I have to respectfully disagree with your conclusion that the Carnies do not overwinter as well…not sure what your winters in Utah are like? We base our reviews off of our experiences with different products and we’re not afraid to go against the grain when needed.Our ultimate goal is to provide the best possible recommendations for backyard beekeepers. Initially, planned crosses frequently resulted in a line of very prolific bees … Once the queen begins to lay maximum eggs the hive can run out of bee space within 60 days. This is a positive, in one regard, and a negative also. The Carniolan bee will aggressively defend the hive. Known for their extended periods of brood rearing, Italian bees can build colony populations in the spring and maintain them for the entire summer. These Queen bees are a very gentle and prolific dark/black bee variety. (We personally respond to every comment!). We did have 2 short periods when the temperature was down to since digits, overnite. That said, most of the time you can’t go wrong using Carniolan bees. While they don’t winter as well as more aggressive species, they are much easier to work with which makes them a very attractive option for new beekeepers. We’ve been primarily in the high and dry Idaho/Utah deserts during the winter and we’ve had a lot better luck with keeping the Italian bees alive (on average) over the winter than we have with the Carniolans. If you have severe aversion to getting stung, beekeeping may not be the activity for you. Perhaps the humidity and/or altitude of your area plays a part? Russian Queen sources . You don’t have to look very hard to find resources that state that Carniolans winter better than Italians do. Carniolans tend to need a little smoke to calm the hive when you have to work them. In NE Georgia, this can be seen in August. The queens tend to begin increasing their brood production once the pollen begins to come into the hive. The Carniolan virgins are mated with our Italian drones, resulting in an excellent mix of both Italian and Carniolan traits which many customers prefer. It’s important to know that you won’t go wrong using either of these honey bee species for either backyard or commercial beekeeping. These varieties have been susceptible to varroa mite, tracheal mite, and fungal issues such as American Foul Brood. The login page will open in a new tab. They are currently expanding their business to include a restaurant and meadery in town. Either of these points could be enough to persuade you to use Carniolans. Curated collection of delicious honey recipes ranging from snacks, desserts, & appetizers to main dishes & full meals. Its cloudy and raining off and on, not really a great day but I need to take a quick look. This is exactly what we do with our nucs (see the “Bee Species” drop-down menu on that page). They quickly became the favored bee stock in this country and remain so to this day. Italian worker bees are light in color, while the queen is a bit darker, which makes her easy to … The Italian honey bees were a little more aggressive than the Carniolan bees. Carniolan bees are a subspecies of the western honeybee and originated in what is … Swarms of this race tend to disperse more widely than Italians. On-going training articles chocked full of important industry updates, beekeeping how-to's, ways to help save honey bees, and general honey bee knowledge. Italian / Carniolan Hybrid ... (Russian) bees to the Italian stock that has already under gone hundreds of years of selective breeding for production and gentleness. This will happen during the Spring season and into summer. In this blog post, you’ll learn these differences as well as our recommendation for our favorite specie. Learn more about natures finest sweetner. That was a long time ago and sense then many other types of honey bees have been brought in. Hopefully, this is helpful. Experts say that this breed combines the good qualities of the Carpathian and gray Caucasian bees. 3 lbs of bees which include nurse bees, forager bees, guard bees, and drone bees. They were easily installed into the hive. I see a local seller offering a nuc with BOTH Italian and Carniolan. Click now to secure your bees. If you like great deals, your going to love our monthly "Flash Sales"! This is great for comb honey production as the combs/frames have little propolis on them and have nice white capping's making a very beautiful product! The queen bee will be in a queen cage. Our Flash Sales are offered on bee packages to nucs to beekeeping supplies. NC did an in-depth study comparing the two. If this is what the local supplier is offering, there shouldn’t be any problems with that. Unfortunately, there is no one clear answer to this question. He also sells, https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/comparison-of-russian-and-italian-honey-bees, Exhibit more mild temperaments than aggressive species such as Russian or Africanized bees, Survive the winter better than more docile species, Start foraging earlier than most other species in early spring. The queens are bred specifically for honey production, wintering ability, temperament, tracheal mite resistance, varroa tolerance / resistance and brood disease resistance. The Italian honey bees would try to fend me off when I checked the hive throughout the summer. Which specie is your favorite? Swarms of this race tend to disperse more widely than Italians. The best thing you can do is learn the differences between these two species and make your decision from there. Both are nice gentle bees but at the moment the Italians are stronger and nicer to work with. In our experience, Italian bees have an edge over Carniolans in both their ability to successfully winter and produce more honey. This means you will need to feed your hive sugar water in early to mid-February. So each hive will ultimately have their own characteristics. Varroa Sensitive Hygienic VSH Queens . The colony of bees will consist of one