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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Russian Queen Project Chronology
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The table below is a year-by-year listing of activities associated with the Russian Honey Bee Queen Breeding Project since its inception.
 
Year Activity Russia Block "A"

Block "B"

Block "C"

1994 Trip to Russia to investigate the possibilities of Varroa resistant bees.  Make contacts and meet cooperators in the Primorsky Territory of Far-Eastern Russia.

Set up 5 year research agreement.

   

 Year

 Activity

 Russia

 Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

1995 Run a concurrent test in Baton Rouge with domestic Queens. A "Road Trip" in the Primorsky Territory, collecting 50 Queens from various local beekeepers.

Set up resistance test in the Primorsky Territory of Russia.  

     

 Year

 Activity

 Russia

 Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

1996 Mite test with domestic Queens in Baton Rouge. Identical test with Russian Queens in the Primorsky Territory of Russia.      

 Year

Activity

 Russia 

  Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

1997

Phase I

First Queen importation to U.S. for Program.  Queens go into  quarantine on a barrier island in Louisiana.  

Collect and propagate selected  Queens from the test plus additional untested Queens from different area beekeepers.  Import 100 Queens to USA in July.      

 Year

Activity

Russia 

  Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

1998 Evaluate and test all 100 imported Queens after 6 month quarantine.  Propagate selected lines for long term resistance test. Collect new untested Queens from different area beekeepers for inclusion in ongoing evaluation test in Russia.       

 Year

Activity

Russia 

 Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

1999 24 lines selected from early data in long term resistance test to be propagated for field trials.  Lines set up in "Blocks"
"A", "B", "C"

Long term resistance test continues

Second Queen importation from Russia to Quarantine

Collect selected  Queens from the test plus additional untested Queens from different area beekeepers and take to USA in June.

Collect new untested Queens from different area beekeepers for inclusion in ongoing evaluation test in Russia. 

BLOCK "A" field trials started.  Six selected Russian lines from the long term resistance test are propagated using drones from the remaining 18 lines in Block "B" and Block "C".

Test yards set up with cooperators in IA -M. Bigalk
MS - H.Tubbs
LA - S. Bernard

3 lines are selected for release in 2000
99A-719: Blue
99A-752: Purple
99A-747: White

   

 Year

Activity

Russia 

Block "A"

Block "B"

Block "C"

2000 Evaluation and selection of Queens from second importation (1999) to be included in the test blocks 

Third Queen importation from Russia to Quarantine

Collect selected  Queens from the test plus additional untested Queens from different area beekeepers and take to USA in July.

Collect new untested Queens from different area beekeepers for inclusion in ongoing evaluation test in Russia. 

Release Breeders selected in 1999 field trials:
99A-719: Blue
99A-752: Purple
99A-747: White

Maintain selected Block "A" lines.

BLOCK "B" field trials started.  Eight selected Russian lines from the long term resistance test are propagated using drones from  lines in Block "A" and Block "C".

Test yards set up with cooperators in IA -M. Bigalk
MS - H.Tubbs
LA - S. Bernard

3 lines are selected for release in 2001
00B-795: Blue*
00B-716: Green
00B-775: Yellow

 

 Year

Activity

 Russia

 Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

2001 Evaluation and selection of Queens from third importation (2000) to be included in the test blocks 

Fourth Queen importation from Russia to Quarantine

Collect selected  Queens from the test plus additional untested Queens from different area beekeepers and take to USA in July.

Collect new untested Queens from different area beekeepers for inclusion in ongoing evaluation test in Russia. 

Propagate and maintain Block "A" lines.  Use selected Block "B" and  Block "C" drones.

Incorporate selected Queens from evaluation of second importation (1999).

Release Breeders selected in 2000 field trials:
00B-795: Blue*
00B-716: Green
00B-775: Yellow

Maintain Selected Block "B" lines.

BLOCK "C" field trials started.  Eight selected Russian lines from the long term resistance test and the 1999 importation are propagated using drones from  lines in Block "A" and Block "B".

Test yards set up with cooperators in IA -M. Bigalk
MS - H.Tubbs
LA - S. Bernard

3 lines are selected for release in 2002
01C-806: Orange
01C-896: Purple*
01C-893: Yellow*

 Year

Activity

Russia 

 Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

2002 Evaluation and selection of Queens from fourth importation (2001) to be included in the test blocks 

Fifth Queen importation from Russia to Quarantine

Collect selected  Queens from the test plus additional untested Queens from different area beekeepers and take to USA in August.

