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The Italian Honeybee (Apis Mellifera Ligustica)

The Italian honey bee originated from the continental part of Italy, south of the Alps, and north of Sicily, and brought to the United States in 1859. We know them for their prolific brood cycles and production, gentle nature and reluctance to swarm. Drawbacks include: resource consumption at a rapid pace; robbing stores in weaker or neighboring hives; difficulties with natural pests; can’t cope up with the cold. The noted beekeeper, Thomas White Woodbury, first introduced the Italian bee to Britain in 1859 and regarded it as vastly superior to the Old British Black bee ( A.m. mellifera).

Italian Queen Bee

Italian queen bees make up the heart of the American beekeeping industry, originating in the Apennine Peninsula of Italy, and brought to the United States in the late 1850s. We well know them for their gentle disposition, abundant brood production, and the excellent foraging abilities of their workers.

There are some subspecies of Italian Bees present across the globe: 

The Yellow Honeybee (Apis Metlifica )

Yellow bee’s species are a subtype of Italian bees, and then Cyprus, Syrian, Israeli, Egyptian and Saharan bees. They imported these to the United States before the other bees.  It’s widespread in U.S. A & gives the largest amount of honey.

Their nature is hardy, industrious and prefers to sit quietly on the combs. Most of the U.S. Italian bees have three yellow stripes with black edging. Some bees have four and sometimes five stripes. Aboriginal races of Italian bees have only 2 yellow stripes, and the third, near the breast, is not always clear. US-Italian bees are more yellow than the bees in Italy.

Imported yellow bees have muddy or dark shade. We've known that the darker the Italian bees because of a more peaceful nature. Rarely, the abdomen of the queen is entirely yellow. Most often, the upper body is yellow, but the lower part and the end of the abdomen are black whereas drones & worker bees   are striped, but usually their body is dark, sometimes with one or two yellow stripes. Italian bees can live with wax moth larvae in their hives, but we cannot say it about the American black bees. Italian bees clean the hive from wax moth. The young Italian bees quickly destroy moth. Weak black bees or Dutch bees cannot cope with moth.

Syrian Honeybee 

We divide Syrian bees into two groups, which are externally indistinguishable. The first group is very evil bees, and another-gentle bees. Syrian bees, found in Syria and Lebanon, subspecies of Italian and Cyprus bees. Syrian bees are very prolific, they work well. The peculiarity of their color is pale bands on the first three segments of the abdomen. Yellow fluff covers chest and the base of the wings. Crescent is visible. Some darker color is due to the influence of bees entering into Syria through the mountains. Like Cyprian bees, Syrian bees are nervous, but less evil, if you work with them””use a large amount of smoke.

The Russian Bee (from Primorsky KRAI region of Russia)

They brought Russian Bees to the United States in 1997 by the USDA in response to the increase in colony collapse due to parasites. Russian bees rear brood only during times of nectar and pollen flows, making this subspecies heavily reliant on the surrounding environment.

Russian Queen Bee

These Russian Queen bees are available in an instrumentally inseminated Breeder queen or open mated pure Russian queen from an Instrumentally Inseminated Russian Breeder Queen. The open mated. They are excellent producers and winter well and Russian Bees that have shown mite resistance naturally

The Carniolan Bee (Apis Mellifera Carnica)

The Carniolan Bee is one of the top 2 most popular bee stocks in the United States. This strain is favored for: explosive spring buildup; extremely docile nature; has one of the longest tongues at 6.5 to 6.7 mm; adjusting worker population to nectar availability. Finding the origin of this stock from central and Eastern Europe, these bees are tolerant of colder climates and rank among the best stocks for overwintering.

Carnolian Queen Bee

We well know carniolan queen bees for their ability to winter well in severe climates and for their quick spring build-up. They mate these black queens to our Italian drones to provide a hybrid colony with beautiful brood patterns and highly productive hives.

