Russian Bees are Coming!

The beautiful new peaked roof Layens beehive is from Paul Maida, a fellow treatment-free beekeeper from neighboring New Hampshire. The hive’s detachable peaked-roof opens and closes smoothly and is a joy to work with.


Unfortunately, several of my bee colonies with Italian genetics did not survive this past winter in Central Maine. This new peaked roof beehive and a few others – all now house certified USDA pure Russian bees.


Around 1997 USDA researchers  from Luisiana Baton Rouge Lab visited Russia’s Far East, the area where varroa mite was attacking honeybees dozens of years before it spread further to Europe and America. In that area USDA researchers

found strongly varroa-resistant honeybees that were then transported for further study to the US to a remote Grand Terre island off the coast of Louisiana.


There, the bees thrived and multiplied, eventually becoming known as USDA pure Russian bees.


Russian bees proved to be extremely adaptable to Northern climates up to Anchorage Alaska and were found to be the best in wintering and resisting mites.


Pure USDA Russian bees are much darker than the bees with Italian genetics and their temperament is much calmer compared to hybrid Russian bees.


The Queens of certified pure USDA Russian bees are naturally open mated and not artificially inseminated.



Quite a few treatment free beekeepers in Northern states are now turning to pure Russian bees as those bees are the overwintering champs and it’s much easier to manage them naturally without mite treatments and without supplemental sugar-feedings.