Apis mellifera carnica

kranjska čebela, Carniolan bee, Karnica, Karni, Grey bee


Apis mellifera carnica is a honey bee subspecies, first described by Pollmann in 1879. Its original habitat since the last glaciation is Balkan Peninsula with neighbouring regions.

Slovenia is often mentioned as a homeland of Carniolan honey bee. When considering distribution of A. m. carnica, however, it is evident that Slovenia sits at the western edge of its areal (Rihar, 2013). However, due to the vivid traffic with Carniolan queen bees since the 18th century, Carniolan honey bee is spread worldwide, today.

Due to its soft temper, adaptation to extreme low temperatures, good honey production in spring and summer (mainly produced on coniferous trees), Carniolan honey bee is in many countries well accepted and popular honey bee variety.

In the western part of Slovenia, in Primorska region, populations of A. m. carnica and A. m. ligustica are in close contact, representing the western border of the natural habitat of Carniolan honey bee. Both subspecies can be frequently found in this region, so it seems that territory of Italian honey bee partially overlaps with that of Carniolan bee.

HONEY BEE (Apis mellifera carnica, Pollmann 1879)

Apis mellifera carnica can be also found in parts of Croatia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Hungary, Romania.