Mecklenburg County Beekeepers Assoc. of Virginia

Honeybee Species

Italian

This honeybee is the most common honeybee used in America. They are also known as the Three Banded Italian which is a good producer of honey.

Carniolan

This is a very gentle bee. It's color is a grayish black. They winter in a small cluster which makes them winter better then the Italian bee. They slow down brood rearing during a dearth of nectar and are much easier to handle than some strains of bees.

Caucasians

This is another bee that is very gentle and can be handled without gloves. They tend to fly in cooler weather then most strains. They are large producers of propolis, which is a resin that bees use to seal cracks and hold things together in their hives. This bee is darkish grey in color; much like the carniolans. These bees have a much longer tongue which can get to nectar that other bees can't reach.

German Black Bee

This bee was the first bee that was brought to America.  At one time they could be seen in nearly every yard in America.  There are small pockets of this bee still living in some parts of America. They do have a bad temper about them and that makes it hard to really work them. But they are great honey producers. They are not immune to some of the diseases that other races of honeybees can handle.

Other Breeds of Honeybees

There are other breeds of bees that are now open to all beekeepers that are being produced for more honey production. Others have some resistant to the varroa mite which has been causing a big problem to many beekeepers.