The Buckfast Bee (The mutt of honeybee stock)

The Buckfast Bee stock, originates in Buckfast Abbey, in Devon in the United Kingdom. During the early 20th century, populations were being decimated by tracheal mites. The Buckfast bee, a cross of many subspecies, is developed by Brother Adam, a beekeeper. The advantages being: a resistance to natural parasites; a knack for foraging; doesn’t tend to swarm.

Buckfast Queen Bee

The Buckfast bee is a strain of honeybee. Most of the breeding work in Europe is done by breeders belonging to the breeders' association Gemeinschaft der Europäischen Buckfastimker.

The Caucasian Bee (Apis mellifera caucasica)

The Caucasian honey bee originates from the high valleys of the Central Caucasus. Beekeepers who understand the need for keeping in cold climate keep them.

Caucasian Queen Bee

The Caucasian honey bee originates from the country of Georgia in the Caucasus mountain region. Advantages: a propensity to fly earlier, later, and in cooler conditions; exceptional honey production; gather larger amounts of propolis

The German Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera)

The European Dark Bee, or German Dark Bee- defensive   in nature- was brought from Northern Eurasia in the colonial era. For beekeepers in the US, this strain is most likely not available, and would not be a good choice unless you are familiar with natural diseases and parasites in the hive.

German Queen Bee

The Western honey bee, German queen bee, has a variety of subspecies, due to the pollination rate of 90%; The European dark bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) is a subspecies of the western honey bee, have unusually short tongues (5.7-6.4mm). The A.M. mellifera     is descended from the M lineage of Apis mellifera, of which all bees to a greater or lesser degree have aggression when compared to the C lineage.

The Africanized Bee (The Misunderstood Bee)

The Africanized, or Killer Bee as most know it, is not even from Africa  - it originated in Brazil. This honeybee strain was a hybrid designed in a lab with the goal of increasing pest and parasite resistance, while at the same time increasing production.

Africanized Queen Bees

African Honey Bees are native to the Savanna country of eastern and southern Africa are referred to as Africanized honey bees (AHB). These bees’ genetic roots come from “Apis mellifera scutellata”. The African honey bee was first introduced to Brazil in the 1950s to increase honey production; but, in 1957, 26 swarms accidentally escaped quarantine and, since then, have spread throughout South and Central America and arrived in North America in 1985.

Egyptian Honey Bees (Apis Fasciata Latr.)

We consider egyptian honeybees the best bee for beekeeping in the hive. Therefore, the Egyptian drones are mated with the Krajina and Caucasian queens, and vice versa. First-generation hybrids are very productive bees both in the United Arab Republic, and in countries with cold climates. Although Egyptian bees are less than the European bees, they willingly take and adjust the standard honeycomb cells. Egyptian queens are very fertile and suitable for the formation of nucleus, especially when pairing with gray drones (Krajina or Caucasian). Each of these queens is equal to the queen of the larvae of Egyptian queens mated with Krajina or Caucasian drones. In spite of smaller families, purebred Egyptian bees provide a high amount of centrifugal honey, they are not suitable for sectional honey. 

Indian Honey Bees

There are 3 types of Indian honey bees mainly found in Punjab, which have adapted to adverse climatic conditions.

Indian HoneyBee (Apis Indica F) Indian bees are not good workers unlike giant Indian bees or Italian bees. Average honey yield is 3.64-5 kg from one family. Flights and thefts are common for Indian bees, particularly thefts get enhanced when a family of giant bees rob the family of Indian bees. Indian bees particularly like gatherings. Often you can see in the air entire families of Indian bees. Sometimes the causes of the gathering are fasting, wax moth, ant attack, excessive heat, disappearance of queens, and appearance of laying worker bees. A family with fetal queens and brood of all ages can leave their hives to join another swarm, flying by.

