There are two large groups of bees - wild and domesticated. The former live in nature, the latter are used in beekeeping. Domestic bees are bred to get honey and bee products. Their families , numbering tens of thousands of individuals, consist of drones, uterus and working bees. There are several dozen breeds that are used in beekeeping. Consider the most popular bee breeds - living in natural and artificial habitats.
The second name of Central Russian bees is dark European. These are the natives of central and northern Europe. Large insects are dark gray in color. Resistant to disease and tolerate frost. They have very prolific uterus - they can lay up to 3000 eggs per day. The average proboscis length is 6 mm. They differ in malicious character. Annoyed and react equally aggressively to:
- lack of attention from the beekeeper;
- excessive gross interference in the affairs of the bee family.
Do not steal. Swarm actively. The beehive is poorly protected from bees stealing honey. For a year, the family collects up to 100 kg of honey. They prefer to collect nectar from one culture - a valuable quality for beekeepers interested in monocultural varieties of honey. Minus - lingering on a single crop, they don’t switch on time to the best plant species, collecting honey on honey plants finishing flowering. Zoned in Russia, the Baltic states, Belarus.
This is a subspecies of the Central Russian bee. The breed was bred at the Scientific Research Institute of Beekeeping (Oryol Experimental Station). Insects are large, the color of the coat is dark gray. The advantage of the breed is the ability to withstand the most severe conditions. Because of this, the breed has late spring development, but it passes quickly. The individual weighs 104 g, the proboscis is 6.3 mm long. Compared with the Central Russian breed, less aggressive.
- Do not steal in other people's hives;
- increased immunity to diseases;
- uterine egg production - up to 3000 eggs per day;
- honey productivity - 50-70 kg per family;
- increased wax productivity;
- the Royliness is insignificant - up to 5%.
Oryol breed - late honey collections, they collect honey from linden, buckwheat, fireweed. Suitable for breeding in the Central, Volga, Ural and Siberian federal districts. The tribal base is located in the Oryol Polesie National Park (Oryol Oblast).
The specialist tells novice beekeepers about bee breeds and how to choose the best breed:
Insects weigh 113-117 g. Coloring - yellow. Loving, produce a lot of wax, swarm - average. They are prone to theft, actively protect their hive from thieves, fight wax moths. Proboscis length - up to 6.6 mm.
They are actively looking for food, they are easily changing honey plants. They are distinguished by exceptional hard work and are immune from the European foulbrood. The performance of the uterus is 3,000 eggs per day. Winter hardiness is low. During wintering, the family needs a lot of food. Minus - slow development in the spring. The breed is ideal for beekeepers from areas with late honey collection. Zoned in Italy.
Read more about the Italian bee breed here .
Carpathians are distinguished by ash color and a particularly long proboscis - up to 7 mm. This breed has the longest wings. Body size is medium.
- working bees quickly feed offspring - the family is actively growing;
- enterprising in the search for honey plants;
- actively form wax and other bee products;
- swarming is weak;
- immunity to disease;
- high frost resistance;
- economically consume feed base;
- do not pay attention to wax moth;
- honey collected by the carpathians contains little sugar;
Uterine productivity - 2000 eggs per day. Good pollinators. In this breed, the uterus is old and young, able to get along for 1.5 months. The birthplace of the breed is Transcarpathia.
Carpathians are zoned almost throughout Russia. By popularity, among domestic beekeepers, they are second only to the Central Russian breed.
A variety of Carpathian breed. It features a more meek temperament. Proboscis 6.7 mm long. Body color - gray, in front there is a silver pubescence. The breed is peaceful - beekeepers can inspect hives without nets and smokers. An evil temper can manifest itself in the fall season - when the weather goes bad.
They are distinguished by their entrepreneurial nature when collecting feed. They can use a variety of honey carriers . The productivity of one family in honey is from 50 to 120 kg. Gross wax - from 1.1 to 1.9 kg.
Caucasian bees come in two forms:
- Yellow . Zoned in the Caucasus. Yellowish color. Very thieves. Low frost resistance. The uterus brings up to 1700 eggs per day. Swarming is strong. What swarming is fraught with and how to deal with it - read here .
- Gray mountain . The habitat is the Caucasus and Transcaucasia. The length of the trunk is 7.2 mm. This is a record length for bees. Peace-loving, swarming is weak. They produce a lot of propolis , actively seek honey, quickly change honey plants, and pollinate legumes well. Fly in the rain and fog. Average winter hardiness, uterine productivity - up to 1,500 eggs.
