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Except that maybe she isn't Italian? I got three queens from Walker T. Kelley and one of them is REALLY dark. So dark that you cannot distinguish bands on her abdomen. What could this be attributed to?

I could use some expert opinions because I'm not finding anything terribly helpful via google search.

Thanks!

-Meg
 

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Could be a Carni. I know they sell them. Definitely try her out. Carnis are great, especially in northern climates. Do you have a picture of the old girl?
 

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I wouldn't bee too concerned about the color of your queen. The real thing is this, is she laying a good pattern? Is the queen prolific and are the bees produced by her good bees?
 

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You might be happy witht he darker (poss Carni) queen. I have a couple and they are laying machines! They have past other hives in population and honey production even though the other hives had a bigger head start. I love my *******.

C2
 

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Bees are all mutts. No purebred stock has been brough in for more than a hundred years. She's a throwback who came from basically yellow stock. Pretty much if it's black people sell it as a Carni and if it's yellow they sell it as an Italian. But reality is they are all mixed.
 

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Bees are all mutts. No purebred stock has been brough in for more than a hundred years. She's a throwback who came from basically yellow stock. Pretty much if it's black people sell it as a Carni and if it's yellow they sell it as an Italian. But reality is they are all mixed.
How about a Russian, bought from one of the members of the Russian Bee Breeders Association? It appears they are making a great effort to keep the lines pure.
 

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Yes, the Russian Queen Breeder Assoc. is trying to keep the lines pure. But, all the other breeders out there who advertise Russian queens are still open mating them. So, their offspring will be mutts, as Mike Bush calls them. Same with the Carnies and every other so called line of queens. If they're open mated you will have mutts for bees. When I first started in this business everyone had Italians; we still had dark queens and light queens and in-between queens! :D
 

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Sounds like if I get the Russian queens from a registered breeder who is also a board member of the association (and who happens to be only a few miles from me) I'd be pretty safe in getting bees that are pretty darn close to pure Russian.
 

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I like Michael's answer the best. I was trying to figure out how to say something like that. But lately I have been channeling Boris more than Michael. Good answer Michael.
 

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@ McSpin

We had Dwight Porter up to lecture our beek group about Russians. He said he happily gives away queens to all his neighbors. That's one way to keep the drone population fairly controlled.

:thumbsup:
 

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Kelly gets their queens from Hardman in GA. They also have Russian crosses maybe this queens mother didn't follow the script. I have got some really good queens from Hardman, good brooders, winter good, and make 100# of honey. As Michael said they are all mutts. Color is easy to breed for, give her a chance she might be the best queen you have ever owned or will ever own.
 
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