Photos and description of honeybees


There are simply a huge number of bee species (Apoidea). Only in the European part of the former USSR, there are more than a thousand. But, of course, only one species is of interest to humans - the honeybee (Apis mellifera).

They took away the most productive insects and people have bred them for a long time. The result was the emergence of a large number of different breeds of honey bees. It is advisable to breed each of them in a certain area with appropriate climatic conditions.

A bit of history: the very first breed of bees and their characteristics

The homeland of these hymenoptera is the Middle East, Europe and Africa. On the resettlement of bees in other parts of the world, a person practically did not have any influence. Such factors as climate change, fauna and flora were primarily determining. As a result of evolutionary selection - over time, in a natural way - several primitive bee breeds appeared. Modern beekeepers call them races. Each such group served as a starting point for creating the most productive domesticated rocks. “Attachment” to this particular locality is what insects, like bees, are primarily characterized by. Breeds, reviews of which are the best, as a rule, zoned. In most cases, even the name of the variety comes precisely from the area in which it was bred. Being transported, any factory family is likely to lose in productivity.

What breeds are bred in Russia

In our country, beekeeping is also engaged in a long time. And consequently, there are many varieties of "workers" bred in apiaries. Here are the most popular bee breeds in Russia:

Representatives of all these species are very productive and prolific bees. Breeds of bees can vary in different ways. For what exactly, and consider below.

Central Russian bee: general description

This breed is bred in Russia everywhere. It is also popular in Siberia. Brought her here in 1792 from Bashkiria, Colonel N. F. Arshenevsky. After that, these bees were gradually resettled throughout Siberia. Over the past century, the appearance of the Bashkir variety has not changed at all. The Central Russian breed of bees has the following characteristics:

proboscis 5.9-6.4 mm long,

very large sizes (a one-day bee weighs about 110 g),

dark color - from black to rich gray, without yellowness,

quick response to external stimuli and anger,

penchant for swarming,

disease resistance and endurance.

The advantages of the Central Russian bee

To date, this breed is considered in our country the most productive. During the flight, the Central Russian bee can bring just a huge amount of honey. This breed, for example, owns a record-breaking fee from fireweed - 328 kg per year from a family.

The ability to endure a 7-8 month free winter hibernation, which is absolutely painless, is another advantage these bees have. Breeds of bees, as already mentioned, independently migrate very rarely. This does not apply to Central Russian. This is one of the rare breeds that can spread over large areas without human intervention.

Unfortunately, today beekeepers are not paying too much attention to the Central Russian bee. And absolutely in vain. This is actually the best breed of bees in Russia. Its high productivity, insensitivity to diseases, endurance - all this can make the apiary much more cost-effective than when breeding southern varieties.

Ukrainian steppe: description

How exactly this breed appeared is still unknown to anyone. Some researchers believe that the Ukrainian steppe bee is just the southern branch of the Central Russian. Others suggest that she is a relative of the Carpathian or Krayna. But, be that as it may, the Ukrainian steppe is so much different from any other species of bees, both in appearance and in behavior, that it can easily be distinguished as a separate breed. This was done in 1929 by the scientist A. S. Skorikov.

The main distinguishing features of the Ukrainian steppe are:

proboscis length 6.34-6.64 cm,

quite a lot of weight (105 g)

dark gray color without yellowness,

not too high anger,

low propensity for swarming,

resistance to diseases and insensitivity to low temperatures.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Ukrainian steppe bee

The advantages of this breed, in addition to endurance, include high productivity and activity in relation to the protection of their nests from honey theft by other insects. Fertility, easy way out of the pre-war state, the tendency to maintain perfect purity in the hive is what distinguishes the Ukrainian steppe bees. Breeds of bees are distinguished by the conditions of honey collection. In this respect, the Ukrainian steppe is inferior to some other species. Its disadvantages include primarily the fact that it is capable of collecting nectar only from plants with a high sugar content (from 18%).

Carpathian bee: signs of breed

This species is also characterized by a whole complex of valuable economic and biological features. A systematic study of it began in 1966 on the initiative of the professor of the agricultural academy. Timiryazeva G. A. Avtisyan. The Carpathian breed of bees is characterized by the following main features:

very long proboscis 6.3-7 m,

large sizes (up to 110 g),

gray color of the abdomen,

not too high propensity for swarming,

relative disease resistance and insensitivity to low temperatures.

Carpathian bees at an earlier age than other breeds start collecting nectar. Honey, these insects are printed in a "dry" way.

Some time ago, beekeepers, breeders was bred a special breed type of Carpathian bee - Moscow. The mass of one-day individuals of this group can reach 120 g. The Moscow breed of bees is light silver in color.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Carpathian breed

The advantages of bees living in the foothills of the Carpathians, include high productivity, endurance and peace-loving nature. Unlike many others, this breed is able to collect a large amount of honey even from plants with a low sugar content. The disadvantages of this bee are the inclination to theft, lowered production of propolis and indifference to the wax moth. And yet, due to high productivity, the Carpathian and Moscow are very popular breeds of bees in Russia.

