Posted Nov 16, 2013
I'm a pretty new beekeeper, and my first hive were Italian Honey Bees. They were great! They were so gentle that I worked the hive with just my gloves and veil in a short sleeved shirt. If I did something they didn't like, I could hear the difference - the hum of the hive would deepen in pitch.
The queen didn't start laying again in the spring, so I ordered a 'hygienic' hybrid queen to replace her. Big mistake! These bees were much more aggressive and it made working the hive a lot harder for me.
The Italian bees would often forgive me if I made a mistake, and I got stung about once a year. The hygienic hybrid bees stung me every time I worked on the hive, and often would sting me while I was just out mowing our lawn.
I definitely plan to switch back to straight Italian Honey Bees. Their easy-going attitude really makes keeping bees a breeze!