A Wisconsin beekeeper starts the spring with 8 nucleus colonies and two packages. Through the spring and into summer between splits, they become 7 full size colonies and 17 nucleus colonies. Through summer some full colonies fail, some nucleus colonies fail and one swarms but is caught.....some failing hives are combined with nucs with good queens. Heading into fall the beekeeper has 14 colonies consisting of 7 double deep 10 frame colonies and 7 nuclues colonies.....
January rolls around and all but 4 nucleus colonies have run through their stores. One full size hive and 4 nucs have starved out and died. All remaining hives are given supplemental candy to survive winter.
The beekeeper notices that out of the 11 remaining colonies, 7 are very active even in cold (15°F) conditions feeding on the candy at the top of the hive...seen coming into and out of the hive. The 4 nucleus colonies that seem to have plenty of stores are not active at all, but alive.
The beekeeper is thinking the 4 nucleus colonies that appear to be slow playing their stores are more adapted to the cold Wisconsin environment than the other 7 remaining colonies that appear to have to be "nursed" to make it through harsh winter climates. Three of the 4 queens of the quiet hives were locally mated in the apiary with the fourth being a California Italian.
Question: If you were wanting to "start" your own queen rearing program, is this a "trait" that can actually be passed along?