Just got my bees back from California. They look like they are on their way to a full recovery. The brood is very healthy and great population. I spoke with my uncle (who, as I posted before, lost about 80% of his 4000 colony operation to "ccd") as we were talking I told him of one colony I had marked as a breeder before we left for Cali. This colony was by far the best in my little outfit. It looked perfect prior to going to the almonds and when I checked the other day it was still cranking. Out of 600 colonies it was the only one that experience almost no loss over winter. My uncle then proceeded to tell me that all of his best colonies were exactly the same bees. They are Italian looking but fairly agressive and have some traits of an african cross breed (i.e. small in size and fairly hyper, with huge brood chambers) The queens, however ar dark yellowish/orange withno stripes. He described to me exactly the colony I had marked as a breeder. It appears to be a common gene line. We often swap queens when we get new ones from various places so this explains how we both have the same, but not sure why I only have one (at least that I noticed, haven't finished checking all yet) Niether he or I know where this strain came from as we don't keep close enough tabs on blood lines, but I think I will start.
Has anyone out there experienced anything similar?