Welcome to the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association’s website. Incorporated in 2007 to continue the selection and preservation of the USDA’s program to develop a mite-tolerant honeybee.  The mission of the RHBA is to preserve the genetic diversity of the breeding lines and continue to improve breeding Queens that have mite tolerance.

The idea of a Russian Bee Breeders Association was conceived in the late 1990s.  Members of the USDA Agricultural Research Service Baton Rouge bee lab and industry cooperators foresaw the value and need for such a group.  They desired an industry based organization dedicated to maintaining and improving those lines of Russian bees being selected from the wide population that was being imported and monitored by the USDA. Originally, these bees came from the the Primorsky Krai region of Russia, in the Russian Far East (north of North Korea.) 

We’re an association of over XXXX experienced beekeepers, all of whom have agreed to follow specific breeding procedures to improve the genetics of these Russian bees and to keep various lines genetically distinct while also avoiding inbreeding. 

At present, we are maintaining, and selecting to improve, seventeen separate lines.  These lines are divided into three separate blocks.  Those blocks are designated as blocks A, B, and C.  We beekeepers are also divided into those three blocks.  Each member within a block is currently responsible for annually reproducing populations of two lines from his block, monitoring varroa and tracheal mite populations, monitoring honey production and then selecting the best queens from those colonies.  Though other characteristics or traits exhibited in a colony may eliminate it from consideration, our focus remains on those traits, with varroa resistance given top priority.