Extreme bees

This species was formed in the foothills of the Alps. It was from her that the Carpathian bee later went. In its climatic zones, this breed is of special economic value. Its main distinguishing features are:

not too long proboscis (6.9 mm),

quite large weight (up to 110 g)

gray with a silver tint, black or brownish color of the abdomen,

rather high propensity for swarming,

winter hardiness and disease resistance.

In addition, the breed is characterized by early spring development. These bees are capable of collecting nectar at an altitude of up to 1500 meters above sea level.

Pros and cons of the krainsky bee

The advantages of this breed include high activity in the strong honey collection, the ability to quickly switch from the worst plants to the best, adaptability to harsh weather conditions, economical consumption of fodder supplies in winter. The main disadvantage of the Carpathian breed, in addition to the propensity for swarming, is the weak protection of the nest against theft.

Features of breed Bakfast

Breeds of bees, the description of which was given above, can be bred in almost any region of the country. Buckfast is a kind of productive, but not too cold-resistant. Therefore, it is suitable for breeding mainly only in the southern climatic zones. This hybrid was bred in the 20s of the last century by the monk Karl Kerhle by crossing Italian, Anatolian, Macedonian, Egyptian and Greek breeds. The main distinguishing features of bee bakfast are:

medium proboscis,

large weight (115 g),

uniform yellow-brown color,

average propensity for swarming,

resistance to diseases (especially to acarapidosis) and sensitivity to low temperatures.

The bees of this breed very well clean the hives of debris and can fly for a bribe over long distances.

Advantages and disadvantages

Of all the West European bee breeds, bacfast is the most productive. In addition, these bees are distinguished by their fecundity and high adaptability to changing environmental conditions. The disadvantages primarily include a low degree of winter hardiness. When breeding in the northern regions of Russia, the hives for these bees should be insulated.

Mountain Caucasian bee: main characteristics

What breeds of bees breed in the south of our country yet? Mountain Caucasian lives mainly in the mountains of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. In our country, she is bred in the Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories. Its main distinguishing features are:

proboscis length 6.7-7.25 mm

not too much body weight (up to 90 g),

silver-gray color of chitin without yellow inclusions,

slight penchant for swarming,

not too high resistance to diseases, insensitivity to frost.

Bees of this breed do not like dampness. Therefore, in the hives need to arrange good ventilation. In the cold season, this species of bees can be maintained not only in winter roads, but also in the wild.

Pros and cons of gray Caucasian breed

The advantages of this variety of bees primarily include the ability to collect a large amount of honey, even from plants containing little sugar. Gain in the hive can be up to 1.5 kg per day. Also a plus of the gray Caucasian breed is the good ability of families to protect the nest and the high yield of propolis.

The disadvantages of this species of bees include primarily not very good resistance to diseases. For such bee families in the hives should create the most comfortable conditions. Compared to the Ukrainian steppe and central Russian, this breed does not tolerate low temperatures so well. Therefore, it is suitable at most for breeding only in the southern regions of the country. Also, these bees are somewhat losing to other species in terms of honey output on high bribes.

The main products of beekeeping

The main advantage of all the above breeds is, of course, high productivity. What is meant by this concept? The main products of beekeeping are honey, wax and propolis. In addition, these insects are bred in apiaries in order to get very valuable royal jelly, perga and bee venom.

Honey properties

This main product of beekeeping has a rather complex chemical composition. Honey has healing, bactericidal and dietary properties. Its characteristics depend on many factors: the breed of bees, the type of plants, weather conditions, etc. Depending on this, honey can have different water content, chemical composition, color, degree of crystallization, etc.

There are several types of this product:

very liquid (clover, acacia),

liquid (buckwheat, linden),

Honey is used in the food industry, cosmetology, medicine. It is added to cakes and pastries, anti-aging creams, gels and shampoos are made with its use. In medicine, this product is mainly used as a strengthening immunity and anti-inflammatory agent. In addition, honey is also a natural antibiotic.

The value of beeswax

This product in the hive performs two functions at once: protects the bees from moisture, covering their chitinous shell, and serves as a material for building honeycombs. Like honey, beeswax can have different colors and composition. This valuable product is used in many areas of the economy: leather industry, light industry, food industry, and even in metallurgy and aircraft industry. One of the main areas of its application is medicine. Wax is used in the treatment of skin diseases, as a wound healing and anti-inflammatory agent.

What is propolis?