The breed is thermophilic, therefore it is interesting only to beekeepers from the southern regions.
The second name is North Caucasian. This is a population of yellow Caucasian bee. On the belly are yellow rings. Very thermophilic. They make winter overflights. Loving, but do not tolerate other types of queens. Collect a lot of honey. They love to steal. Minus - working bees can transform into tinder fungus.
Less resistant to rotten diseases than Central Russian. To date, the breed in its pure form has almost not survived - beekeepers of the southern regions breed crosses from crossing local queens and drones of Kuban bees. The habitat is the North Caucasus, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories.
The second name is Georgian bees. This is a population of the Caucasian breed, which today is actively moving to the north - Megrelian bees are distinguished by good frost resistance. Insects have a silver-gray color without yellow inclusions. The proboscis of Megrelian bees is longer than that of an ordinary Caucasian bee - up to 7.25 mm and even up to 7.5 mm. This length allows insects to get nectar from narrow tubular flowers.
Uterine productivity - up to 1,500 eggs per day. Beekeepers love to work with the Megrelian breed because of the combination of activity with peacefulness - a lot of honey and little aggression. Many beekeepers work only with this breed - it is so successful.
The second name is karnika. Color is gray. Silver edge. The body is small. Characteristic features of the Krajina breed of bees :
- calm and peaceful;
- early spring development;
- the formation of propolis is weak;
- do not suffer from padic toxicosis;
- swarm - medium;
- actively changing melliferous plants.
The initial habitat is the Alps, Austria, Yugoslavia. The most popular breed in Europe. More winter hardy than Caucasian. The breed is bred by beekeepers from regions with a warm and temperate climate. They are also bred in areas where collection of honeydew is possible.
This is the conditional name of bees that live in the Far East, in Siberia, in the Altai Territory. Often they are called Central European and dark forest bees. Unpretentious, adapted to severe weather conditions. Their honey is valued for its environmental friendliness. Over a short summer, bees have to do a lot, so they are extremely able-bodied.
Distinctive qualities of the breed:
- high productivity;
- persistent immunity;
- uterine fertility;
- the healing power of honey;
- frost resistance;
- sparingly consume food during the winter.
The breed for hard work is appreciated not only by Russian, but also foreign beekeepers.
Their full name is Ukrainian steppe bees. They have long been living in the forest-steppes of Ukraine, Russia, and Moldova. Similar to Central Russian, but have a lighter color. Proboscis up to 6.5 mm. Moderately aggressive, tolerate cold well. They are prone to swarming (how to stop swarming - described here ). These are large insects, hardworking and brave - able to protect the hive. Uterine productivity - about 2,000 eggs.
The Ukrainian breed is very hardworking - if the bees are not busy collecting honey, they clean up the hive. Thanks to cleanliness, steppe bees rarely get sick.
Prefer plants with a high sugar content. Activity begins in early spring. Harvesting honey during the season - 40 kg. Flies at temperatures of +8 degrees. They are peaceful, so they are easy to breed even for beginners to beekeepers.
This is a variety of Ukrainian breed. It tolerates cold. Honey productivity is 70 kg for one family, which is more than the average indicator - 50 kg. It lives in the north and west of Ukraine. Coloring is dark gray, without yellow color. They differ in average size. The disadvantage is increased aggressiveness towards humans.
- immunity against most diseases;
- collect honey well from buckwheat, linden, cultivated plants;
- high quality honey.
The breed is suitable for breeding in Russia, its biggest drawback is aggression, otherwise it is a very suitable option for the production of honey.
This is a product of free crossbreeding of Ukrainian, Caucasian and Central Russian breeds. Proboscis about 6.8 mm long. Body color - from pure gray to yellowish.
- variability of signs;
- enterprising in finding feed;
- moderately thieving;
- poorly receive implanted uterus;
- winter hardiness is high;
- uterine egg production - up to 1550 pieces per day;
- immune to foulbrood;
- family productivity for honey - 30-60 kg, sometimes 200 kg;
- high wax productivity.
Beekeepers in this breed are attracted to earlier and rapid development. Recommended for breeding in the Far Eastern Federal District.
They are also called "black" bees. The black body is framed by yellow down. They live mainly in France. The breed is calm, but smoke is actively avoided. However, they do not leave the whole hive with a swarm. They have developed immunity, are hardy and aggressive. Able to withstand cold winters. Today, beekeepers have lost interest in this breed due to aggressiveness and susceptibility to European and American foulbrood.
