FYI from George Imirie:
A colony headed by an Italian queen, apis mellifera ligustica , or a Carniolan queen, apis mellifera carnica, is an excellent choice for almost any place in the U.S. Perhaps the best features of the Italians are their high yields of honey production and their "golden" color, and the Carniolan is best known for its "explosive", early spring buildup and the most gentle of all bees.
Even these fine races have some faults, e.g., Italians are noted for being intense ROBBERS, and even killing a weak colony when robbing it; and the Carniolans are noted for their high propensity to SWARM. The use of a Caucasian queen, apis mellifera caucasian, is rare because it does not start intense brood rearing until quite late, like May or June, and hence is useful only on nectar sources that yield in late summer or early fall. Regarding the HYBRID lines, Buckfast, Midnite, and Starline, since these are the result of a manmade breeding of two different genetically different bees, they "cannot reproduce themselves", and were designed for a VERY SPECIFIC PURPOSE rather than a bee for the average hobbyist.
Many beekeepers that think the Russian bees are some new race or even some new species of a bee. The Russian bee is a Carniolan, but of a different "stock". This is identical to saying that Wooten’s bees in California and Wilbanks bees in Georgia are BOTH Italian race, but different "stocks", i.e., Wootens Italians are a stock of Italian bees developed over 70 years by the Homer Park family, and Wilbanks Italians are a stock of Italian bees developed over 70 years by the Wilbanks family. What do queen breeders do to develop a STOCK of their own choosing? There are many different characteristics of honey bees such as: gentleness, not prone to swarm, winters well, ripens nectar into honey rapidly, excels in honey production, caps the honey white, uses minimum burr comb, uses propolis sparingly, and disease resistance. Maybe a given breeder’s interest is maximum honey production, while a second breeder’s interest is gentleness, and a third breeder’s major interest is minimum use of propolis.