This is another product obtained by breeding such valuable insects as bees. Breeds of bees are numerous and they all produce useful propolis. They call it so special dark-colored adhesive. Bees use it to seal cracks in a hive. The color and smell of this substance depends primarily on the kind of honey plants growing in the immediate vicinity of the apiary. Propolis can be brown or black. All sorts of nutrients - vitamins, amino acids and trace elements - this product contains just a huge amount.

The most widely used bee glue found in medicine. It helps to treat eczema and other skin diseases, gastritis, gastric ulcer, colitis, etc.

Royal jelly

This is perhaps the most valuable product of beekeeping. Milk insects are used for feeding uterine larvae at all stages of development. It is a very powerful biological stimulant, consisting of a huge number of components. The consistency of royal jelly resembles sour cream and has a white color.

This beekeeping product is mainly useful in that it is capable of significantly improving the human immunity. Milk is also used for the treatment of diseases of the nervous system, infertility and impotence, normalization of pressure, lowering blood sugar levels, etc.

Perga and bee venom

Perga is called pollen collected by insects in reserve for the winter. To taste, this product resembles rye bread. In Perge, as in propolis, contains a large amount of amino acids, vitamins and minerals. And it is all assimilated by 100%. The main field of use of perga is medicine and cosmetology.

Bee venom is a special product of secretory activity in the body of an insect. It is a clear, colorless liquid with a rather pleasant odor. Its chemical composition is not fully understood until now. It is believed that 500 insect bites can be fatal to humans at the same time. In small quantities, bee venom can be used as an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent.

Instead of an afterword

There are many breeds of bees bred in Russia. Most of them are highly productive. Breeding Central Russian, Ukrainian, gray mountain and other species of bees discussed above can be a truly profitable business, bringing its owner a good income, and the country's economy - tangible benefits.

Dark European or Central Russian breed of bees (Apis mellifera mellifera)

Aboriginal for Northern and Central Europe the species of bees is distinguished by dark gray, without a hint of yellow color. This is a fact, as well as the prevalence in the territory of the central regions of Russia and determined the name of the breed of bees.

These are rather large insects, which gladden the beekeepers with resistance to diseases and an excellent ability to survive the frosty long winters, being in a wintery for up to seven months a year. Uterus of this breed per day can lay up to three thousand eggs, which ensures a quick change of generations and the growth of families. At the same time, European honeybees are not prone to the formation of swarms and are quite peaceful. However, they are noticeably nervous if the beekeeper shows neglect to them or allows too harsh, harsh interference in the affairs of the hive.

The special commitment of insects to collecting only from one honey plant on the one hand provides the opportunity to get delicious monocultural honey, for example, from acacia, buckwheat, linden and other plants, but on the other hand, it leads to a delay in the transition of bees from already nearly faded crops to new, better honey plants.

Honey is stored in the middle Russian breed of bees from the upper part of the hull or shops, and only then the reserves appear in the brood area.

Gray Caucasian mountain bee (Apis mellifera caucasica)

The gray Caucasian mountain bee differs from the Central Russian breed of bees by the ability to quickly move from one honey plant to another, with its large size, but lower winter hardiness. This population mainly lives in the southern regions of the country, especially popular in the apiaries of the northern Caucasus and foothill areas.

The uterus of a gray mountain bee is able to lay back up to one and a half thousand eggs. Moreover, in the days of the most intensive honey gathering for a bribe, even bees fly out of the hive, at another time they are more busy caring for the next generation. Gray Caucasian bees are champions among honey-bearing fellows by the length of the tongue, reaching 7.2 mm.

This breed of bees is characterized by an early departure from the hive and a very late evening return. Насекомых не пугает туман и моросящий дождь, даже в такую, не самую подходящую для пчел погоду, они продолжают сбор, причем не прочь поживиться за счет зазевавшихся собратьев.

Приокская разновидность среднерусской породы пчел

На основе кавказских серых насекомых и среднерусской породы пчел была выведена промежуточная разновидность, названная приокской. These honeybees have a smaller length than the Caucasians, the length of the proboscis, they are better adapted to the frosty Russian winters, more resistant to diseases and a bit more aggressive. On external signs, this species of bees rather resembles its mountain ancestors. In insects, the predominant gray color, yellow markings are found only occasionally, on the upper segments of the abdomen.

Krainsky bee breed (Apis mellifera carnica)

Bees from Krajna and Carinthia gained European fame over a hundred years ago. A characteristic feature of these insects was not only a striking peacefulness, but also the ability to quickly and efficiently collect honey in the conditions of a transient alpine spring, when bribes are not pleasing in abundance. At the same time, according to the photos and descriptions, this breed of bees is characterized by good winter hardiness and endurance on hot summer days. The maintenance in the winter of small families of the Krajina bee is very economical.

