I've read up on them and haven't found any negatives. Of course the dyed in the wool italian keepers say it's just a fad. lol I dunno about THAT but also would like to know if the bees are going to be as GENTLE as the Italian's because I do have animals and I have cookouts with ALOT of kids during the summer and do not want bees that are going to cause an issue and make me have to do some extermination! I wondered about crossing a Russian package with an Italian queen?
Last year, I had 2 hives of Italians, and as far as temperment goes, they were wonderful. Gave up using the smoker after the second time because it was more hassle to get it going than to inspect the girls. As long as the day was sunny & I was fairly quick, they didn't seem to mind my poking around.
At least one local beek also has Carnolians, and they absolutely love them. I'm hoping to do a split by the first week of June if all goes well, and plan to re-queen with either a Russian or Carnolian. Like the Russian for the winterability, and the Carnolian for the production.
Question is whether or not last winter was a fluke, or typical of things to come.
There is no difference in temperament between Russians and Italians. All our hives currently have Russian queens; Saturday we went through all of them (80+ hives) and out of 3 people, only one sting. That's not a normal day, but the Russians are good gentle bees. My only complaint is slow buildup in the early spring to get ready for the citrus flow.
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