I am looking to begin beekeeping starting next spring. I have decided to take a minimalist/organic approach to keeping, and will be building a top-bar hive. I have been reading a lot of information from Michael Bush, and would like to avoid using chemicals in my hive. I'm planning on using a screened bottom for IPM. I am also interested in possibly using a more parasite/disease resistant species of bee than Italians. I have been searching for a while, and can't seem to find an answer on what species of bee would do best in my area specifically. I live in central Florida, on the west coast (gulf side). I have been interested in Carniolan bees since they seem to be more resistant to nosema and mites. I've read that they overwinter well in colder areas, but wasn't sure how they would do down here in hot/humid Florida. I was also reading that they tend to swarm more than Italians which has me a bit worried since a TBH has a set volume and I only plan on having one (though it will be about 48").
I'm open to any suggestions for species as I am all on my own here. Would the Carniolans' boasted resistances be worth taking over the Italians since I'm not using chemicals? Or should I just go with the standard Italian? Would some other bee do better for me? I appreciate any advice.