During this time of year, what criteria do you use to evaluate a queen?
I rear new queens and I change them mostly all before autumn.
But if a new queen is hostile, I change it
Otherwise, it is impossible to know what are new queens. Next summer shows it.
I have a mixture of Italian and Russian
No need to evaluate mixtures. YOu cannot take daughters from those hives.
Some of my queens are laying heavily, others are not, one has a spotty pattern. Is there any hard and fast rule that covers all races?
There is no fast or slow rules and you ask too many things. Those are not race things...
Inside Italian bee there are tens of strains. And colonies are individuals.
Spotty brood area ---> squeeze the queen
Not enough laying ...> squeeze the queen. Bad laying does not become better
I evaluate laying speed in 3 frame mating nucs, what it should be.
And angry mind too. If new workers show to me sting, I squeeze the queen and join the hive to another nuc.