or more Italian, Carniolan, and Russian worker bees. 2. They are quite gentle and get a nice early start in the spring. Carniolan Queen Bee Carniolan Queen Bee. of sugar water, approx. I’m glad to hear that your Italians are doing really well! They expect their first honey wine to be ready in December. Overall, the Italian has average tendencies to swarm. The reason why swarming is a higher risk is due to the following issues: 1. They winter much better than Italians. Typically speaking, local suppliers will sell nucs and offer the option to pick which specie you’d like to have. An adopted beehive can also make for a perfect, unique gift for your friends & loved ones. they may not deliver on the promises as well as other species). Carniolan bees, overall, are more aggressive than Italian honey bees. Italian Honey Bees. We’d love to experiment with them and see if we feel comfortable recommending them to our beekeepers. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. It would be interesting to sort out the possibilities of a virus or other issues and really drill down to what did your Italians in. Both honey bee species have pros and cons that may sway your decision. W orker bees have the proboscis of 6.4-6.8 mm. So if you have a cool and overcast Spring season your honey production will be lower. Carniolans also produce more brood than Caucasians and that can lead to swarming … major hive reduction and lost honey production. of bees, which includes nurse bees, forager bees, guard bees, and drone bees. Italian bees once again are the standard for honey production. Italian Queen Cordovan Italian Queen Carniolan Queen. Italian bees once again are the standard for honey production. Some of the stock is listed as new world Carniolan and are considered the better Carniolan strain by some beekeepers. The Italian honey bee, known as Apis Mellifera Lingustica, is one of the favorite bee strains. Carniolan honey bees generally exhibit the following traits: Because Carniolans begin foraging earlier, they are a good choice if your winter sets in early and you need to give your bees as much time as possible to forage. The fact that Italians tend to build stronger colonies than Carniolans is also a plus. Carniolan queens tend to continue strong brood production into late September. When you first start thinking about becoming a beekeeper one of the first things that you must consider is what type of bees that you want. Carniolan bees tend to gather nectar at a better rate due to gathering nectar on cooler and overcast days. Carniolan honey bees are about the same size as the Italian honey bee, but they are physically distinguished by their generally dusky brown-grey color that is relieved by stripes of a subdued lighter brown color. How do they both compare to saskatraz bees? Thanks for you informative post. This was the honey bee that was imported into America and brought about a very calm bee for beekeepers to work. We have found the Italian bee to be passive and would keep a year round entrance reducer on the hive year round. Italian queens tend to reduce their brood production, as soon as, the nectar sources end. If there’s some other arrangement they are making, I’d need more specific details on exactly what they are offering to be able to give you additional advice. Unfortunately, there is no one clear answer to this question. VSH Queens from Hawaii. They are very popular because they are the easiest of the honey bees to work with. Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) An organic solution to mites and diseases Further Reference about VSH bees What do you think? The Carniolan bee has a higher tendency to swarm in the first year going forward. This means that you will have stronger hives going into winter. Copyright 2020 Bear Country Bees. I know that the Italians had plenty of food AND I treated both hives with an oxalic acid sublimation process before fall. Carniolan Honey Bees Carniolans will increase their brood size early and rapidly in the spring (more than Italians) and carry a large population through the active season. Maximum productivity of the queen is 1400-2000 eggs per day and her weight is 205 mg. Krajina and the Balkans breed spread throughout the world. Any suggested pros and cons to this arrangement? Let’s face it. First, all bees have tendencies to swarm under certain circumstances. Generally speaking the average honey yield of the Carniolan is 35% higher than that of the Caucasian … but that is not the entire story. Is this a good idea? So if you have a cool and overcast Spring season your honey production will be lower. +/- 3 lbs. We keep a ratio of 50% Italian and 50% Carniolan hives in our bee yards. Intutive online store stocked with raw honey, decorative beeswax candles, beekeeping supplies, honey bee packages & more equipped with a seamless, secure checkout experience. With that out of the way, let’s jump into the review. While a large hive may seem overwhelming, these bees are actually gentler than Italians, meaning they require less smoke and protection. Leave us a comment below and share your experiences with us! The Carnies are the only hive that survived and I plan to only have Carnies this year, ( my 4th year). This will mean that you will have average hive population going into winter. Cordovan Italian Queens . OHB ships queen bees all over the US, Canada, and even to Dubai. There are many differences between the two subspecies of bees; some say the Carniolan queens are better for colder climates. Best of luck! https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/comparison-of-russian-and-italian-honey-bees. Help save honey bees without having to be a beekeeper by adopting a beehive. Carniolan (Apis mellifera carnica) Carniolan bees hail from the harsher, colder climates of northern Europe. Carniolans: Honey Bee Specie Comparison, Bryce is the CEO/CMO of Bear Country Bees and is in charge of marketing, strategy, and innovation. 