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May 29, 2020

Talking Russian Honey Bees with Dr. Tom Rinderer and Steve Coy (S2, E32)

Talking Russian Honey Bees with Dr. Tom Rinderer and Steve Coy  (S2, E32)

Ask beekeepers and you will hear many different opinions on Russian Honey Bees. Mostly, they either love them, hate them or know nothing about them.  In this episode, we go directly to the US source of these bees with Dr. Tom Rinderer and Steve...


Steve Coy and Thomas RindererAsk beekeepers and you will hear many different opinions on Russian Honey Bees. Mostly, they either love them, hate them or know nothing about them.  In this episode, we go directly to the US source of these bees with Dr. Tom Rinderer and Steve Coy. Tom was instrumental in the early days of the research resulting in the introduction of this line of honey bee to the US by visiting Russia to find these varroa resistant bees. He talks about the issues of getting them into this country, sorting out the best lines – very varroa resistant, not defensive, healthy in all aspects and while producing honey! From there they did side by side tests with other domestic lines to see if indeed they would do well here and soon after, they helped to form the Russian Honey Bee Breeders Association to maintain the breed. Steve Coy is one of the producers from the breeder’s association. He talks about what the association is doing and how they are working to increase its adoption.  These are the bees in the US that you can buy that are resistant to varroa and this is their story!

Links and websites mentioned in this episode:

Russian Honey Bees

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2 Million BlossomsWe want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a new quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.

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Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"

Steven Coy Profile Photo

Steven Coy

Queen Breeder/ Beekeeper/ Author

Steven Coy is a second-generation commercial beekeeper where he learned how to manage bees in the soybean and cotton fields of Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. In 2007 he moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to help his family manage a 12,000 hives multi state honey production operation. In 2014 he started Coy Bee Company, LLC so that he could focus on producing Russian queens and nucs.

He is a charter member of the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association and has been breeding Russian bees since 2001. He co-authored the book Russian Honey Bees with Dr. Thomas Rinderer.

He is the past President of the Mississippi Beekeepers Association and currently serves as the Vice-president of the American Honey Producers Association and has served on the Executive Board since 2010.

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Plant Science and a Master’s Degree in Biology from Arkansas State University. In addition to his work as a beekeeper, he worked as a Research Assistant at Arkansas State University then as a Research Technician at the USDA Biological Control Research Unit in Stoneville, MS.