 this year. It started in May, then got cold again. By the end of June and for the rest of the summer, we were over 90 many days. It was an unusually hot, dry summer. The bees did not seem to have a problem with the heat.....I wonder how they will do with all this rain! I'll put in a plug for Ruhl Bee Supply. They are really great. They hold classes for new beekeepers, have good supplies at a good price, and are very helpful. Beekeeping is a family business and they really know their stuff.

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