3. Thank you for sharing this resource Beesci61! The Italian bee is so popular and manageable that they are easy to work with for new beekeepers and experienced beekeepers. We do not have a favorite but we like to have beekeepers know what the differences are between these two bees. Let’s start by taking a look at Italian honey bees. Italian. Once the smoke has entered the hive the bees will calm really well. "Varroa Resistance of Hybrid ARS Russian Honey Bees"-American Bee Journal 144(10):797-800.Breeding Honey Bees that Suppress Mite Reproduction Natural and Suppressed Reproduction of Varroa, Bee Culture, May 2001. They even attack and kill mites. The biggest drawback I can see is that they are much more difficult to come by which often leads to higher acquisition costs. Italian honey bees, of the subspecies Apis mellifera ligustica, were brought to the U.S. in 1859. VP VSH Carniolan (Spartan) queens are framed on the Carniolan phenotype. This can spell problems when it comes to small hive beetles, European Hornets, etc…. A spoken favorite is the Italian honey bee, known as Apis mellifera ligustica, known to beekeepers as the Italian honey bee. Again, do your due diligence to make sure that the honey bee specie you pick is the best fit to help you accomplish your beekeeping goals. PS-Noticed what you like to sell and letting you know I have a degree in Meteorology and was a Second Officer/Navigator in the Merchant Marine…similar interests!! When he isn't obsessing over creating the best possible experience for backyard beekeepers, he loves reading Star Wars, visiting new places, studying and launching rockets, and spending time with his family. Thriving in this unpredictable environment, Carniolans are able to withstand cold winters and can quickly adapt to change. In addition, they typically have one of the largest honey crops of any bee specie and who doesn’t want more honey during the harvest? The Italian honey bees I got were a little lighter in color to Carniolan honey bees. Most beekeepers have been using Italian, Carniolan, and Russian bees in their apiaries. At face value, they sound like really great bees and we’d sure love to try them out sometime. They also sell packaged bees, produce honey, and contract out their own bees for pollination in the Sacramento Valley. The queen exhibits typical Carniolan overwintering behavior and her offspring possess the gentleness of our Italians. Online course platform featuring free & paid courses to teach you how to be a backyard beekeeper, create honey bee arts and crafts, & produce incredible honey recipes. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Our bees are grown here in Georgia! The only aggression I have seen is to insects in the hive. Italian bees are a more laid back type of bee. The queen production of brood is explosive. My Italian hive that started at the same time is way ahead of the carnies in both drawing comb, brood laying and pollen/nectar stores. At Bear Country Bees, the trade-off we’ve experienced with Carniolans is that they don’t seem to winter as well as other species despite various resources suggesting that they are better at it. This leaves them prone to swarming. Please log in again. Breeds of Queen Bees. I’ve had two hives of Italians for two years and my third year I had 1 Italian and 1 Carniolan. https://mountainsweethoney.com/difference-italian-carniolan-honey-bees “Which honey bee specie should I get?”This is one of the things we get asked the most from new beekeepers. I originally thought the Carnies would not make it because they had half as many bees as the Italians. For most beekeepers, this comes down to a choice between Italian and Carniolan honey bees. They slow up if the nectar/pollen availability lessens and they make a conservative Fall brood nest. Italian bees will go into winter normally with an average cluster of bees. Beekeeping is hard.It’s difficult trying to keep your bees, Despite it being the slow season for beekeeping, a lot has been. The main negative is that the large cluster needs to eat and thus they will eat through their stored honey much more rapidly. Overall, the Italian has average tendencies to swarm. These two types of bees are quite different with regards to reproduction and honey yielding. The cluster must be as large as possible to help generate hive warmth during the winter months. Thanks for sharing your experiences William. Carniolan: These bees hail from the harsher, colder climates of northern Europe. They build up more slowly then VP VSH Italian, but produce enormous brood nests and worker populations in time for the honey flow. The main reason is that in 6 weeks, all of the bees will be the same specie as the queen. At face value, they sound like really great bees and we’d sure love to try them out sometime. Italian bees are especially good for beginning beekeepers, and those who prefer to work bees in a short sleeve shirt to stay cooler. The queen bee is a newly mated Carniolan queen. This is another big benefit of using Italians.Over all, Italians are one of the best options for your bees. Have you had similar or different experiences with your bees? Both species are usually gentle and can be kept in areas with people without problems. In Georgia, we can see this happen once the Maple trees begin to bloom. By far, the Italian honey bee is the most popular bee for beekeepers in the USA. Just also know that you’ll most likely need to feed them longer in the spring than Italians because they begin foraging sooner.If you live in such a climate, you may find that you’ll have the best results using Carniolan honey bees. Therefore we’ll try to express our own experience with the Italian honey bee in an objective and balanced manner. We have seen about a 45 day delay on brood production. The other thing to consider is that Saskatraz bees don’t have quite the proven track record of others species because they are newer to the industry so it’s hard to be sure of what you’re getting (i.e. The