Today, the Krainsky breed of bees or karnik, one of the most popular species in Europe. The body of the insect is distinguished by a gray-silver color. Bees fly out early from the hive, which allows you to take bribes from the very first spring honey plants. According to statistics, only a third of families can swarm, and, if they start the appropriate work on time, it is easy for them to return the working attitude. In agriculture, the breed of bees is valued as a pollinator for red clover. The proboscis reaches a length of 6.8 mm.

The queen bee lays from 1.5 to 2 thousand eggs per day.

That is, Karnik as a breed of bees combines the best qualities of gray Caucasian and Carpathian insects. First of all, when a mass honey collection takes place, the bees fill the honeycombs with brood brood, and then move to the store frames.

Carpathian bee (Apis mellifera carpatica)

Another breed of honeybee European bees in their place of origin and habitat is called Carpathian. The predominant color in the color of the Carpathian bee is gray. The insect has a long, up to 7 mm proboscis, good winter hardiness, peace-loving nature and low sugar content in honey. Uterus of this species of bees lay up to 1,800 eggs per day.

The features of the breed include the early readiness of working bees to collect honey. However, with a lot of positive qualities, the Carpathian bees have a number of drawbacks. To such can be attributed the tendency to the appropriation of someone else's bribe, if there is a shortage of flowering honey plants in the district, as well as the absence of any resistance to the wax moth penetrating the hive.

Italian breed of honey bees (Apis mellifera liqustica)

Compared to other relatives, the breed of bees from the south of Europe has a more golden color, the highest fecundity of females of up to 3,500 eggs per day, excellent disease resistance and low probability of swarming.

The southern origin of this breed of bees has determined not too high frost resistance of insects. But the bees of the Italian variety are quickly moving from a honey plant to a honey plant, looking for the most profitable bribes, as well as exceptionally clean.

A huge number of eggs laid by the uterus predetermined one feature that must be taken into account when working with insects. The brood for this breed is paramount, and with a small amount of honey collection, the bees can give all the bribes to the younger generation.

Asian, honey bees

European insects belonging to the species Apis mellifera, are not widely distributed in Asia. Here, over the course of many millennia, a population of bees has developed and a tradition of beekeeping and beekeeping.

Today, there are up to nine species of bees, indigenous to the Asian part of the world. Among them the most famous and interesting are: Apis dorsata, Apis cerana, Apis florea.

A prominent representative of the bee family is the Himalayan mountain giant bee Apis dorsata laboriosa with a dark belly, decorated with thin white stripes. This breed lives on steep cliffs, where it builds huge combs by European standards with a length of up to 160 and a width of about 80 cm.

The work of the beekeeper in such conditions becomes akin to the work of an extremum of a climber, who risks not only falling from a great height, but also being attacked by a mass of not very friendly Himalayan bees.

Dwarf Asian bee or Apis florea dwarf constructs honeycombs on trees or shrubs. The modest size of insects, first described in the XVIII century, suggest that these bees are among the smallest not only in Asia, but also on the entire planet. For the year, the family of these honey bees can collect no more than a kilogram of honey, but at the same time they firmly protect their nests and are valued in agriculture as pollinating insects.

The Chinese wax bee or Apis cerana can be considered an equal rival to the European honeybee. This species of Indian or Himalayan bees is widespread in most regions of Asia. There are these insects in the Russian Far East. For example, in the Primorsky Territory, this breed of honey bees included in the Red Book can sometimes be seen in the forest zone.

The history of the earliest breeds of bees and their features

The native land of the Hymenoptera Insects are Europe, Africa and the Middle East. For the resettlement of bees in the rest of the world, man did not have any actual effects. First of all, such factors as changes in flora, fauna and climate were determining factors. As a result of evolutionary selection - gradually, by natural means - several simple bee species appeared. Current beekeepers call them races.

All these groups served as the starting point for the creation of quite productive domesticated rocks. Predisposition to any a certain area - this is the first thing these insects are called, called bees. Breeds, reviews of which are best, as a rule, are zoned. In many cases, even the name of the species comes from the specific territory where they were bred. In the process of transportation, each factory family, as a rule, loses its productivity.

How to distinguish between breeds?

Generally speaking, bees are called insects belonging to the family of Hymenoptera with the presence of a sharp sting and a golden belly, which is covered with dark stripes. In this case, it is possible to distinguish between breeds according to such indicators:

  • Proboscis length,
  • Size and weight
  • A variety of colors,
  • Anger and romance,
  • Disease resistance.

How to choose the type of bees for yourself

Insects that live for a long time in specific territorial and weather conditions are subject to natural selection under the influence of the surrounding factors. More persistent individuals endure all the burden and provide offspring - this is the way the breed is created. Any kind of bees differs from others in such indicators: fertility, size, color, endurance, character, productivity and disposition to swarming.