Dwarf HoneyBee (Apis Flora F) is much less than Indian bee. Families build a single cell usually in the bushes, on fences, on the branches of trees, under the eaves of houses, in chimneys, in folded cotton stalks, in the empty boxes and in other places. Cell area is slightly higher than the palm area of the hand or equal to it. Dwarf bee is so peaceful, that sometimes we refer them to stingless bees. These bees cannot live indoors, so they build honeycombs mostly on high, well-lit areas. Dwarf bees have a greater tendency to swarm and flights. Families gather very little honey, their single cell contains about 450 grams of honey. Honey is liquid, but has healing properties. Indian bees usually settle in the hollows of trees, often peasants leave indentations in the walls of their homes, so the bees build their honeycombs there.

Giant Bee (Apis Dorsata F) are very hardworking. They work early in the morning and finish later than the Indian bees. From one family you can sometimes get up to 36 kg of honey. Bees are very evil. Their stings are very painful and sometimes lead to death. They are reluctant to leave the victim, even if it jumps into the water. Some individuals can handle the giant bees, and the body of these people, apparently, is not so swollen from the stings. Families migrate from one place to another and during the flight they produce a characteristic loud. Attempts to keep the giant bees in hives have been unsuccessful.

Chinese & Japanese Honey Bees     

Both bees are sub-species of Indian Bees, Italian Bees & European bees. The honeybees of south-eastern China are the largest species of Eastern honeybee (Apis Indica var. Peroni). These bees are promising for industrial beekeeping. Worker bees have a dark color, but the front part of the abdominal segments is brownish-yellow. As the queen, and the drones are black. Drone cells differ from worker bees cells, they are much taller and have conical caps with small holes that can be opened inside the cells. Chinese bees are very hardworking and fly even in cold weather. The Italian bees do not work at such temperatures. Chinese bees produce a lot of wax.

They have beautiful white seal of honey. Bees collect nectar hard during low harvest they economize on their holdings and better resists predatory wasps, than Italian bees. However, Chinese bee form small families, often swarm, usually fly off with a lack of food, are nervous. It is more difficult to calm them with the smoke than the Italian bees. Chinese bees gnaw holes in the honeycomb and cannot resist attacks of wax moths. The average production of good families in the hives is about 67 kg of honey per year but using modern methods can yield 23-27 kg of honey monthly. Chinese bees are terrible thieves who rob Italian bees, however in summer they are robbed by the Italian bee.  

Apis Honey Bees

The genus Apis””into which all honey bees fall””is a beautifully diverse bee species, with at least 44 known sub-varieties.

Apis Queen Bee

In the U. S., queens have been failing at a high rate; with 50% or greater of queens replaced in colonies within 6 months when historically a queen might live one to two years. This high rate of queen failure coincides with the high mortality rates of colonies in the US, some years with >50% of colonies dying.

Apis Mellifera Iberiensis Queen Bee

They exhibit quick defensive reaction, nervousness, and a propensity to swarm. They abundantly use propolis. One or two sentry bees are always present at the entrance of the hive. If a colony is disturbed, the sentries raise a persistent alarm.

Apis Mellifera Scutellata- The Africanist honey bee species

Although now synonymous with the “African killer bee” title, apis M. Scutellata is in fact not a great deal genetically different from its European cousins. The East African lowland honey bee (Apis mellifera scutellata) is a subspecies of the western honey bee. The introduction of the Cape honeybee into northern South Africa poses a threat to East African lowland honey bees.

Apis Mellifera Scutellata Queen Bee

The subspecies of honeybee indigenous to the Cape region of South Africa, Apis mellifera capensis, is unique because a high proportion of unmated workers can lay eggs that develop into females via thelytokous parthenogenesis involving central fusion of meiotic products. They are able to influence the kind of second-division meiosis that occurs in their eggs postpartum.

Apis Nigrocincta

The Apis nigrocincta is a honeybee species living in the Philippine island of Mindanao, Sulawesi, and Sangihe in Indonesia. The bees build medium-sized cavity nests with multiple combs that are nearly equidistant from each other. The nesting sites are close to the ground. The subfamily Apinae includes a majority of the honey bee species, with 19 tribes.

