Comparison Russian & Quebec Stock




The goal of the project was to compare performance between Primorsky Honey bee stock and Quebec queen breeders’ honeybee Stock. The evaluation of colonies were done from August 2003 to June 2004.


Thirty Primorsky queens from «Pilgrim Honey House» (10 YELLOW 1, 10 YELLOW2, 10GREEN), 24 queens from Reines Chapleau, 16 queens from Api-Culture, and 24 queens from Reines Moreau were introduced in the summer of 2003 in the colonies located at the research center in Deschambault near Quebec city (CRSAD).

The parameters utilized to evaluate colony performance are : evolution of varroa infestation rate, hygienic behaviour, brood viability, bee population, brood area (open and capped), and honey gain. Introduction of queens being late in the summer, observations only began at the end of summer 2003, and in spring 2004.

All colonies were fed and placed in the cellar for winter on November 18. No treatment against varroa has been done.


Introduction rate was 89.7% after 7 days and 64 colonies were wintered. The average rate of infestation measured for a 5-day period (August 20 to 25, 2003) in all colonies was inferior to 3 mites/24 hour.

The Primorsky compared to the Quebec stock was as follows. The Primorsky colonies : had less brood at the end of summer 2003, but in June 2004 it is the opposite; overwinter better; exhibit inferior hygienic behaviour and are more aggressive. Overall scoring based on all measures have placed the Primorsky stock YELLOW 2 as the best, followed by one Quebec stock and YELLOW1 Primorsky stock.


This project has served its purpose to scientifically evaluate and compare the Primorsky stock with stock from Quebec. The queens from the best stock were grafted from in July 2004, and the daughters raised were distributed to the 3 Quebec queen breeders that participated in the project. These queens will bring new genetics into their operation, and their offspring will be sold to the Quebec beekeepers.

The complete research document (pdf) is available in French on the net at:

Translation by François Petit

Abstract from Summary report « PROJET SÉLECTION DE REINES 09-2003» on January 31,2006.