Carniolan bee (Apis mellifera Carnica) in Slovenia




Breeding programme for the Carniolan Bee

4.4 Breeding programme

Associates of the authorised breeding organisation control each queen being tested three times:

-     five months after introducing the queens into a production colony, in order to check the success of acceptance (purpose: to obtain information on the quality of the breeding process in breeding centres and collecting samples of live bees for morphological and health analysis)

-     nine months after introducing the queens into a production colony, in order to check the success of overwintering (purpose: to assess the resistance of groups to Varroa mite)

-     sixteen months after introducing the queen, in order to check the production properties of groups of queens (purpose: to select the best original queen, insofar as she is still alive, or to select her best daughter for breeding needs the following year).

Each of the assessed queens in production testing must successfully survive the following decision-making phase of the selection procedure:

In the first two steps of the decision-making, we normally exclude around 25% of introduced queens. On the basis of an evaluating of calmness, we then exclude around 10% of introduced queens. Exclusion on the basis of swarming inclination greatly varies during a year, on average we thus exclude 20% of introduced queens. In practice, around 45% of queens introduced into testing »survive« to the final assessment of breeding value.  

We have been testing queens in production testing since 1992. Of a total of 4,355 measurements of the productivity of bee colonies, the overall annual average has been approximately 20 kg of honey produced per hive. It is encouraging that the amount of honey produced per hive has been steadily increasing, on average by 0.41 kg per hive annually.

LSMEAN assessment of honey produced, in kg, in production testing of 4,355 queens from 1993 to 2001.