Carniolan bee (Apis mellifera Carnica) in Slovenia

Janez GREGORI

Janez POKLUKAR

Janez MIHELIČ

Description of the Carniolan Bee

 

10 The main body of the bee colony is concentrated in the rear of the hive. The beekeeper is slightly out of step with measures.

The method of overwintering of the Carniolan Bee is not much different from that of the Black Bee. Unlike Carniolan Bees, Italian Bees overwinter in a large cluster, and the queen hardly ever stops laying, which increases the amount of food required during the winter time. During fast spring colony growth, there is a risk of a propensity to swarm. It is possible to suppress swarming by adequate beekeeping technology and equipment as well as by taking advantage of honeydew forage, and thus increasing honey production.

Carniolans are very gentle. They are quiet on the combs and are not aggressive towards the beekeeper. In terms of this feature, it is superior to all other races of bees. 

Le célèbre éleveur Bukovsek peint tranquillement les facades de ses ruches. Les abeilles ne le dérangent nullement.

11 Father Bukovšek, painting hive frontboards in the middle of a spring day at the peak of foraging flights. The calm bees are not troubling him at all

The Carniolan Bee is a great deal less active in the collection of pollen than the Black Bee or the Caucasian Bee. This makes hive management much easier.

Its honeycomb cappings are formed level with the comb cell or embossed, which considerably increases the amount of stored honey in the combs. It has a highly developed sense of orientation. It is an advantage with the pavilion style of beekeeping, where there is hardly ever drifting of bees into neighbouring hives and the possibility of transmission of diseases and parasites. Its sense of direction relies more on the shape than the colour of the surroundings. In this it far surpasses the Italian and the Black Bee. It locates the honey dew flow much easier than other races of bees. It is therefore perfectly adapted to pasture on conifers.

12  Setting equipment at a honey dew flow observation station

The dance of the Carniolan Bee describes much more exactly the direction and distance to a food source than that of other races of bees. When a pasture is finished the Carniolans are quicker to search for new territory and locate it. The occurrence of laying workers, i.e. worker bees producing a drone brood is much later (30 days) than with the Black Bee (22 days). This indicates that the social structure in the Carinolan Bee colony is stronger than in some other breeds.

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