Therefore, to determine the type of bees for your own apiary, you must consider the following factors:

  1. The first thing you need to pay attention to the climatic conditions in which individuals will live. In the case when the beekeeping farm is located in the northern latitudes with long and cold winter times, it is better not to consider the southern breeds of bees. For example, mountain Caucasian bee breeds are worst adapted to living in a cool climate, while the Central Russian breed is able to endure cold periods of six months.
  2. Any of the honey bee breeds works in various ways on a specific bribe. Take, for example, the Central Russian breed, it collects nectar to the maximum in an abundant short bribe from one flower, but the Caucasian ones demonstrate the greatest performance in the meadow, where there are a lot of different colors that give small amounts of nectar.
  3. Choosing a bee for your own apiary, you should think about the properties of honey that you want to produce. There is such a thing as florospecialization - the ability of insects to collect bribes from specific plant species. Species that collect nectar from the same plants before they begin flowering can produce excellent monofloric honey. When insects work on different plants, the product comes out combined, because in this case it consists of nectars of a large number of different cultures.
  4. An important point when choosing a breed is the nature of insects. In the case when the beekeeper wants to act in calm conditions and not be afraid for his well-being, he should give preference to friendly insects.
  5. The ability to swarm in different species is also different, however, this feature is not very important, since beekeeping helps to correct roability with the help of artificial methods.
  6. As for viability, this is a very important sign of the breed. More resistant to various diseases are Central Russian bees, which are not particularly susceptible to ascoferosis, poisonous toxemia and foulbrood.

Central Russian breed

Central Russian breed differs among others in its large torso. The main properties of this type are as follows:

  • The Central Russian representative is distinguished by a large trunk of dark gray color, in color almost no yellowing. The length of the proboscis corresponds to approximately 6 mm. The uterus, which breeds, weighs approximately 200 mg and can lay about 3 thousand eggs per day.
  • Due to the fact that the birthplace of the breed are considered the powers of the northern part of Europe, these insects have good endurance, winter hardiness, and even great performance. As mentioned earlier, this species of bees is less prone to various diseases.
  • The largest number of nectar Central Russian bees are collected during the period of the main honey collection.
  • Please note that the breed in question is in fact not inclined to theft, but they do not protect personal throats from thieves.
  • The given variety has the highest disposition to the creation of swarms, in connection with which the beekeeper needs to take various anti-war actions in his own apiary.
  • The Central Russian breed is not very evil, but it does not accept sloppy and rough work of a beekeeper.

Gray Caucasian bees

Presented breed characterized by the following features:

  • Data from immigrants from the Caucasus can now be found not only in the territory of the Russian Federation, but also in other foreign countries. The physiological properties of bees are as follows: the length of the proboscis is 6.5 - 7 mm. The weight of the uterus can reach up to 200 mg, and that of an ordinary working bee, up to approximately 90 mg. In the process of reproduction, a fertile individual can lay 1500 eggs per day.
  • The Caucasian breed is characterized by the highest disposition to the bee attack, it very well protects personal nests from the encroachment of enemies.
  • The main highlight of the form provided is its friendliness. This greatly simplifies the work of the beekeeper, because when inspecting the hive his pupils behave quietly and calmly, and in addition do not interrupt their activities, including on the framework taken out of the structure.
  • Caucasian bees are especially valuable due to their own ability to collect nectar from different plants, at a fast pace they can switch from one honey plant to another. From the actual point of view, this highlight is considered a huge plus, since it allows the bees to demonstrate good productivity during any period of the honey collection season.
  • The represented breed is not very prone to swarming, however, even during the process of this process they do not slow down the rate of feeding young offspring, collecting nectar and building nests.
  • This breed of bees is not particularly winter-resistant, because of this, it is not advised to breed it in a cool climate. In addition, the Caucasian bees, in contrast to the Central Russian, are more susceptible to diseases such as nozematosis and foulbrood.

Yellow Caucasian

This species is popular in Georgia, Armenia, in the north of the Caucasus, and also in Azerbaijan. The body color of the bee combines grayish and yellowish tones. The trunk is equal to the length of 7 mm. Uterus tends to lay about 1,700 eggs per day during the period when the breeding process is actively taking place.

This breed is excellent can survive in dry and hot areas, but does not tolerate frost well. In winter, the bees need to make multiple cleansing patches.

Swarming yellowish Caucasian bees with medium vigor. They are not hostile towards their beekeeper, but they can attack other bee colonies.

Krainsky breed

Their body is distinguished by a grayish color with a silvery shade, and the size corresponds to the average value between the gray Caucasian breed and the large Central Russian.

Krainsky bees can perfectly and quickly find unchanging sources for collecting nectar. They are better adapted to frost than the Caucasus, and are not yet prone to defeat various diseases.

This breed is friendly and swarming extremely rarely. In addition, insects develop quite early and quickly, and this makes them the main spring pollinators of orchards.

