Bee Information

Varieties of Honey Bees

Bee varieties

There are many different honey bee breeds or variations.

Here is a list of the most prevalent types of honey bees:

1. Black or Brown.

The common hive-bee, also known as the black or brown, is distinguished from other hives by its nearly uniform brown-black color, faint signs of whiter bands on the abdomen, and covering of grayish-brown hairs.

In north or west Europe, no other breeds of bee were known until the last fifteen years. This bee breed has made itself wild in the woods of America and New Zealand after escaping.

2. Italian Alp.

The mountainous region in the north of Italy, which is located near the lakes Magiore and Como is native to the Italian Alp bees.

Additionally, these varieties of honey bees are also known as Ligurian bees. These bee breeds are also longer and slenderer than the black varieties in appearance and their abdomen feature two orange-red bands and they have a light orange-yellow color.

Apart from these breeds of bee being very courageous in defending their hives, even from the ravages of the wax Moth, they are known to be more hardy and more prolific plus better gatherers of honey than the black.

3. Cyprian.

The Cyprians are indigenous to Cyprus and some regions of Asiatic Turkey. Compared to the Italian Alp, these breeds of bee are smaller, quite a slanderer, wasp-like and yellow.

bee breeds

Additionally, on the back between the wings of these varieties of honey bees, there always feature a yellow shield mark. They are also proof against being robbed by other bees and compared to other breeds of bees, the Cyprians are winter better, strong, and excellent honey gatherers.

Despite all these, these varieties of honey bees are one of the most revengeful stingers and they are easily excited.

4. Syrian.

In that portion of Asian Turkey, which is located north of Mount Carmel, Syrian bees can be found.

The Cyprian bee breeds, from which they differ in showing less yellow and generally having a grayer color over their entire bodies, are similar in size, characteristics, and temperament to these bees. They stand apart from the following variety of bees in a big way.

5. Holy Land.

South of Mount Carmel in Palestine is where you will find the Holy Land or Holy Bees as the locals refer to them. Additionally, they appear to be beautifully striped since their hair is so light in color but their markings are similar to the Cyprians.

When it comes to size, these bee breeds are larger than Cyprians however, compared to the Italians, they are a bit smaller size-wise. They are amazing cell builders, incredibly energetic, and fly great distances.

Red clover provides them with honey, but they are also sting-ready, enraged by even the slightest smoke, and will flee from their combs when one is pulled from the hive.

6. Tunisian.

there is a peculiar breed of bees found in the north of Africa, in Tunis, Tunisia. Color-wise, these bee breeds are dark brown but compared to the common black and brown breeds of bees, they are even darker.

However, they are similar to the Cyprian and Syrian when it comes to size. Compared to the Eastern races, these bee breeds bear smoke better and when being handled, they keep on the combs and they are active workers.

Also, if you come near these breeds of bees, even without interfering with them, they are liable to attack you.

7. Carniolan.

In South Austria, a place known as Camiola is native to the Carniolan bees. Apart from being the largest European bee breeds, compared to the black or brown bee varieties, they are longer and thicker.

Additionally, in appearance, they have a silvery look because of the whitish-gray hairs or clear makings on each ring of their abdomen plus they feature a rich, dark brown, nearly black color.

In honey gathering, fecundity and hardiness, they are equal to the Italian Alps breeds of bees. Moreover, unless these breeds of bees are treated with improper roughness, they never attack the manipulator since they are of a most remarkable deposition.

8. Hungarian.

Compared to the common brown breeds of bees, these bees peculiar to Hungary are far blacker but they are of similar size.

Despite the Hungarian propensity to swarm renders them very uncertain and unprofitable, they are as gentle as Italians, and in honey gathering, they are very fair.

9. Egyptian.

These breeds of bees are like the Italians in color since they are quite yellow but in size, they are like Syrians. The Nile Valley is home to these bees, who are both wild and domesticated.

Being well-known for their ability to collect honey, they are also among the most vicious bees outside of India. (It seems they were unaware of honey bees that had been Africanized.)

10. South African

It is hoped that our beekeepers will soon have access to a superior breed of bees from the Cape Colony, which are both wild and hived.

They are similar to Italians in terms of size and color, but grayer. They are also more docile, more prodigious, and possess extraordinary working abilities. Where honey needs to be collected, they work all hours of the day and are frequently still working at night.

The world’s most experienced beekeepers are currently working to concentrate on one strain of the qualities that they consider desirable in the best-bred bee. They are doing this by selecting the best individuals from each of these races. And it can be said with confidence that the honey bee of the future will be just as superior to the bees we knew twenty years ago.


bee varieties

What is the best breed of bee?

In North America, the most popular bees to order are the Italian bee breeds. Apart from being excellent honey producers, they are known for being gentle.

Since they need to consume extra food to compensate for not forming a tight cluster the way other types of honey bees do, they have difficulty in colder climates and they are typically reared in the south.

Which bees are the friendliest?

Apis mellifera carnica, often known as the Carniolan honey bee, is particularly renowned for being kind and exceedingly simple to work with, making them ideal for backyard beekeepers worried about aggressive behavior. Additionally, they are among the greatest bee breeds for cold areas.

Which bee has the best honey?

The Italian bee, or Apis Mellifera Ligustica, is a subspecies of the Apis Mellifera. Because of their sweet disposition and abundant honey production, beekeepers adore the Apis Mellifera Ligustica.

What kind of bee is a queen?

An adult, mated female (gyne) bee who lives in a colony or hive of bees is often referred to as the queen bee. The queen is usually, if not always, the mother of the majority of bees in the hive since she has fully developed reproductive organs.

What is the healthiest honey?

Although Sourwood Honey has been found to be healthier in recent studies, Manuka Honey has long been thought to be the healthiest honey.

This is an edited version of an article that was first published in the American Bee Journal on April 27th, 1887.

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