Re: Carnica Queens
No worries. I do the same thing and often times suggest beekeepers talk with other beekeepers about my stock before buying anything.
Most commercial beekeepers do not run pure Carnies. Of the beekeepers I directly work with, I do not know of any that winter them, so maybe some that buy queens or cells might be able to share more insight. I winter everything here in Ohio and generally the Carnies winter better than the Italians. This is one of those surprising winters where it is a toss up. The Italians came through really well. I winter some 5 framers in the polystyrene nucs and the Carnies do great, provided they have food going into winter. Last year was such a great year for raising queens, I carried queens over in my mini nucs, which are 10 half length medium frames with a feeder rim on top. About 50% simply froze out, the rest look nice. Beautiful clusters, and food, but not enough mass to make it.
My Carnies have big colonies, but not the broodiness of the Italians. The hybrids Andy mentioned are a great compromise and well like by the commercial operations. But again, it all depends on your operation and management style.
Hope this helps.