Re: Varroa - are they more an issue with Italian bees?
Not sure where you heard that italians continue to raise brood during winter....they shut down in winter just like other bees...though it is later than Carnis or Russians and they tend to start earlier and build up faster in the spring initially. Bees if left natuarlly will try and adapt to a heavy mite load...mainly by swarming. This causes the queen to shut down, ceases brood production and then they swarm to escape the mites in the hive. I would imagine that Russians would be the best as what you were aiming at since they winter in small clusters, build up slow, shut down quickly during a darth...but on the other side of the coin, they produce less honey...so there is a trade off...as with everything.
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