Carniolan bee (Apis mellifera Carnica) in Slovenia

Janez GREGORI

Janez POKLUKAR

Janez MIHELIČ

1. THE HONEY BEE

Among representatives of the genus Apis mainly four species are the most widespread. They  are found from Europe to India and farther towards southeastern Asia. The largest amongst them is the Giant or the Rock bee (Apis dorsata). Its colony builds a single huge comb in the open air, usually attached to the rock surface. The smallest representative is the tiny Indian bee, the Little bee (A. florea), which likewise makes combs in the open air. Slightly larger is the Indian bee (A. indica = A. cerana), which is used for honey harvesting in some places. Africa and a considerable part of Europe is the native habitat of the Honey Bee (A. mellifera). Today there are 25 subspecies of Honey bee known in Europe, Asia and Africa.

1 - Bees are not just an economic factor, they are also a significant part of  life style and  cultural heritage of Slovenian people

 

In Europe 5 Honey bee subspecies are prevalent: (1) Italian bee (A. mellifera ligustica, Spinola 1806), originally spread mainly on the Apennine peninsula (2) Caucasian bee (A. m. caucasica, Gorbachew 1916), on the territory of Caucasus, (3) Black bee (A. m. mellifera, Linnaeus 1758), which originally extended on a part of Central Europe and in the west and north of Europe  (4) Macedonian bee (A.m.macedonica, Ruttner 1988) and (5) Carniolan bee or Kranjska sivka/Carniolan grey bee (A. m. carnica, Pollmann 1879), originally extended on the territory of Slovenia and neighbouring Carinthia and eastwards as far as Rumania and Bulgaria. Its stripes on buttock are dark, with light gray-yellowish hair. Because of these markings it appears more gray in color than other European species. This is the reason that it is sometimes referred to as the Carniolan gray bee. The Carniolan bee and the Italian bee are most commonly used for production of honey worldwide.

Summary or continue    Historical review of the development and recognition of the Carniolan bee