End of  5-year research in Russia

Second round for BLOCK "A" field trials.  Eight  selected Russian lines from maintained "A" lines and the incorporated Queens from the second importation (1999) are propagated using selected drones from Block "B" and Block "C".

Test yards set up with cooperators in IA -M. Bigalk
MS - H.Tubbs
LA - Lab

2 lines are selected for release in 2003
02A-933: Purple*
02A-557: Yelblue

Propagate and maintain Block "B" lines.  Use selected Block "A" and  Block "C" drones.

Incorporate selected Queens from evaluation of third importation (2000).

Release 
01C-806: Orange
01C-896: Purple*
01C-893: Yellow*

Maintain Selected Block "C" lines.

 Year

Activity

Russia 

 Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

2003 Evaluation and selection of Queens from fifth importation (2002) to be included in the test blocks.  Nothing at this time

Release
02A-933: Purple*
02A-557: Yelblue

Maintain Selected Block "A" lines.

Second round for BLOCK "B" field trials.  Eight  selected Russian lines from maintained "B" lines and the incorporated Queens from the third importation (2000) are propagated using selected drones from Block "A" and Block "C".

Test yards set up with cooperators in IA -M. Bigalk
MS - H.Tubbs
LA - Lab

2 lines are selected for release in 2004
03B-226:
Blue/Red+
00B-795: 
Blue/Blue+

Propagate and maintain Block "C" lines.  Use selected Block "A" and  Block "B" drones.

Incorporate selected Queens from evaluation of fourth importation (2001).

 Year

Activity

Russia 

 Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

2004

Evaluation and selection of Queens from fifth importation (2002) to be included in the test blocks. 

Conclusion of Phase II  Russian Queen Tests

Nothing at this time Propagate and maintain Block "A" lines.  Use selected Block "B" and  Block "C" drones.

Incorporate selected Queens from evaluation of fourth importation (2002).

 

Release
03B-226:
Blue/Red+
00B-795: 
Blue/Blue+

Maintain Selected Block "B" lines.

Second round for BLOCK "C" field trials.  Eight  selected Russian lines from maintained "C" lines and the incorporated Queens from the fifth importation (2002) are propagated using selected drones from Block "A" and Block "B".

Test yards set up with cooperators in 
IA -M. Bigalk
MS - H.Tubbs
LA - Lab

Selected for release in 2005
01C-864: 
Yellow/Green+

04C-132:
Yellow/DkBlue

 Year

Activity

Russia 

 Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

 2005

Beginning of Phase III 
Russian Queen Selection

 Nothing at this time

 Daughters from 6 selected Group "A" breeder Queens are propagated and set up in yards for evaluation, selection and release in 2006 

Test yards set up with cooperators in 
IA -M. Bigalk
MS - H.Tubbs
LA - C. Harper

Selected for release in 2006
05A-618: 
White/Orange
05A-663:
White/DkBlue

 Daughters from 6 selected Group "B" Queens are propagated and set up in yards for long term evaluation.  Breeders will be selected in the fall of 2006 for release in the spring of 2007 

Release
01C-864: 
Yellow/Green+

04C-132:
Yellow/DkBlue

Daughters from 6 selected Group "C" Queens are propagated and set up in yards for maintenance 

  Year

Activity

  Russia

  Block "A" 

   Block "B"

 Block "C"

 2006

 

Continuation of Phase III 
Russian Queen Selection

 Nothing at this time

Release
05A-618: 
White/Orange
05A-663:
White/DkBlue

Daughters from 6 selected Group "A" breeder Queens are propagated and set up in yards for maintenance 

  The Group "B" long term evaluation continues.

Selected for release in 2007
06B-694: 
Lt. Blue/Blue
06B-735:
Lt. Blue/Red

  Daughters from 6 selected Group "C" breeder Queens are propagated and set up in yards for long term evaluation.  Breeders will be selected in the fall of 2007 for release in the spring of 2008 

 Year

 Activity

 Russia

 Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

 2007

  Continuation of Phase III 
Russian Queen Selection

Assist in the establishment and 1st meeting of the Russian Honey Bee Breeders Association.  Members receive drone stock in preparation for propagation, maintenance and selection of queens.

