General information



Many breeds of bees are known. The most active among the beekeepers used honey species of insects. Thanks to human knowledge in this area, effective reproduction, maintenance and breeding of insects takes place, which makes it possible to engage in the breeding of new breeds, as well as to obtain a sufficient amount of useful honey products.

The choice of breed of bees is a crucial step, as the productivity of the apiary depends on it. It is important to take into account the degree of adaptation to the terrain and climate, the propensity for swarming and other factors and characteristics. The breed of bees is determined by the color of the body of workers, manifested by a combination of black, yellow pigments.

The most evil bee families are represented by the Central Russian breed. As for the peace-loving, they include the Carpathian. The intermediate line is divided by Italian and Ukrainian bee families. In addition, such characteristics of bees as a propensity for swarming, cleanliness, aggressiveness and diligence are taken into account.


There are the following breeds of bees:

  1. Forest. Differs in resistant immunity to diseases and frosts. Often faced with such a problem as a wax moth. There is a high egg production.
  2. Dwarf. It is the smallest among the rest. It is compact, so it easily seeps through the mosquito net. It lives in the United States. Despite the size, bees are hardy, strong, able to carry a lot of weight. Not suitable for beekeeping, because they consider themselves loners. Nests are located in the soil.
  3. The African variety of insects is not suitable for beekeeping, since they are killer bees, they are aggressive.
  4. German. Prefers to live in the south of France. Insects do not like smoke. There is a strong and durable immunity - able to resist the rotten European. Character calm, peaceful.
  5. The home type is known to cause an acute allergic reaction. They are classified as domestic insects. The number of one family - at least 80 thousand insects. In the composition there are drones, queens and workers individuals. Differ in frequent swarming and low melliferous.
  6. The Bashkir species is the heritage of the Central Russian bee. Differ passivity to living beings, low aggressiveness. The lack of the Bashkir type is poor protection of its own hives. There is resistance to the main diseases: nozematosis, foulbrood, podievy toxicosis. They are recommended for breeding.
  7. Prioksky bees turned out by crossing. Differ in appeasable character, peace-loving, frost resistance.
  8. The Asian type is called gigantic. Live in open colonies.
  9. Tiger bees are hornets. They have a big sting that inflicts multiple bites that can cause severe pain and swelling.
  10. The Chinese type is considered an Indian subspecies. The length of the body is 11 millimeters. As for the industrial production of honey products, this is a promising option. Hardworking, well adapted to frost. Carefully collect nectar, produce a lot of wax. Prone to frequent swarming.
  11. Megrelian or Georgian breed has a high performance. Peace-loving individuals. Many beekeepers prefer this species.

War bees are found in different breeds. They are active and workable.

Central Russian bee

The Central Russian breed of bees is winter-resistant. She has high productivity and hard work. Representatives of the bee family are evil and aggressive. Such war bees are famous for their high performance during the honey collection period. Given the evil nature, it is important to treat them carefully, carefully.

The Central Russian breed of bees is not suitable for beginner beekeepers, as they require an experienced owner. It is important to remember that the breed has a tendency to swarm, it is difficult for them to be distracted by work during this period. When such a situation arises the problem of building honeycombs, caring for brood stops.


Representatives of the bee colony inhabit the Carpathian Mountains and the territory nearby. The Carpathian breed of bees is suitable for breeding even in the northern regions, as it has resistance to extreme cold and frost. It is important to note that such insects are resistant to diseases, differ in high-quality work. Character is peaceful.

The Carpathian breed of bees has a gray body, the length of the proboscis reaches seven millimeters. The maternal individual is able to lay 1,800 eggs a day in spring. Insects are highly productive, as they are able to collect about fifty to eighty kilograms of honey in one season. Carpathian bees are considered the best pollinators of beans and peas.


This breed of bees is popular among beekeepers. As for the nature of such a bee family, it is peaceful, endurance prevails, there is no predisposition to swarming. The individuals have a long proboscis, which gives them an advantage over other varieties, since they take out more nectar. There is a high percentage of propolis performance.

It is important to note that the Caucasian breed of bees has some advantages:

  • active collection of nectar from red clover,
  • bring the maximum amount of honey products,
  • there is an ability to analyze, because they understand when nectar is available and when not,
  • enterprising breed,
  • quickly switch from different types of nectar.

The optimum content for keeping a bee family of such a breed is the Caucasus Mountains. Over time, new populations have been developed that can adapt to the northern climate. The Megrelian population is the most valuable. A distinctive feature is a peace-loving, docile and calm character.

They have an early start to the summer season compared to the other breeds. Work until the fall. The first cleaning flight is carried out at low temperatures.

Mountain Gray Caucasian

These insects are accustomed to be in a humid mild climate. Individuals have a silver-gray color, there are no yellow inclusions on the bodies. Insects of this breed do an excellent job with protecting their own houses from pests. With the help of propolis, they close up the cracks in the hives.

To wintering successfully, beekeepers organize proper ventilation. Insects tolerate frost - able to survive at a temperature of -25 degrees. In the spring, it is recommended that bee houses be removed from the winterer earlier than hives of other breeds, since these individuals prefer to make the first flight already at a temperature of +5.

