Russian bees overwinter very well and build up fast in the spring with the nectar flow due to their innate ability to work with their surrounding environment. They produce more propolis than other breeds as part of their hygienic, disease resistant behavior. Russian bees are an excellent choice for beginning beekeepers who desire bees that may require less frequent or lower levels of mite treatments.
The Italian bees are docile, and a favorite choice of both commercial and beginner beekeepers. Italians have a long brood cycle that is great for areas with plentiful forage and shorter winters. Italian queens brood up quickly in the spring, making them popular for beekeepers who do almond pollination. They tend to be low to moderate propolis producers. Italian bees are excellent honey producers.