Buckfast bees - a hybrid that does not have a natural habitat. The breed is very profitable, the uterus is expensive. The breed is popular all over the world due to the following features:
- resistant to tracheal ticks that can eradicate bees with entire families;
- peaceful - practically do not sting a person;
- not prone to swarming;
- unpretentious to the content.
The disadvantage is low frost resistance. This breed was bred in a humid British climate, it is thermophilic and does not suit beekeepers from the northern regions.
This is one of the best varieties of dark European bees. The second name is Burzyan bees. The name of the breed was given by habitat - they live in the reserve of the Burzyansky district. The body is dark gray, without yellow color. Large insects, proboscis 5.6 mm.
Features of the breed:
- poorly protect their hives;
- resistant to European foulbrood;
- prefers linden and medicinal plants as honey plants;
- fly around at +7 degrees;
- in adverse weather, their performance decreases;
- Do not fly out of the hives in the heat;
- can work in the rain.
Hardworking insect can work for 17 hours. The disadvantages of the breed are aggression against beekeepers. The Bashkir breed is recommended for breeding. In Bashkiria, bees are engaged not only in apiaries, but also gobble in the forests. Honey is extracted from the hollows of abandoned trees.
These are very large insects that live in Asia. The breed prefers to live in colonies. Asian bees attach nests to tree trunks and branches.
This is a small insect, calm and peaceful. It features a peculiar appearance. The Thai breed, unlike most bees, has no stripes on its abdomen - it is black. The wings are darker than other bees. In Russia, this breed is little known, here it is practically not common. A distinctive feature of the breed - Thai bees are completely safe for humans, they do not sting people, so in Thailand there are a lot of tourists on bee farms.
This breed was brought to Europe from Africa. Outwardly, the insect is nondescript, painted in dark color. The main difference is extreme aggressiveness and irritability. They attack with lightning speed, usually attack in groups. Today the breed has settled throughout Europe. The insect is large, evil, frost-resistant. They are characterized by high productivity for honey.
The breed is suitable for regions with fleeting summers and long, cold winters. Breeding is complicated due to the aggressiveness of the breeds. European bees are bred even in Siberia, in Kamchatka, in Yakutia.
It looks like a Caucasian breed. Differs in aggressive disposition. The big disadvantage is vulnerability to the cold. The most yellow-colored breed of all that live in the CIS. Persian bee is different:
For a long time, this breed, the only one in Iran, was little known. In appearance, the "Persians" are similar to the Italian breed - they are medium in size, their body is yellow. Iran has extremely poor conditions for honey collection, but in Tauris and in northwestern Persia, bees collect nectar, fluttering over mountain flowers.
Beekeepers do not like this breed - it is extremely difficult to work with it because of its bad nature and low frost resistance.
For Abkhazia, honey is a product of paramount importance. Beekeeping is highly developed here. There is a breed of own breeding. The main difference between the Abkhazian breed is peaceability and industriousness. Beekeepers of Abkhazia assure that their bees do not bite at all. This wonderful breed has interested beekeepers in Russia and Ukraine.
These are not even bees, but real hornets. This giant insect is the largest representative in its class. Tiger is not even called for coloring, but for the excruciating pain caused by bites. Special substances in the hornet venom cause soreness. This insect is a threat not only to humans, but also to bees. Tiger monsters are constantly looking for food. They are able to attack the whole apiary, and kill all the honey plants. They fly away, taking honey, larvae, bee corpses with them.
They are also called wax bees, and are considered a subspecies of the Indian breed. Chinese bees are the largest in the Asian region. The body of the insect is 11 mm or more in length.
Features of the breed:
- produce high quality honey;
- they protect hives well from attacks of predatory insects - wasps, hornets, and from thieves-relatives;
- hard-working honey carriers;
- produce a lot of wax;
- able to fly and collect honey in cool weather - very frost-resistant;
- are loyal to beekeepers;
- swarming - medium.
Beekeepers value the breed for profitability and peace. A very promising breed for the mass production of honey.
Confusion reigns in the Altai bees gene pool - almost all breeds that lived on the territory of the USSR are mixed here. Moreover, all the negative qualities of the predecessors have gathered in this population - insects are distinguished by weakness, soreness, low frost resistance.
These bees are completely unsuitable for breeding. Differ in low medical productivity. During the winter, up to 20% of the family dies. Subject to nosematosis . During the winter, they consume almost the entire supply of honey.
In appearance, “carpenters” look like bumblebees. They are also called black bees, and scientifically - purple xylops. Very ancient insects. Unlike bumblebees, they do not have yellow on the body. The color of the drones and queens is black, the wings are blue. Collect honey in any weather. Having shaggy paws are good pollinators.
