Do genetics really matter?
I contacted my county's bee association where I'll be taking a bee class and they recommended I wait to get bees from the ones sold by the local keepers in the association. But the bees for sale are imported from the South. They pointed out that honeybees are not native to North America so the genetics of North vs South bred don't make a huge difference.
Is this true? I was hoping that getting locally bred bees would allow them to survive the cold winters of New England better. I also was looking at different breeds of bees such as Buckfast, Saskatraz, Russian, and colonies with VSH, all of which are not available from the association.
However, I would have to make an hours long trip to pickup any of those bees because the sellers are not that close (but their bees are locally bred and still within 1 climate zone of me). If genetics don't matter that much then I would rather save the time and gas spent on driving.