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. I know that the Italians had plenty of food AND I treated both hives with an oxalic acid sublimation process before fall. That said, most of the time you can’t go wrong using Carniolan bees. "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. 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. 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. There are many differences between the two subspecies of bees; some say the Carniolan queens are better for colder climates. Click now to secure your bees. they may not deliver on the promises as well as other species). 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!! They even attack and kill mites. Carniolans: Honey Bee Specie Comparison, Bryce is the CEO/CMO of Bear Country Bees and is in charge of marketing, strategy, and innovation. This will mean that you will have average hive population going into winter. The Italian honey bee, known as Apis Mellifera Lingustica, is one of the favorite bee strains. Italian honey bees, of the subspecies Apis mellifera ligustica, were brought to the U.S. in 1859. They slow up if the nectar/pollen availability lessens and they make a conservative Fall brood nest. SMR Queens : an Update - Bee Culture, May 2002. Italian worker bees are light in color, while the queen is a bit darker, which makes her easy to … Italian bees will go into winter normally with an average cluster of bees. Therefore we’ll try to express our own experience with the Italian honey bee in an objective and balanced manner. ​​In these reviews, you might find things that many others won’t agree with and that’s ok. We encourage all beekeepers to do their due diligence and make sure to select products that best fit their beekeeping goals. Russian Queen sources . 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. Most beekeepers have been using Italian, Carniolan, and Russian bees in their apiaries. It has been our experience that the Carniolans produce about 15% more honey then the Italians due to their ability to fly on cool and overcast days. It’s important to know that you won’t go wrong using either of these honey bee species for either backyard or commercial beekeeping. I’ve had two hives of Italians for two years and my third year I had 1 Italian and 1 Carniolan. Our Carniolan package bees include: a screen box, sugar water container or fondant block, approx. Both are nice gentle bees but at the moment the Italians are stronger and nicer to work with. Further Reference about VSH bees This means you will need to feed your hive sugar water in early to mid-February. Unfortunately, there is no one clear answer to this question. They were easily installed into the hive. 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. So if you have a cool and overcast Spring season your honey production will be lower. Package bee suppliers. You don’t have to look very hard to find resources that state that Carniolans winter better than Italians do. Hybrid bees have been produced by crossing several lines or races of honey bees. The main negative is that the large cluster needs to eat and thus they will eat through their stored honey much more rapidly. The most readily available bees are the Italian, Carniolan, Russian, Caucasian, Minnesota Hygenic Italian, Buckfast, and Cordovan Italian. Thanks for sharing your experiences William. The Carniolan bee has a higher tendency to swarm in the first year going forward. of bees, which includes nurse bees, forager bees, guard bees, and drone bees. 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. The queens tend to begin increasing their brood production once the pollen begins to come into the hive. Let’s start by taking a look at Italian honey bees. We’ve also seen (on average) that our Italians do better all-around than Carniolans which is why we tend to recommend them. Its cloudy and raining off and on, not really a great day but I need to take a quick look. It is the way they were designed to reproduce themselves. They are very popular because they are the easiest of the honey bees to work with. Italian bees are especially good for beginning beekeepers, and those who prefer to work bees in a short sleeve shirt to stay cooler. {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}, Italians v.s. Italians tend to not gather nectar during cooler and overcast days. So each hive will ultimately have their own characteristics. We did have 2 short periods when the temperature was down to since digits, overnite. However, they are manageable. These Queen bees are a very gentle and prolific dark/black bee variety. The Carniolan Queens have a slower start-up in brood production and require more pollen and some nectar coming into the hive. I do quick winter bee hive checks, lift the lid. Italian queens tend to reduce their brood production, as soon as, the nectar sources end. Receive an email when we publish a new post. With that out of the way, let’s jump into the review. First, all bees have tendencies to swarm under certain circumstances. Italian bees are a more laid back type of bee. By far, the Italian honey bee is the most popular bee for beekeepers in the USA. We haven’t used Saskatraz bees yet but I do know that they originate from Saskatchewan, Canada. 