 Nothing at this time

  Daughters from 6 selected Group "A" breeder Queens are propagated and set up in yards for long term evaluation.  Breeders will be selected in the fall of 2008 for release in the spring of 2009 

 Release
06B-694: 
Lt. Blue/Blue
06B-735:
Lt. Blue/Red

Daughters from 6 selected Group "B" breeder Queens are propagated and set up in yards for maintenance 

 The Group "C" long term evaluation continues.

Selected for release in 2008
07C-589: 
Yellow/Blue
07C-500:
Yellow/Purple

 Year

 Activity

 Russia

 Block "A"

  Block "B"

 Block "C"

 2008

  Finishing Phase III 
Russian Queen Selection

Begin Phase IV

Russian Honey Bee Breeders Association.  Members receive assigned line Breeder queens for propagation, maintenance and selection of queens to be released in 2010.

 

 Nothing at this time

 

  The Group "A" long term evaluation continues.

Breeders will be selected in the fall for release in the spring of 2009   

Selected for release in 2009
08AC-660: 
White/Blue
08A-712:
White/Green
 

Daughters from the 6 selected Group "B" breeder Queens are propagated and set up in yards for line maintenance. 

Line evaluation and selection will be done by the RQBA.  Their selection of this group will be released in 2010

  Release
07C-589: 
Yellow/Blue
07C-500:
Yellow/Purple

Daughters from the 6 selected Group "C" breeder Queens are propagated and set up in yards for maintenance. 

Line evaluation and selection will be done by the RQBA.  Their selection of this group will be released in 2011

Year

Activity

 Russia

Block "A"

Block "B"

 Block "C"

 2009

The Baton Rouge Bee Lab begins working on selection of other traits of the Russian bees such as overwintering, buildup and swarm characteristics

Nothing at this time

Release
08AC-660: 
White/Blue
08A-712:
White/Green
 

Members of the RHBA, Block "A", propagate, maintain, evaluate and select their particular lines in an on-going selection process for queen release in 2012

 Members of the RHBA, Block "B", propagate, maintain, evaluate and select their particular lines in an on-going selection process for queen release in 2010

Selected for release in 2010
Blue/Blue
Blue/Yellow

Members of the RHBA, Block "C", propagate, maintain, evaluate and select their particular lines in an on-going selection process for queen release in 2011

 Year

Activity

 Russia

 Block "A"

 Block "B"

 Block "C"

 2010

 

The Baton Rouge Bee Lab continues working on selection of other traits of the Russian bees such as overwintering, buildup and swarm characteristics

 

Nothing at this time

 Members of the RHBA, Block "A", propagate, maintain, evaluate and select their particular lines in an on-going selection process for queen release in 2012

 

Release
Blue/Blue
Blue/Yellow
 

Members of the RHBA, Block "A", propagate, maintain, evaluate and select their particular lines in an on-going selection process for queen release in 2013

 

Members of the RHBA, Block "C", propagate, maintain, evaluate and select their particular lines in an on-going selection process for queen release in 2011

* The use of a Queen color in any given year DOES NOT indicate that this is the same line from year to year.  There are a limited number of primary colors with which to mark the Queens for testing purposes.  When referring to a particular line, use release year and color, i.e. "I have a 2002 Purple, and a 2001 Purple." 

+ In order to avoid confusion in lines from year to year, the following color scheme has been implemented beginning with the release of breeder Queens in 2004:  Groups will have a base color and lines will have their individual line colors.  Unlike the line colors prior to 2004, these line colors are permanent and INDICATE THE SAME LINE IN EACH CONSECUTIVE YEAR.  

    GROUP "A" - WHITE + line color
    GROUP "B" - LIGHT BLUE + line color
    GROUP "C" - NEON YELLOW + line color

The purpose of Phase I of the Russian Queen project was to determine if there was Varroa resistance in Russian queen lines.  The purpose of Phase II was to test this resistance in field conditions, and to add more genetic material to the resistant pool by continued importation and evaluation of queens from Russia.  At the end of Phase II, permanent queen lines were established.  Six lines each from Group A, B, C.  Phase III continued to evaluate and improve these lines and the "Best of the Best" were released to the industry on a yearly basis by group.  Phase IV is the culmination of 14 years of effort.  The Russian queen breeding, evaluation and selection has been turned over to the Russian Honey Bee Breeders Association.  With input and guidance from the Baton Rouge Bee Lab, the RHBA will continue the breeding and selection program.  The Baton Rouge Bee Lab will continue to be a repository of Russian stock, and will work on other aspects of the Russian queen characteristics.

 


Last Modified: 7/31/2012
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