Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Russian Honey Bee Project Cooperators
headline bar


The scope of the Russian honey bee trials is large, involving several cooperators. There are two reasons for needing these cooperators. First, the trials require more honey bee colonies than the laboratory can possibly maintain on its own. Each year the tests require more than 500 colonies of honey bees. Second, in order to produce a stock of commercially valuable honey bees, tests need to be conducted in several different beekeeping environments so that lines selected for inclusion in the program are known to have value in more than one location.


Manley Bigalk
Golden Ridge Honey Farm
Cresco, Iowa

Manley has participated as a cooperator in ARS Bee Lab projects since 1991, when he donated colonies, yards and time to tests involving different stocks of bees and their tracheal mite resistance.  Manley has been part of the Russian bee evaluation and field tests from their start in April 1999 through the latest group in 2006.  The northern location of his operation has afforded us the opportunity to also do full tracheal mite and winter tests on the Russian bees.  

Photo of Manley Bigalk and Gary Delatte

Gary Delatte (l) and Manley Bigalk (r) 


Photo of Charlie Harper
Charlie Harper

Charlie Harper
Carencro, Louisiana
Ph. (337) 896-5247

Charlie has been a cooperator in a variety of Lab projects since 1999.  He is the holder of the CRADA (Cooperative Research And Development Agreement) for the development and distribution of the Russian Breeder Queens.  He has been very enthusiastic in this role. 

As we collect more lines for inclusion into the breeding program, we need more colonies for their annual propagation and selection.  Many of Charlie’s apiaries are used for this purpose. Charlie has decided not to treat these colonies for varroa saying "if they die, we don’t want them". This greatly benefits the selection program.


Hubert Tubbs
Tubbs Apiaries
Mize, Mississippi

Hubert has been an important part of the Russian bee evaluation and field tests from their start in April 1999 through the latest group in 2006.  The relatively close proximity of the Tubbs' operation has made it possible for the research crew to visit the yards on relatively short notice and evaluate the Russian bees in many different circumstances; from early spring splits, queen cell acceptance, colony buildup through honey harvest and late fall shut down and overwintering.

Photo of Hubert Tubbs
Hubert Tubbs

Last Modified: 8/11/2006
Footer Content Back to Top of Page