It has been a long winter for everyone and it is nice to see how "Life" finds a way. Lost 2 of 4 hives this winter but the picture below puts a smile to my face when the girls take in a pollen patty. Fed them last week and they took to the patty immediately.
The bees are a Russian hybrid but I think you are correct in that they look more Italian. My other hive is also Russian hybrid but they behave differently ( mellow bunch of bees) as oppose to this hive which behave more like Italian bees I had. This hive also kept a larger cluster than my other Russian hybrid hive.
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