Apis Nigrocincta Queen Bee

Apis nigrocincta is one of the nine species of honeybees. Apis nigrocincta occur on the islands of Mindanao and Sangihe of the Philippines and the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. Like the closely related species Apis cerana  , Apis nigrocincta builds their nests in caves.

Apis Koschevnikovi

Apis koschevnikovi is a honey bee species that are found in the Borneo island of Indonesia and Malaysia. The bees are all dark and brown banded. The queen and the drones have light brown bands on the abdomen while the workers have light orange abdominal bands.

Apis Koschevnikovi Queen Bee

The workers, the queen, and the drones of A. koschevnikovi are all dark brown banded. The workers, however, have light orange abdominal bands while the queen and the drones have light brown abdominal bands.

Apis Cerana

Apis cerana, the eastern honey bee or the Asiatic honey bee, is a species of honey bee native to southern, southeastern, and eastern Asia. This species is the sister species of Apis koschevnikovi and both are in the same subgenus as the western (European) honey bee, Apis mellifera.

Apis Cerana Queen Bee

The colony of Apis cerana, a typical honey bee, consists of several thousand female worker bees, one queen bee, and several hundred male drone bees. The colony’s annual cycle in cold temperature regions begins shortly after the winter solstice, when the colony raises the core temperature of its cluster to about 34 degrees Celsius and starts to rear brood.

Apis Dorsata

Apis dorsata belongs to the family Apidae, and to the subgenus Megapis. There are a few hypotheses as to when Apis dorsata diverged from both Apis florea and Apis cerana, as it is unclear which divergence occurred first. Currently, the consensus hypothesis provides a family tree that claims that Apis dorsata diverged from both Apis cerana and Apis florea at the same time.

Apis Dorsata Queen Bee

The queen lays all of the eggs for the colony and is usually the mother of all of the workers and drones within the colony. She is the sole reproductive female in the colony and has a larger abdomen as her reproductive organs are more developed. Queens are usually darker than workers.

Apis Florea

The red dwarf honey bee (Apis florea) is a small honey bee species found in parts of southern and southeastern Asia, as well as Africa. The bees build open nests and form small colonies which makes them more susceptible to predators. The bees dance to reach a decision to build a new nesting site.

Apis Florea Queen Bee

A. florea is called the dwarf honey bee due to its small size compared to other honeybees. A. florea produce honey that is harvested and eaten in Thailand and Cambodia. They are excellent pollinators, and the females produce no mucus as a sign of mating. A. florea males use a clasper organ at the hindleg to hold the queen’s leg during mating. Thus, A. florea uses the more energetically efficient method of sperm transfer.

Apis Andreniformis

The black dwarf honey bee (Apis andreniformis) lives in the tropical and subtropical areas of southeast Asia. It is a relatively rare species and has been recently classified as a separate species. The species is utilized by humans to prepare some commercial products like honey, wax, royal jelly, and bee venoms. They are important pollinating agents in their region of occurrence. Apis andreniformis is a part of the family Apidae, which includes honey, cuckoo, carpenter, digger, bumble, and stingless bees.

Apis Andreniformis Queen Bee- the Black dwarf honey bee

Apis andreniformis is a species of honey bee whose native habitat is the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. A. andreniformis queen bee was the fifth honey bee species to be described of the seven known species of Apis, and its biology, geographic distribution, and its specific status was recognized by many authors.

Ground Bees

Honey bees have brothers and sisters who live in the ground, the so-called ground bees. They all feed nectar and pollen. Many think that bumble bees are enemies of bees, but it is quite wrong, bumblebees can sometimes get into the hive, but because of its slowness they will be punished severely. Conversely bumble bees help to take nectar, which is deeply hidden in the flowers; bumblebees with their powerful mandibles gnaw way to the nectar, so the bees can reach it.