Blue bumblebees are large - up to 3 cm in length. This is a separate insect - it does not swarm. Beekeepers try to tame carpenters to make ordinary honey plants out of them. While attempts have failed, the xylopope does not develop in an artificial habitat.
This breed is considered extinct. She disappeared in the 50s. last century. The cause of disappearance is a tracheal mite lesion. The tragic story with the English bees served as an impetus for breeding stronger and healthier bees that are resistant to the tick.
The insect is 1.1-1.2 cm long. It is painted in black, green, blue and purple colors. They are distinguished by their peacefulness. One female produces 20-40 bees.
Features of the breed:
- flattened body;
- large rounded abdomen;
- long proboscis and strong lower jaw, with which they cut leaves.
This breed is bred to pollinate strategically important melliferous plants - alfalfa, melon, vegetables. Honey leaf cutters do not produce, live alone. The habitat is the whole world. The breed was brought everywhere - to Australia and Mongolia, to Siberia and Africa, America and the Far East. The goal is pollination of alfalfa.
They live in the wild. Uterus and working bees have no visual difference. Honeycombs are built on trees or in crevices of rocks. The body length of the uterus and working bees is 16 mm, the drones are 18 mm. The color is yellowish. Honeycombs may contain 25-27 kg of honey. Aggressive towards troublemakers. If disturbed, leave the nest forever. These are wild bees that cannot be domesticated.
They live in mountainous areas. Coloring is yellow-black. Build nests on trees and rocks. Migrate with the onset of cold weather. Himalayan bee honey is obtained by the aborigines of the foothills of the Himalayas - it has a unique healing composition.
Himalayan bee spring honey contains pollen from rhododendrons, a source of hallucinogenic substances.
A unique video in which you will see a swarm of real Himalayan bees:
These bees are the result of crosses between Central Russian and Caucasian bees. They have a peaceful disposition. Collect a lot of honey. But compared with the original breeds, they have a higher brood - 15% higher. Almost the entire body of the insect is painted gray, and only a small part is yellow.
The breed is resistant to nosematosis. The disadvantage is limited frost resistance, the breed does not take root in the northern latitudes. The breed is popular among beekeepers due to the peacefulness and high productivity of bees.
A species of bees inhabiting Southeast Asia and Australia. They differ in large size. Painted in black and blue. Cuckoo bee nests are not built. They throw offspring to other bees - from the Amegill family. Cuckoos are lazy and slow, they do not collect pollen.
These are the smallest representatives of the bee genus. Body length - up to 2 mm. They can leak even through the cells of the mosquito net. Habitat - USA. They love to "graze" on milkweed. They are not suitable for breeding, as they live alone. Nests are built in the ground, choosing an arid area.
These insects build their nests underground. Their holes are connected to each other by moves. Up to a hundred holes can be in one network. The walls of the walkways are earthen, bees treat them with nectar.
The body of insects is covered with thick wool. They look like bumblebees, but smaller in size. Females are larger than males. Favorite honey plant - coltsfoot flowers. They prefer to live in a sandy area, they are often found in pine forests, in low mountains.
Wild bees adapted to a harsh habitat. They have strong immunity and winter hardiness. Resistant to foulbrood and toxicosis. The only problem for them is a wax moth. The uterus lays up to 2,000 eggs per day.
Wild honey is only 50% “honey”, the rest are medicinal substances that help the family survive in harsh climatic conditions.
Forest bees provide valuable forest honey. People extract it from wood hollows. The most environmentally friendly honey. It is expensive, it’s difficult to buy.
A common species of forest bees is Central Russian dark. They have a large volume of honey ventricle, therefore, they carry a lot of honey. They are characterized by hard work and aggressiveness. Forest honey is extracted most of all in Bashkiria, Belarus and in the Perm Territory. Beekeepers assure that forest bees are distinguished by a small mortality.
Large insects, completely covered with yellow wool. Dark stripes are lighter than other species. They are carriers of toxic poison.
- increased vitality;
- high level of aggression;
- easily adapts to any weather;
- productive - can produce three times more honey than regular bees.
African bees can chase the abuser up to 500 m. Especially annoying are their vibrations and movements. To calm down after irritation, an African bee needs 8 hours, while a European bee needs 1-2 hours.
They are called killer bees. Able to attack in a swarm. This is the most aggressive species of bees, and they are not used in beekeeping.
In Russia, many productive bee breeds are bred, which become the basis of a profitable business. In the Central zone, breeding of purebred bees of the Central Russian and Carpathian breeds is most profitable.