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If the italian colony has vsh traits for living with the mites, it might be better for some people.

There is a lot of reading you can do here on beesourse that might guide you in one direction or the other.

My personal opinion, I wouldn't buy an italian colony unless it had some form of mite resistance. The seller would probably brag about it in their add if it does.
 

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There are really 100's of threads on the topic of russians.
Some like them some don't. They build up slower than the italians do, but some say they catch up with them.
They also don't need as much honey in the hive in the winter.

Personally I'm giving them a try, to see if their better with the mites.
 

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I don't have a tremendous amount of experience with Russians. My thought would be that a beginner would be better off with mutt bees or Italians than Russians. Some of the traits in the Russians can be difficult for beginners, I think. Mite resistance can be a great trait. Shutting down brood rearing during almost any dearth (however brief that dearth might be) can be frustrating. The tiny over wintering clusters can inspire a lot of anxiety for beginning beekeepers. In general, I tend to think that beginners are better off staying away from most of the highly specific, purebred lines of bees.
 
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