There are different bees and bumblebees; they are called ground, because they live in the burrows of various rodents and other small animals. There are 300 bumblebee species, there are small ones and similar to honey bees. But all the bees are excellent pollinators, and without them almost all vegetation would disappear.

Bumblebees - Most reliable pollinators of the garden, they fly in any weather and in cold and rain. Bumblebees are the most cold-resistant insects: they are able, quickly and often reducing the chest muscles, to heat their body rapidly to the desired 40°C (104 F). This allows them to take off early in the morning and collect nectar first, when the air is still not sufficiently warmed up, and gives bumblebees the certain competitive advantage over other types of insects. They can operate at low temperatures; the yield is doubled after their work. These terrible and loud louts are actually quiet and peaceful insects; they do not bother anyone and do not sting. During nearly the entire summer a queen of bumblebee lays fertile eggs, from which the workers are released at first, and then small queens. Each cell has a few eggs, larval development lasts 10-12 days, and then the larvae spin a cocoon, in which turn into pupae. After two weeks grown bumblebee is born. Workers and small queens build a nest, collect food (nectar and pollen) and lay unfertilized eggs, from which only males are released. From the last eggs large queens are born, and then they are fertilized by males. Old queen dies and the community of 500 individuals is scattered. In the winter there are only the fertile queens, that winter in burrows under the snow. Honeybees wintered in the hollows before, but now - in the hive (stock food for winter and wait for spring). The bee hardly reaches some flowers - the head does not fit or proboscis is too short.

Blue Bee

Despite the absence of honey bees in some villages, in most cases, there is a crop of apples, pears, cherries and plums. The question arises: who pollinated these fruit trees? The answer is simple - the solitary bees and bumblebees, which are in each area. Bumble beekeeping is a complicated matter, but some solitary bees are easy to keep. An increase in their population can provide a reliable pollination of gardens even in the absence of honey bees. These bees have chosen the life of a smart strategy - they are only active in the spring, when there are many flowering plants. Gardens fade, and osmium bees disappear, leaving only cells filled with pollen and eggs. They, in contrast to honey bees, do not collect honey and pollen reserves for a rainy day, when there is no harvest.

Fans of the honey bee can say that it is impossible to compare the pollination potential of the family of 20 thousand bees and a handful of bees osmia. But in the spring, most bees are busy with growing of brood and honey collecting, while osmia mainly collect pollen, but nectar - only for their own consumption. One visit to the flower of an Osmia bee has pollination efficiency 5 times more than of the honey bee, that is explained by the features of the pollen-collecting organ of Osmia - the entire surface of the abdomen. It is estimated that to pollinate one hectare garden you need two families of honey bees or only 530 females of Osmia, during the 15-day period one Osmia female visits 22,523 flowers of apple.

These bees more and more widely used to pollinate orchards. For example, in Japan, in 1981 only 10% of gardens were pollinate by local Osmia horned bees (Osmia cornifrons), in 1990 - already 50%, and in 2000 - 80%. These bees were brought to the United States and used with the local blue bees (Osmia lignaria). In the U.S. and Canada, there are a number of laboratories in universities, which have been intensively engaged in the study of biology, blue bees breeding and use of these bees to pollinate crops.

Reasons to breed these bees:

1. Why do we plant flowers - there is almost no benefits, but there is aesthetic pleasure. Osmia bees are beautiful and delight the eye, working in the spring in their tubes. If you later breed more southern species, horned Osmia, you will have at home the most beautiful bees in the world - it is quite large (the size of a drone) thick black and red bumblebees. That is the first answer. In addition, the cultivation and sale of flowers for some is full-fledged business. Breeding of Osmia can also be a good business.

2. It is when you breed bees, but not for honey, but for the purpose of pollination. It is very interesting to do. There are hundred steps to improve the lives of bees. The only difference is that honeybees are well studied. But the behavior of Osmia bees is known less, and there is a wide field of research, there is a chance to do a little, new discovery.

