This year I am getting Carniolan instead of Italians. I was very frustrated when my strongest hives died early in winter. It appeared the Italians were still hatching brood in early December because we had -5? They were all clustered around the brood and starved. The more I researched Carniolan the more I think it is better suited for our environment. They over winter with less bees and honey use. Also they shut down production earlier and seem to shut down production in times of less nectar flow. That is good for me as I let them have honey for winter. The only down side is it seems the Italians build out comb more than the Carniolan.
How many of you live in the cold and have switched? What have you experienced?