Hi. Has anyone got an opinion on golden italian bees? Im looking at getting a nuc from a breeder in nsw Australia.
I don’t know what that means in Australia. Here it means a Cordovan colored Italian, but also, the Cordovan is pretty much a particular line of Italian bees, though it wouldn’t have to be. The ones here have exaggerated Italian traits. i.e. they are very prolific brood rearing fools. They tend to be (but are not always) gentle. Depending on the flows, they could be productive or not. They seem to be popular among package producers because they raise far too many bees too early to be productive for honey, but this means they have a lot of bees to ship very early.
The only true source of italians in Australia are the ligurians in Kangaroo Island. Though I have seen a few varieties being offered by some of the breeders and exporters and they are quite pretty. I started off using these yellow bees but have now switched to the caucasion. I found the italians were unpredictable being bred by the larger bee breeders were for honey production over temperament and if you are putting bees in your backyard, temperament is a key trait that you’ll need. Packages or Nucs of caucasions are mostly unheard of but you can order queens through the mail. My advice is to go with the bees you can get hold of and then test for their temperament over time, sometimes you’ll get a good queen with good breeding. If you’re not happy and have suffered a few too many stings then source a new queen, there are a number of queen breeders around in NSW, Vic and Qld breedin specific traits for backyard beekeepers. Ask around, we all have our opinions on which are the best on a specific year.