Italian bees

This breed is distinguished by a beautiful yellowish body color and the highest fruitfulness of queens. In the period of the active phase of reproduction, the bee woman has the ability to lay approximately 3,500 eggs.

This species of bees is not too susceptible to various diseases, not particularly vicious and rarely swarm.

Finding honey plants for themselves, they are able to quickly fly from one plant to another.

Italian bees have a strong cleanliness. They don't like formation wax moths in nests and are resistant to European rottenness are stronger than all other breeds. But despite all of the above, such a breed is susceptible to toxicosis and Nozema.

Regarding the climate, we can say that the northern latitudes are not suitable for the Italian species, since they do not tolerate frost.

Please note that these bees are particularly prone to theft, but they protect their personal nests pretty well.

Ukrainian steppe bees

This kind of insect is a southern relative of the Central Russian breed. The color of the body of representatives of the species is grayish, the dimensions are inferior in size to the Central Russian breed, only the trunk of the Ukrainian bee is significantly longer.

Regarding resistance to cold and disease, quality of work and fertility - in this regard, the species in question is practically not inferior to its relative. Here are just Ukrainian bees are not so susceptible to swarming and have a more meek character.

Kuban variety

Main characteristic The features of this breed are as follows:

  • Kuban bees are very fond of heat, so they endure cold quite badly.
  • In winter, they often make cleaning flies.
  • These insects are not malignant, but they do not perceive well the new queen, which they have planted in the nest.

This is not the whole list of insects used by beekeepers. There are other species and species, but they are usually used less frequently.

How to choose a bee

Bees are hymenopterans and are used to produce honey and other products. South Asia is considered the birthplace of insects, and from there these insects spread throughout the world.

A characteristic feature of this species is living in families consisting of a queen, several tens of thousands of workers, and several hundred (or thousands, in large families) of drones. It is noteworthy that in the summer, the number of worker bees increases, and in winter it decreases significantly.

Note: The only full-fledged female in the family is the uterus, which in the warm season lays eggs. From them in the future are derived and drones, and working individuals, and new uterus. Interestingly, the life expectancy of the uterus is directly dependent on the number of worker bees in the family. If there are only a few, the uterus will live no more than three days, and in large families one womb can live up to five years.

As a rule, after two or three years, egg production sharply decreases in the uterus, therefore it is replaced by a younger individual. A productive uterus lays up to 2.5 thousand eggs per day, and this season may increase up to 200 thousand eggs.

The uterus almost never flies out of the hive. An exception can only be a period of swarming and mating. In addition, if the uterus from one family meets another, a fight will surely start between the insects, and a stronger and more agile representative will win.

A characteristic biological feature is the ability to reproduce not only within the family, but also with other families. This process is called swarming.

The working bees are only females, which, due to the underdeveloped genital organs, cannot mate and lay eggs. It is these females that do all the work in the hive: they collect nectar and pollen, produce honey, build honeycombs, feed the larvae and the uterus, and also guard the hive and monitor the optimum temperature in it. Under natural conditions, working individuals independently replace the old uterus with a young one.

Note: Sometimes, if there is no uterus in the family for a long time, some working insects can start laying eggs. But since they are not fertilized, only drones are derived from them.

Продолжительность жизни рабочих пчел зависит от времени их выведения: летние живут не более 45 дней, а осенние – до 10 месяцев. Кроме того, их разделяют на две группы. Нелетные (молодые) практически постоянно находятся в улье, и вылетают из него только в хорошую погоду. Летные отвечают за сбор пыльцы и нектара.

Рисунок 1. Визуальные отличия между насекомыми и классификация рабочих пчел

Drones are male individuals whose sole function is fertilization of the uterus. That is why their genitals are well developed, and there are no organs to collect pollen and excrete wax. In each family there are several hundred or even thousands of drones, although the uterus mates with just a few (usually 6-10 individuals). Sexual maturity occurs in drones at the age of 8-14 days, and after that they can not only mate, but also leave the hive, flying away from it at a distance of several kilometers. Figure 1 shows the main visual differences between the uterus, workers, and drones.

Note: Drones live only in the summer, as in the fall the worker bees drive them out of the hive. Sometimes, if there is no womb in the family, some drones remain in the hive for the winter.

Interestingly, all insects go through the same stages of development, but they differ in duration depending on the type of insect:

  • In the first stage, the “egg”, all insects develop in the same way: three days,
  • The second stage, “larvae before sealing” at the uterus lasts 5 days, and working bees - 6, and at the drones 7 days,
  • The last stage of development, "the larva and pupa in a sealed cell," lasts 8 days in the uterus, 12 in the working species and 14 in the drones.

Accordingly, the development cycle of an adult insect is: for the uterus 16 days, for working individuals - 21 and for drones 24 days.

