Several years ago we have started with various breeds:
Apis mellifera ligustica is the Italian bee which is a subspecies of the western honey bee.
The Buckfast bee is a strain of the honey bee. It is a man-made bee race (hybrid), a cross of many strains of bees, developed by Brother Adam, who was in charge of beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey in the United Kingdom, where the bees are still bred today.
They are Ontario bred descendants of the English ‘black’ bee.
In 1800’s Debbie Hutchings’s ancestors brought the honeybees with them from England. They are gentle, little dark bees which winter in small clusters, that explode when the spring comes. If you don’t keep ahead of them they will swarm, as they are very prolific producers. This breed was never treated with any medication or chemicals. (Source: debbeesbees.ca)
At some point we added Carniolian strain of bees to our apiary.
The traits we add to our stock from Carniolian breeders is their ability to winter well in severe climates yet build up well in the spring. Carniolian bees keep a very tight brood nest with heavy stores of honey.
Lately, we have in our apiary descendants of above strains (minus Hutchings) mixed together with the local bees. We especially cherish feral bees which are well adapted to the local micro-climate.