3 Carniolan honey bee

Carniolan honey bee

Taxobox | name = Carniolan bee

|200px|Carniolan honeybee
image_width = 250px
status = secure
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Arthropoda
classis = Insecta
ordo = Hymenoptera
familia = Apidae
genus = "Apis"
species = "A. mellifera"
subspecies = "A. m. carnica"
trinomial = "Apis mellifera carnica"
trinomial_authority = Pollman, 1879
The Carniolan honey bee ("Apis mellifera carnica") is a subspecies of Western honey bee. It originates from Slovenia, but can now be found also in Austria, part of Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.


The bee is the subspecies of the Western honey bee that has naturalized and adapted to the Carniola Kočevje (Gottschee) region of Slovenia, the Southern part of the Austrian Alps and North Balkans. These bees are known as Carniolans, or short "Carnies", in English. At present this race (i.e., subspecies) is the second most popular among beekeepers (after the Italian honey bees). It is favored among beekeepers for several reasons, not the least being its ability to defend itself successfully against insect pests while at the same time being extremely gentle in its behavior toward beekeepers. These bees are particularly adept at adjusting worker population to nectar availability. It relies on these rapid adjustments of population levels to rapidly expand worker bee populations after nectar becomes available in the spring, and, again, to rapidly cut off brood production when nectar ceases to be available in quantity. It meets periods of high nectar with high worker populations and consequently stores large quantities of honey and pollen during those periods. They are resistant to some diseases and parasites that can debilitate hives of other subspecies.

Anatomy and appearance

Carniolan honey bees are about the same size as the Italian honeybee race, but they are physically distinguished by their generally dusky brown-grey color that is relieved by stripes of a subdued lighter brown color. Their chitin is dark, but it is possible to find lighter colored or brown colored rings and dots on their bodies. They are also known as the ‘Grey Bee’.

Carniolan bees are nearly as big and long as the Western European black bees, though their abdomens are much slimmer. Furthermore, the Carniolan bee has a very long tongue (6.5 to 6.7 mm, which is very well adapted for clover), a very high elbow joint and very short hair. [Graham, Joe. The Hive and the Honey Bee. Hamilton/IL: Dadant & Sons; 1992; ISBN 0-915698-09-9.]

Character and behavior

*considered to be gentle and non-aggressive
*can be kept in populated areas.
*sense of orientation considered better than the Italian honey bee race
*less drifting of bees from one hive to a neighboring hive
*when compared to the Italian race, they are not as prone to rob honey
*able to overwinter in smaller numbers of winter bees; honey stores are conserved.
*able to quickly adapt to changes in the environment
*better for areas with long winters
*rhythm of brood production very steep. Brood rearing is reduced when available forage decreases
*small use of propolis
*resistant to brood diseases
*for areas with strong spring nectar flow and early pollination
*forage earlier in the morning and later in the evening, and on cool, wet days.

Not beneficial
*more prone to swarming if overcrowded
*low ability to produce wax and build comb (not uniformly accepted as fact)
*low ability to thrive in hot summer weather
*strength of broodnest more dependent on availability of pollen
*dark queen is difficult to find


*Skinner, John A. [http://www.utextension.utk.edu/publications/pbfiles/PB1745.pdf Beekeeping in Tennessee] , 2004; University of Tennessee; web accessed Oct 2006
* [http://www.carniolan.com/ Slovenian carnica bee breeder] web page accessed Oct 2006

See also

*Anton Janša
*National symbols of Slovenia

External links

* [http://www.carniolan.com/uk/caracter-uk.htm Slovenian beekeeper webpage]
* [http://www.royalbeejelly.net/ Carnica Royal Jelly Research]
* [http://www.slovenski-cebelarji.com/ Slovenian beekeeping portal]
* [http://www.carniche.it Italian beekeeper webpage]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Honey bee — For other uses, see Honey bee (disambiguation). This article refers collectively to all true honey bees; for the common domesticated honey bee, see European honey bee. Honeybees Temporal range: Oligocene–Recent …   Wikipedia

  • European honey bee — Taxobox name = Western honey bee ( Apis mellifera ) image caption = Honey bee approaching a Milk Thistle flowerhead regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda classis = Insecta ordo = Hymenoptera subordo = Apocrita superfamilia = Apoidea familia =… …   Wikipedia

  • Maltese honey bee — Maltese honey bees on frame with queen cells Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia …   Wikipedia

  • Russian honey bee — The Russian honeybee from the Primorsky Krai, a region in the southern extreme of the Russian Far East, belongs to the species Apis mellifera.The Russian honeybee have evolved traits of natural mite resistance due to heavy selection pressures.… …   Wikipedia

  • Diseases of the honey bee — or abnormal hive conditions include: Contents 1 Pests and parasites 1.1 Varroa mites 1.1.1 Treatment 1.2 Acarine (Tracheal) mit …   Wikipedia

  • Honey — For other uses, see Honey (disambiguation). Jars of honey and honeycomb …   Wikipedia

  • bee — I (Roget s IV) n. 1. [A stinging, honey gathering insect] Social classes: queen, worker, drone (male). Varieties include: domestic: CaucAsian, Madagascar, three banded, three band golden, golden CaucAsian, black, Italian, German, Carniolan,… …   English dictionary for students

  • Carniolan bee — noun greyish highly productive European honeybee that has a quiet disposition • Hypernyms: ↑honeybee, ↑Apis mellifera * * * noun Usage: usually capitalized C Etymology: Carniola, region in southern Europe northeast of the head of the Adriatic sea …   Useful english dictionary

  • Queen bee — For other uses, see Queen bee (disambiguation). Carniolan queen bee with attendants on a honeycomb. The term queen bee is typically used to refer to an adult, mated female that lives in a honey bee colony or hive; she is usually the mother of… …   Wikipedia

  • European dark bee — Taxobox name = European dark bee image width = 250px image caption = The Savoie honeybee has rather light wings for a black bee. Note ample hair on thorax and black abdomen with little hair. regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda classis = Insecta …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.