I ordered 10 Caucasian Queens from Old Sol. I can't speak as to the quality of the queens until next spring. I did want to pass on my experience with them. A couple of days before shipping they called to let me know that some were F2 not F1 from Sue Cobeys stock. I thought this was good customer service since I would not have known the difference. They came on time all alive and looked good. Two of the 3 hole queen cages was clearly marked F-2. Not a problem for me at all, but, I appreciate them letting me know. I will update with my unprofessional impression of the queens next spring when they have had a chance.
I said I was not going to comment until next spring, but, I lied. I wanted to comment on a couple of things I've notice about these as apposed to the Carniolans I have. Out of 17 Carniolans about 1/3 are getting cut, 1/3 are good, and 1/3 are great. About the top 3 fastest growing hive have been Carniolan. However, 9 out of 10 of the Caucasians look great. They are about 1 week behind the top Carniolans, but are much more consistent as a group. Those 9 have brood and brood patterns that are as good as those 3 best Carniolan hives they were just a little slower of the block. Two weeks ago I was not happy with them. This inspection I really liked where they are at especially when viewed as a group and not just individual hives. They are also the only ones in the apiary that are putting up any natural nectar right now. I had 1 Caucasian from Long Creek Apiaries from mid May. When I split the hives on August 7 she had shut down brood production and did not have near as much to contribute to the nucs as I thought she would. I lost track of where she went and had written her off since I had not seen her since sometime in June. I was surprised to find her in the most robust of the spring queen hives. Right now she is out laying my Spring Italians and Summer Cordovans. Her hive has built up better since August 7 and she is building more comb and has more stores. A lot of that I suspect has to do with the her bees not packing the brood chamber with sugar water. It has been an unusually wetter and cooler summer. Maybe that is better for this breed. I don't know. Right now though I am very pleased with my Old Sol queens. I also was driving around 2+ miles from my house and saw some Caucasian bees foraging. Most likely mine. I have never seen anything but Italian bees in my area until I got the Caucasians and Italians.