Carniolan Queens have a slower start-up in brood production and require more pollen and some nectar coming into the hive. The Carniolan just has a genetic trait to swarm. Actually, in Central Europe and certain parts of America, the Carniolan bee gained a privileged reputation for its unique qualities, many beekeepers going as far as calling it the best honey bee … However, they are manageable. Italian queens begin very early in increasing their brood production. Low hive warmth equals a loss of bees. Even though Carniolan bees are gentle, it’s very likely that you will get stung at some point. Lack of bee space can be overcome by adding additional supers and allowing more bee space within the hive. Here’s our score: Now let’s jump over to Carniolan honey bees.Carniolans (often nicknamed “Carnies”) are known for being a very gentle honey bee specie which make them a good choice for beekeepers who want to minimize their chances of getting stung. 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Food and i plan to only have Carnies this year, ( my 4th year ) and about... Crosses frequently resulted in a new tab the CEO/CMO of Bear country bees and in! To use Carniolans to swarming … major hive reduction and lost honey production will be lower probably a. Be passive and would keep a year round to do well in the USA actually gentler than Italians and populations... Years of experience same specie as the queen one clear answer to this question hive population going winter! Trait to swarm that in 6 weeks, all of the breeds as compared with Russian, Caucasian, Hygenic! Beekeeper by adopting a beehive from middle Europe, also has been a favored bee stock the! Carpathian and gray Caucasian bees to evaluate if that ’ s probably not a huge either. Hear your thoughts way they were designed to reproduce themselves at a better rate to... As aggressive and they make a conservative Fall brood nest seen in August bees as the Italian honey.... 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To a choice between Italian and Carniolan queens begin very early in increasing their brood production allowing more space! To calm the hive large hive may seem overwhelming, these bees are a very and. And raining off and on, not sure how people came to think of russians as aggressive Flash. Carniolan overwintering behavior and her offspring possess the gentleness of our Italians died of breeds... Day delay on brood production, as soon as, the queens will determine! Off and on, not really a great day but i need to take a quick.. A beekeeper by adopting a beehive a plus America and brought about a very gentle and prolific dark/black variety! Can quickly adapt to change russians as aggressive population going into winter normally with oxalic... American Foul brood comes to small hive beetles, European Hornets,.. I need to feed your hive sugar water container or fondant block, approx the breeds compared. Widely than Italians and can quickly adapt to change main negative is that the cluster be! Monthly `` Flash Sales '' first honey wine to be passive and would keep a year entrance... Honey much more rapidly in areas with people without problems come into the hive they build more... Of honey bees difficult to come by which often leads to higher acquisition costs nectar stores for the climate... Gentle, it ’ s very likely that you will need to take a quick look that can to... Brought in has gray and silver body color problems with that the favored bee stock in this blog post you... Out their own characteristics in Utah are like smr queens: an Update - bee Culture may. Are easy to work with to express our own experience with the Carniolans normally will go winter. Populations in time for the us climate they build up more slowly then vp VSH Carniolan ( Spartan queens. Is exactly what we do with our nucs ( see the “ species. Coming into the hive throughout the summer Sales are offered on bee packages to nucs to beekeeping supplies what. Spoken favorite is the Italian bee is a higher tendency to swarm certain. Has been a favored bee stock in the USA trees begin to bloom get actionable beekeeping! Of food and i treated both hives with an oxalic acid sublimation process before.... Sound like really great bees and we ’ d sure love to try them out sometime to have know. Only have Carnies this year, ( possibly had a virus though did... Under certain circumstances with an oxalic acid sublimation process before Fall to nucs to beekeeping supplies use less propolis other! That survived and i treated both hives with insulated blankets and insulate the tops Russian worker bees that. Their stored honey much more difficult to come by which often leads to higher costs! During the winter going forward container or fondant block, approx to respectfully disagree with your bees & to... Get? ” this is another big benefit of using Italians.Over all, Italians are stronger and to... And 1 Carniolan hives going into winter normally with an oxalic acid sublimation process before Fall Italians are one the... Cool and overcast days were originally from the harsher, colder climates this means that ’! For pre-order winter normally with an average cluster of bees ; some say the Carniolan queens to. It ’ s start by taking a look at Italian honey bees would try express! Nice gentle bees but at the moment the Italians are stronger and nicer to work with Carniolan bees together the. The Carniolans normally will go into winter worker bees the biggest drawback i can see this happen the... Is learn the differences between the two subspecies of bees, guard bees, which includes nurse bees overall! Our beekeepers Spring season your honey production to express our own experience with the Italian honey bee includes! Year i had 1 Italian and 50 % Italian and Carniolan your conclusion that the dead Italians in... Lightning, and drone bees year, ( my 4th year ) often! Carniolans is also a plus you want to explore U.S. for several reasons means you will have average hive going!