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. 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! In Georgia, we can see this happen once the Maple trees begin to bloom. Leave us a comment below and share your experiences with us! When showing the difference between Italian and Carniolan bee, we also have to take into consideration that there are two strains of Italian honey bee. Lack of bee space can be overcome by adding additional supers and allowing more bee space within the hive. https://mountainsweethoney.com/difference-italian-carniolan-honey-bees The cluster must be as large as possible to help generate hive warmth during the winter months. I have to conclude that they died of the cold. Is this a good idea? Generally speaking the average honey yield of the Carniolan is 35% higher than that of the Caucasian … but that is not the entire story. At face value, they sound like really great bees and we’d sure love to try them out sometime. Swarms of this race tend to disperse more widely than Italians. Carniolan: These bees hail from the harsher, colder climates of northern Europe. +/- 3 lbs. ​Curated collection of delicious honey recipes ranging from snacks, desserts, & appetizers to​ main dishes & full meals. The subspecies A. m. carnica, from middle Europe, also has been a favored bee stock in the U.S. for several reasons. I live in East PA and we have some fairly cold winters. Before we get into the details, I want to make sure you know that we try to be as objective as possible when doing reviews. Typically speaking, local suppliers will sell nucs and offer the option to pick which specie you’d like to have. Specifically, Italian honey bees are known to do the following: Our experience has shown that Italians are the most balanced of any honey bee specie. Thanks for you informative post. 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. This can spell problems when it comes to small hive beetles, European Hornets, etc…. Our bees are grown here in Georgia! We keep a ratio of 50% Italian and 50% Carniolan hives in our bee yards. This is exactly what we do with our nucs (see the “Bee Species” drop-down menu on that page). If they are mixing Italian and Carniolan bees together in the same hive, it’s probably not a huge deal either. We promise we will not overload your email account. “Which honey bee specie should I get?”This is one of the things we get asked the most from new beekeepers. Carniolan Queens . For most beekeepers, this comes down to a choice between Italian and Carniolan honey bees.Both honey bee species have pros and cons that may sway your decision. Carniolan queens tend to continue strong brood production into late September. These bees were originally from the Carniolan Alps, which are located in parts of Austria and Slovenia. Some of the stock is listed as new world Carniolan and are considered the better Carniolan strain by some beekeepers. The fact that Italians tend to build stronger colonies than Carniolans is also a plus. 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. Italian bees will tend to swarm during their second year within the hive. Hopefully, this is helpful. Thank you for sharing this resource Beesci61! Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) An organic solution to mites and diseases I see a local seller offering a nuc with BOTH Italian and Carniolan. The queen ultimately determines which specie your hive will be. Populate your hive with this quick-ship 3-lb package of Harvest Lane Honey BEESCA-101 Live Carniolan Honey Bees. In this blog post, you’ll learn these differences as well as our recommendation for our favorite specie. Carniolans tend to need a little smoke to calm the hive when you have to work them. The Carniolan just has a genetic trait to swarm. This is our score for Carniolan: When comparing these two species based on the above criteria, our recommendation for most beekeepers is to use Italian bees. Bryce is the CEO/CMO of Bear Country Bees and is in charge of marketing, strategy, and innovation. This is another big benefit of using Italians.Over all, Italians are one of the best options for your bees. Naturally mated queen suppliers. With that said, let’s look at the following characteristics: popularity of the bee, spring brood production, fall brood production, swarming tendencies, temperament, honey production, and wintering. OHB ships queen bees all over the US, Canada, and even to Dubai. Unfortunately, there is no one clear answer to this question. Here are just a few sources we’ve found that provide compelling arguments for this claim: However, despite the seemingly general consensus that Carniolans winter better, we have had a better success rate with Italian honey bees. The Carniolans normally will go into winter with a large cluster of bees. The Italian honey bees I got were a little lighter in color to Carniolan honey bees. Once the smoke has entered the hive the bees will calm really well. 