3. To understand the nature of bees, you need to understand their diversity. Children also should be taught from childhood to observe nature and, in particular, the nature of bees. Osmia, in contrast to honey bees, are absolutely safe. They can be bred by every pupil, not only in rural areas, even in an apartment on the balcony, if you do not live above the fifth floor. If a child loves Osmia bees from childhood, there is a good chance that in the future he will love honey bees and become the beekeeper. Osmia are absolutely harmless for the health of the child. They never protect their nests.

4. There is also a financial aspect. Cocoons of Osmia are valued even in the domestic market. The main consumers are owners of small greenhouses, for which using of honey bees to pollinate cucumbers is much more expensive. Already there are examples when individual beekeepers get 600-800 dollars for a month of working with Osmia. Cocoons of Osmia are in demand, but we need to have an association of producers to generate large quantities of cocoons, to develop quality assessment, improve the control of pests, etc. This requires wide research.

How To Start Honey Bee Breeding?

Where to start? The main strategy is to try to catch Osmia bees from the natural environment. And if you cannot, you can try to buy cocoons of Osmia for breeding.

First, in winter, you should prepare river reed, then cut out the tubes with a diameter of 6-10 mm (0.3”) and a length of 10-20 cm (8”). The tube must be closed. Marsh reed is almost unusable because the diameter of the stem is small.

Second, tie tube in bundles of 20-50 pieces with insulating tape or narrow tape, hang them in different places under the roof peaks, where they will not be exposed to rain and midday sun. It is advisable to place them in different parts of your area and even in neighboring villages, as there are areas where a lot of Osmia and vice versa. Hang the tubes no later than mid-April, before the beginning of the active season of Osmia. Especially there is a high probability of success in the villages, where there are still the old thatched roofs.

Then, in August, you should “harvest” sealed by Osmia tubes and protect them from birds, mice, wasps till next spring. It is easier to keep them outside in a closed box or old hive. Local osmium are not afraid of frost, but imported (very beautiful) ones are needed to be protected from severe cold.

If you do all this, then after a couple of years will reach a beginner level. And then in Osmia-keeping, as in everything else, you need to improve the technology and learn how to defend Osmia from diseases, pests and parasites. Five years later you will be a professional-Osmia beekeeper. Here, as in bee-keeping, less than five years, you will not become a real beekeeper.

Social bees (Apidae) are divided into three general groups:

  • Stingless bees (Melipona),
  • Bumble bees (Bombus)
  • Honeybees (Apis)
  • Major type Apis includes Apis dorsata and Apis indica (Indian), Apis florea (Dwarf East Indian Bee), and finally, honeybee Apis mellifica or Mellifera. Subspecies of Apis mellifica are characterized by common features, but differ by body coloration and behavior.

    Apis mellifica type can be divided into two major groups, black or brown bees and yellow bees. Black, or brown bees are commonly found in Central Europe, the UK, North Africa, Madagascar and the Americas. The yellow bees (primarily Italian bees) are habitats of northern and central Italy to the U.S. and other countries.  

    Black /Brown bees are further classified in 2 types: the Dutch or Heather bees, originally discovered in the Netherlands and imported to America and black or brown bees, found in Central Europe and the UK again brought to America, apparently, from the Netherlands.

    Dutch (American) bees have the unpleasant property in the period of the theft to follow a beekeeper along the apiary. They are more inclined to swarm than Italian bees and beekeepers. Seal of honey of the Dutch bees is more white than of the Italian or yellow bees. It is easier to shake off Dutch bees from the frame during pumping honey. They are easier to move for a short distance, than the Italian bees. In general, the Dutch bees are less irritable than Italian bees, but they sting more than the Italian bees. Even real German or English bee, found in Central Europe, in the south of France and in UK, is sometimes considered as Italian bee, common in Northern Italy. Beekeepers in America and Europe do not like real Dutch bees, bred in America. Before they thought that there are two types of black bees in the U.S. But some think that there is only one type that has a Dutch origin. Bees of Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana vary in color (from black to brown). These bees are more prone to theft than pure-bred Italian bees, but they both provide the same honey collection in case of abundance of nectar, gathering dark honey, such as buckwheat.

