The queen featured is a daughter of Queen Windy, a Cordovan Italian.
On the way back from California package pickup, Queen Windy’s cage was on the cold, windy side of the truck coming through Wyoming. The workers clustered on the other side of the package cage, behind the can of syrup, leaving her exposed. We thought she was chilled and would probably not make it. However, Queen Windy went on to be one of our best producers that year.
We use Queen Windy for breeding because her offspring uses a lot of propolis, are gentle, and good honey gatherers. Typically the caucasian bees gather more propolis than others. However, this Italian colony gathered more than the average of the sticky stuff. (Propolis is an important part of the hive’s natural immunity to disease.)
We believe such an important insect ought to have a name, rather than a number.
Queen Windy is gone, but her daughters are part of the survivor stock line we use in our feral bee project. We use survivor stock queens, like Queen Windy, from our own bees, and mate them with feral bees from Southern Utah.