Beehive Buzz: Where to Find Russian Queen Bees


A researcher is treating bees to test for hygienic traits. Photo: USDA Agricultural Research Service.


Logo of the Russian Honey Bee Breeders Association (RHBBA).

Scott sent an email looking for help in his beeyard next year, “I live in Lafayette and this year was my first-year bee keeping…My concern is that going into the spring with both brood boxes full I will need to do a split in the spring. I would like to introduce a Russian queen, carefully, into the split but I am having a very hard time finding anyone who has them or will have them in time for our pollen and nectar flow down here.” AHA asked beekeepers on the “beemail” list for referrals, and several beeks shared their referrals for Russian queen breeders.

For beekeepers who are unfamiliar with Russian queen bees, here is some information from the USDA Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research Lab in Baton Rouge, LA. Dr. Lilia De Guzman and other researchers shared this summary from an article, Hygienic Behavior by Honey Bees from Far-Eastern Russia, “This study evaluated the hygienic behavior of domestic and ARS (Agricultural Research Service) Primorsky [Russian] honey bees. The Primorsky honey bees are found to be more hygienic than the domestic colonies. This observation suggests that the overall disease and pest resistance of Primorsky bees is quite good. The use of Primorsky bees will enhance the profitability of commercial beekeeping by reducing disease control costs.” An online search of the title of this article will provide detailed information about this topic for beekeepers who want to read the detailed article.

The website of the Bee Lab also had a link to the “Russian Honey Bee Breeders Association” (RHBBA), , to help with referrals to apiaries that breed the Russian bees. There is a member page of this website which includes no members from Louisiana. However, most members of RHBBA are in neighboring Mississippi.

The RHBBA members closest to Louisiana include:

If you want to contact Beehive Buzz, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337-463-7006 or Also, you can be on the “beemail” email list by emailing your request to the address above.

“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”

“Mention of trade names or commercial products and services in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”

12/15/2020 5:22:54 PM
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