Re: Back to square 1
Hi Rusty it sounds like this has become rather of an issue for you and causing a bit of stress.
Basically, as a guy with just a few hives, you don't need to give this too much thought. Russians, although mite resistant, can have other issues and should be regarded as something of a breed apart. There are differences between everything else, but not so marked as just about everything you get will be hybridised to a greater or lesser degree.
Very difficult / impossible to get a true purebred. For you, just go with bees you like, whatever they might be called. You'll be looking for gentleness and productivity. Keep it simple.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).