These are quite hardy insects. They can carry by air cargo, the mass of which corresponds to half the weight of the individual, and are capable of speeds up to 60 km / h. In addition, they have developed vision. They have five eyes (two on the sides and three on the crown), which distinguish objects by shape and color. Insects have a well-developed sense of smell, allowing not only to distinguish flowers, but also to find the location of the hive. If the bees sense danger, they can sting. Single bites are not dangerous, and multiple can cause severe allergies. That is why, when working, beekeepers use special protective clothing.

What you need to pay attention

There are four main types of these insects: giant, dwarf, Indian and honey. In private farms only the latter type is bred, since it is he who produces honey.

When selecting bees for breeding, several factors should be taken into account.:

  • Climate: most insects are adapted only to certain temperature conditions of residence. For example, the central Russian can tolerate cold, and the Italian - a hot climate,
  • Productivity: the ability of the uterus to lay the maximum number of eggs directly affects the safety of the family,
  • Collecting nectar and honey production: anatomically in some insects longer proboscis, which allow you to collect nectar from a larger number of plants.
Figure 2. The most productive species: 1a and 1b - Italian, 2a and 2b - Ukrainian steppe

You should also take into account the insect's propensity to swarm, since during this period they have a reduced honey surface. Italian and Ukrainian steppe are considered optimal for breeding (Figure 2). Such species have high productivity and calm character, but require additional care in the winter and protection from diseases.

In addition, there are many breeds, each of which has its own distinctive features.

Special features

Insects are not artificially removed, and for breeding, only those types are grown that are characteristic of this climate zone and have already managed to adapt to living conditions.

Figure 3. Representatives of the breeds: 1 — Central Russian, 2 — gray Caucasian mountain, 3 — yellow Caucasian, 4 — Ukrainian steppe (uterus)

For our country, such species are considered the best. (Figure 3):

  • Central Russian: quite large insects of dark gray color. The uterus is highly productive, and the honey bearing ability is medium. During the season, no more than 30 kg of honey can be collected from one family. Representatives of the species are conservative in nature, and they are hard to switch to new honey-bearing areas. In addition, they are quite aggressive, but they are highly resistant to cold and disease.
  • Gray Caucasian Mountain smaller and lighter than the Central Russian. In addition, the uterus is not distinguished by high fecundity, and working individuals - by honey-bearing capacity. From one family for the season you can collect no more than 29 kg of honey. However, these disadvantages are fully compensated by the advantages: they use productively bad sources of honey collection, easily switch to new areas, have a peace-loving nature, and due to the long proboscis they can collect nectar from much more plants than other species. In addition, they are poorly amenable to swarming (no more than 5% of individuals from the family), therefore, in the summer period the fertility of insects practically does not decrease. However, they are very sensitive to cold and putrid diseases. Nevertheless, it was she who became widely spread not only in Russia, but also abroad.
  • Yellow Caucasian in size it corresponds to the gray mountain, but slightly exceeds its fecundity. Insects are gray with bright yellow stripes. Peaceful enough, they are distinguished by medium robility, they tolerate a hot and dry climate, but can attack other families and are susceptible to diseases. At the moment, the yellow Caucasian is gradually absorbed by the gray mountain.
  • Ukrainian steppe transformed from Central Russian, adapting to the southern living conditions. Representatives are smaller in size than the average Russian, but they also have a much longer proboscis, which has a positive effect on productivity. In addition, Ukrainian steppe species are distinguished by high melliferous content (up to 40 kg per family per season), resistance to temperature extremes and diseases.
  • Carpathian in many ways similar to the Ukrainian steppe. The difference between insects is that the Carpathian is much longer proboscis. They are distinguished by moderate robility and winter hardiness and an exceptionally peaceful character (Figure 4).
  • Representatives Italian breed in size they correspond to Central Russian, but significantly exceed them in fecundity. A distinctive feature is the golden color with bright yellow stripes. They have a peace-loving character, use very different types of plants very well for collecting nectar, but do not have sufficient resistance to cold and disease.
  • Krainskaya was imported from Austria. Differ in a gray color with a silvery shade. Fertility is average, but insects are characterized by rapid spring development. Excellent use of various sources of honey collection, but resistance to cold and disease is average.
  • Far Eastern formed in the process of mutation of insects, representatives of several species. Because of this, they differ in small size, gray color and low fecundity. Despite the high propensity for roving, insects have a peaceful nature, and can use the earliest plants to produce honey.
Figure 4. Breeds: 1 - Carpathian, 2 - Krai, 3 - Italian, 4 - Far Eastern

When selecting insects for breeding, be sure to consider the climatic features of the region, since most species are very sensitive to cold and require extra care in winter. More details about the most popular Italian breed in the world are given in the video.

To find a purebred bee, unfortunately, is quite difficult, since so-called hybrids are bred in most apiaries. But, if you clearly set a goal to choose the best breed according to the photo and description, we recommend using some useful tips.