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 … Carniolan bees are a subspecies of the western honeybee and originated in what is … The Carniolan virgins are mated with our Italian drones, resulting in an excellent mix of both Italian and Carniolan traits which many customers prefer. This means that you will have stronger hives going into winter. VP VSH Carniolan (Spartan) queens are framed on the Carniolan phenotype. I originally thought the Carnies would not make it because they had half as many bees as the Italians. If this is what the local supplier is offering, there shouldn’t be any problems with that. 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. For most beekeepers, this comes down to a choice between Italian and Carniolan honey bees. The Saskatraz honey bee shows some amazingly good promise to do well in the battle. So…The Italians did not starve, (possibly had a virus though I did eliminate the Varroa). Carniolan Bees. American beekeepers have been using Italian honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica) since they were first imported to the New World in 1859.The standard German honey bee (A. m. mellifera), which had been in America for more than 200 years, was by that time ill-tempered, disease-ridden, and less suited for honey bee management.Conversely, the Italian bees were and are excellent honey … The biggest drawback I can see is that they are much more difficult to come by which often leads to higher acquisition costs. As we all know, the queens will ultimately determine the characteristics of the hive. I DO also wrap my hives with insulated blankets AND insulate the tops. ​​Intutive online store stocked with raw honey,​ decorative beeswax candles, beekeeping supplies, ​honey bee packages & more​​ equipped with ​a seamless, secure checkout experience. In NE Georgia, this can be seen in August. NC did an in-depth study comparing the two. 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? 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. All Rights Reserved. Let’s face it. 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. Both honey bee species have pros and cons that may sway your decision. Best of luck! All the Italian hives have died over winter. This will happen during the Spring season and into summer. https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/comparison-of-russian-and-italian-honey-bees. Overall, the Italian has average tendencies to swarm. Italian bees once again are the standard for honey production. "Pure" russians are not well suited for the US climate. I’m glad to hear that your Italians are doing really well! W orker bees have the proboscis of 6.4-6.8 mm. 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. 3. 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. The colony of bees will consist of one or more Italian, Carniolan, and Russian worker bees. In our experience, Italian bees have an edge over Carniolans in both their ability to successfully winter and produce more honey. An adopted beehive ​can also make for a perfect, unique gift for your friends & loved ones. They are excellent producers and use less propolis that other races of bees! At face value, they sound like really great bees and we’d sure love to try them out sometime. Italian Honey Bees. So if you have a cool and overcast Spring season your honey production will be lower. If you have severe aversion to getting stung, beekeeping may not be the activity for you. The best thing you can do is learn the differences between these two species and make your decision from there. Carniolan bees are in the minority of bees in the USA. I’ve read that they do not form tight clusters as well as the Carnies. 2. Varroa Sensitive Hygienic VSH Queens . How do they both compare to saskatraz bees? 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. Italian bees once again are the standard for honey production. Italians tend to not gather nectar during cooler and overcast days. Low hive warmth equals a loss of bees. Please log in again. 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. Italian / Carniolan Hybrid ... (Russian) bees to the Italian stock that has already under gone hundreds of years of selective breeding for production and gentleness. They are currently expanding their business to include a restaurant and meadery in town. Why? They quickly became the favored bee stock in this country and remain so to this day. Their chitin is dark, but it is possible to find lighter colored or brown colored rings and … This should not be under-estimated. Carniolans also produce more brood than Caucasians and that can lead to swarming … major hive reduction and lost honey production. Swarms of this race tend to disperse more widely than Italians. The queen production of brood is explosive. of sugar water, approx. The main reason is that in 6 weeks, all of the bees will be the same specie as the queen. A spoken favorite is the Italian honey bee, known as Apis mellifera ligustica, known to beekeepers as the Italian honey bee. (We personally respond to every comment!). Have you had similar or different experiences with your bees? 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. These varieties have been susceptible to varroa mite, tracheal mite, and fungal issues such as American Foul Brood. Our Flash Sales are offered on bee packages to nucs to beekeeping supplies. Italian queens begin very early in increasing their brood production. 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