    German (brown) bees found in Central Europe, in the south of France and in the UK, are sometimes considered as Italian bee, common in Northern Italy. They are somewhat lighter than Dutch bees. Black bars of German bees are fringed with yellow fuzz on the abdominal segments, which makes them brown. In the south of France, German bees are ubiquitous, they are easy to cope with the smoke, and they do not run and do not gather randomly on the framework, as the Dutch bees in America do. German bees are hardy and resistant to disease. While the black bees of America suffer from European foulbrood, real French bees resistant to the disease as much as American (Italian) bees. Cowan, Simmins and some other most influential British beekeepers prefer Italian bees than English brown. However, the Italian bees are not so common in the UK, as in America. There are several other varieties of black bees, which are considered to be better than the Dutch or German brown bees. Among them we can be call Krajina, Caucasian and Banat bees. These bees were imported to various countries, including America. It should be noted that the Krajina, Caucasian and Banat bee is more peaceable than any kind of black bees, it gives the same honey flow like black bees, and in many respects they bear comparison with Italian bees.

    Krajina bees were sent to the U.S. by Frank Benton in the early 80’s . Simultaneously Dadan also imported several queens of Krajina. These large silver-gray bees are found in the north-eastern part of the Alps. Closer to the Danube Krajina bees become brown, near the border of Germany they are black. In the east, the Krajina bees are found on Banat plains of Hungary, and in the south - on the Balkan Peninsula. Segments of the abdomen are black, fringed with grayish ring with whitish bloom. Because of this Krajina bees are easily distinguished from the brown bees. Krajina bees are more peaceful than brown bees of France. They sit quietly on the combs, taken out of the hive. In some areas of the U.S. Krajina bees raise brood better than Italian bees. However, these bees have a negative feature, they extremely like swarming. For this reason, they are not suitable for U.S. portable apiaries. Very valuable is that there is no propolis in the hive of Krajina bees. Honeycombs are white and clean. If they do not have a tendency to swarm, the Krajina bees would be ideal for the production of honey.

    Caucasian bees are somewhat like the Krajina bees. Both do not run randomly over the hive, when it is opened. Both varieties of bees, like the Italian bees, are resistant to European foulbrood. Caucasian mountain bees are the most peaceful in the world, with the exception of the Saharan bees, found in the oases of Northern Africa. Caucasian bees, grown on the plains, are not so peaceful, like bees from the Caucasus mountains. But both races collect a lot of propolis and therefore are not suitable for the production of honeycomb. Mountain race of Caucasian bees is gaining popularity. Hives can be often opened without smoke in bad and good weather. Bees fly buzzing around the face and hands, as if they are going to sting, and then return to the cell. This variety is suitable for apiaries in the small towns and suburbs. These are hardy, work well and are not prone to swarming.

    Banat bees are called after a place in Hungary, where they were taken from. Banat bees are very similar to the Caucasian bees. Some reputable beekeepers believe that Banat bee is the type of Krajina bees. Banat bees are very peaceful, but they are almost impossible to distinguish from the brown or black European bees.

    North African black bees (Tunisian, Punic) were tested for some time in the U.S. These bees are irritable, stain everything with red propolis. They should not be delivered to other countries.

    Madagascar bee was found in Madagascar and neighboring islands, and probably bred there for thousands of years. This bee, apparently, is the blackest of all black bee species. Its body has very poor brown fluff. It is impractical to bring the Madagascar bee to other countries. West African bees are characterized by shiny black body and bad properties.

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