Carniolan Bee

The Carniolan bee also known as Apis mellifera carnica or A.m.carnica for short has its origins in Eastern Europe and is therefore adapted to a continental climate with cold hard winters and long hot summers. It is now the main bee in Germany.

Carniolan Bees
Carniolan Bees

Photo from https://beeinformed.org/2012/04/queen-bee-identification/

It is also known as the Grey bee because 3 segments of its abdomen are broadly covered in a thick pelt of short grey hairs which partially conceals the underlying dark abdomen giving it a frosted look. Photo from queen bee identification article on www.beeinformed.org

It is similar to the Italian bee in that it is a medium sized bee with a long narrow body and limbs and it also has the same long proboscis which enables it to make full use of the red clover – an important forage crop in Europe.

It also shares the same gentle nature as the Italian bee but has a stronger swarming tendency. Coming from further north it fares better over winter being very thrifty with a smaller brood nest. Come spring and the build-up is very rapid indeed an adaptation to take advantage of an early flow.

If you are thinking of importing Carniolan bees – or buying from somebody else who imports Carniolan or any  other bees for that matter – remember Small Hive Beetle is out there waiting for somebody like you. You don’t want to find yourself in front of god explaining why you introduced the most devastating bee parasite to Ireland now do you?  Click here for more on Small Hive Beetle

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