Among the basic rules of choice emit:

  • Evaluation of appearance: each breed is formed under the influence of certain climatic conditions, so the insects of different species are radically different from each other in appearance and size.
  • The climatic conditions in which the apiary will be located also play an important and sometimes decisive role. For example, in warm climates it is possible to breed Italian, but they are not suitable for temperate and cold climates, since they do not differ in winter hardiness.
  • The peaceful nature of insects is an important criterion for beginning beekeepers. For example, representatives of the Caucasus will bring honey even if the beekeeper accidentally damages their nest, and the middle Russians have a rather aggressive character.

To make it easier for you to choose the breed for your apiary, we give the names, photos and descriptions of the most popular species.

Breed of karnik bees and their characteristics

The description of karnik bees primarily concerns subspecies or strains. There are four of them: Karnik, Italian, Caucasian and dark forest.

Regardless of the strain, all insects of this species are distinguished by high productivity and low feed intake, so they tolerate the winter well even in lean years.

Insects are gray, with small patches of yellow color, the body is short and covered with numerous villi, due to which the insects look hairy.

Characteristics of karnik bees include such indicators (Figure 5):

  • High productivity allows you to get honey even with a weak bribe,
  • Peaceful nature allows the beekeeper to work with insects even without protective clothing,
  • Economical feed consumption increases the survival rate in winter, and the family will collect honey even in the absence of a uterus.
Figure 5. Features of the Karnik Bees

Among the shortcomings can be identified late emergence of the brood, especially in a warm and long autumn, as well as low productivity during the second bribe. This feature is due to the fact that the bees spend almost all the forces on the first bribe.

Bakfast bees and their characteristics

The description of the breed of bees bacfast and their characteristics will help to objectively evaluate all the pros and cons of the species, and to decide whether it is worth breeding such insects in the apiary.

Firstly, it should be borne in mind that the breed was bred by breeders, and it is based on Italian bees, therefore all subspecies of bakfast have a characteristic yellow color. Despite the constituent hybrids, all insects of this species have some common features (Figure 6):

  • Insects practically do not dig, but at the same time produce quite a large amount of brood. Moreover, it is not recommended to limit the growth of the family, as this may adversely affect the medical collection.
  • Insects collect little propolis, since the Egyptian breed was used to create a hybrid,
  • They have a calm character and do not show aggression when a beekeeper works with a hive.
Figure 6. External characteristics of bees bakfast

In addition, the uterus of this breed is characterized by high fertility, and insects themselves - excellent endurance, therefore, in most cases, they are well tolerated wintering. However, these insects are not suitable for the northern regions due to insufficiently high frost resistance.

Bee Carpathian: Description

The Carpathian bee, or Carpathian, is distinguished from other breeds by early departure, that is, insects begin to collect nectar much earlier than other species. In addition, honey collected by representatives of the Caucasian species contains little sugar, and the insects themselves tolerate wintering (Figure 7).

Figure 7. Carpathian breed

Among the advantages of the Carpathians, one can single out a peaceful nature and high productivity. In addition, they tolerate the winter well, almost no swarming and little sick. But they have low winter hardiness, so the Carpathian breed is not recommended to be bred in the northern regions.

Caucasian breed

The Caucasian breed includes many subspecies, which, although they have some differences, still have some common features (Figure 9).

Note: A variety of subspecies due to the fact that they were formed in different climatic conditions. For example, the valley Caucasus can collect honey even in extreme heat, and high-altitude - with a decrease in temperature up to +6 degrees.

A distinctive feature of the breed is the high duration of the flight. Bees fly out of the hive early in the morning, and return late in the evening, which allows you to collect a sufficiently large amount of honey. In addition, the collection period of nectar lasts from early spring to late autumn, which allows us to consider the breed as one of the most productive.

Figure 9. External features of Caucasian bees

Also, Caucasian bees easily adapt to different weather conditions and produce a lot of propolis, which is used to warm the nests for the winter. Despite these features, insects do not tolerate wintering, so the beekeeper’s main task is to properly prepare the hives and provide the insects with a sufficient amount of food. In addition, they are often sick and very sensitive to moisture.

Italian breed: photo

A characteristic feature of Italian bees is in the unusual bright yellow color of the body, according to which they can be easily distinguished from the rest (Figure 10). The uterus is characterized by high fertility, while insects are highly resistant to diseases and have a rather peaceful nature.

Figure 10. What does the Italian breed look like?

They are distinguished by high productivity, and during the period of honey collection they are easily switched from plants where there is less nectar to those where there is an opportunity to harvest a more abundant crop. Insects secrete a lot of wax, but do not tolerate wintering due to low resistance to cold. That is why Italian bees are recommended to breed only in the southern regions.