Gray Caucasian bee is not distinguished by increased aggression, collects a large amount of propolis. Among the shortcomings are the propensity to disease.

Ukrainian steppe

Specimens have a grayish color with yellow patches. The uterus lays about 2000 eggs per day. Bees are not prone to swarming. To prevent swarming, beekeepers remove some queen cells or frame them. Insects are adapted for wintering. In early spring, they remain in the houses. Unlike many other breeds, the Ukrainian maintains cleanliness in the hive. For this reason, rarely exposed diseases.


This breed of insect is popular. Individuals have bright yellow stripes. Italian breed is considered productive. About three thousand eggs are produced per day. Prone to disease during wintering, so beekeepers in advance take measures to prevent infections.

Karnik is considered a hybrid - appeared by crossing several European breeds. Insects are prolific and hardworking, not aggressive. The advantage of such bees is also that their content does not require a large amount of feed. They easily find new sources of honey collection. When a beekeeper inspects a hive, insects gather in its lower part, so there is no need to use a smoker or other means. More in detail about karnik bees. All bee products are collected in the upper buildings of the house.

Individuals of this breed are distinguished by a dark yellow color. They have an oblong carcass. When working with this breed, it is recommended that all forces be directed towards strengthening the family. Do not separate families, pick up sealed brood. If necessary, it is recommended to add cases in a timely manner. Among the advantages are the following features:

  • endurance,
  • fertility,
  • cleanliness,
  • no frequent swarming
  • disease resistance.

These insects are different from other breeds in size. Wild bees attach dwellings to trees. Poor temperatures tolerate low temperatures, so for the winter period beekeepers prepare certain conditions.

Beekeepers often replace one breed with another. Given that the offspring of the hive belongs to one maternal individual, they make the replacement of the uterus with fetal breed. For a full replacement, such manipulations are carried out in all families. In this case, there will be a chance of breeding new breeds that can mate with drones of the same breed.

Beekeeping is represented by a large number of breeds of insects. If you are going to engage in their breeding, it is important to listen to the recommendations and take into account the noted nuances.

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 for 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, Italian can be bred, but they are not suitable for temperate and cold climates, since they do not differ in winter hardiness.
  • The peace loving 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, the body is short and covered with numerous villi, due to which 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 disadvantages are the late emergence of the brood, especially in the conditions of 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, the growth of the family is not recommended to limit, 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 are 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, stands out among 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, it is possible to 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.

Selection options

Beginner beekeepers often ask: what breed of bees to choose? First of all, you need to learn that they can differ from one another in a most radical way - by external signs, behavior, conditions of detention, resistance to parasitic organisms and diseases, productivity of females and honey-bearing.

In the process of selecting honey bee breeds, it is necessary to take into account all the factors listed above, as well as the particular climate in which you plan to breed them. For example, southern insect species in the northern regions also collect honey perfectly, but they will not survive the winter.

You should also pay attention to what plants grow nearby. For example, Central Russian bees will be out of competition for collecting honey on buckwheat fields or on planting other honey-bearing crops, but they will significantly yield to other breeds on honey-gathering on meadows, where different plant species grow.

Representatives of the Caucasian breed do not differ in fastidiousness and are engaged in collecting honey in any conditions. The following characteristics and photos will allow you to get an initial idea of ​​the bee breeds.

Ukrainian breed

Since ancient times, steppe Ukrainian bees have lived in the steppe and forest-steppe regions of Ukraine, Russia and Moldova. Zoned in many regions of Ukraine. Many signs bring these insects closer to Central Russian bees, but their coloring is slightly lighter. The proboscis grows in length by 6.1-6.5 millimeters.

Ukrainian bees are characterized by moderate aggressiveness, a high tendency to form swarms, and satisfactory winter resistance.

Kuban breed

The Kuban breed of bees is a pronounced southerner. It is adapted for hot summers and periodic winter fly-overs. Representatives of this breed of bees give a lot of honey. They have a peace-loving character, but are intolerant to the womb of other species. The disadvantage is the ability of worker bees to become tindery.

Far Eastern breed

Far Eastern bee is not officially recognized as an independent breed. It was formed as a result of the crossing of Italian, Ukrainian and Caucasian bees. Body grayish or greyish yellow.

These insects are perfectly adapted to the specific conditions and intensive collection of linden honey. They are peaceful, hardy and resistant to rottenness. Disadvantages - the propensity to form swarms and low productivity of females.

Northern breed

The northern breed of bees (although this name is conditional) is found in the Altai Territory, in Siberia and in the Far East. Often they are called Central European.

They are distinguished by high productivity of females, disease resistance, increased winter-resistance, and are perfectly adapted to life in the harsh conditions of the north. Because of the short summer, they do not have enough time to stock up enough honey, but it is very highly valued, as it is collected in ecologically clean areas.

Buckfast is especially popular among beekeepers around the world. They have many advantages: they produce a large amount of honey, effectively fight ticks, clean hives nests well, do not form swarms, are characterized by high diligence, resistance to diseases, vitality, keen sense of smell and peaceful nature. They can collect honey in any conditions, but prefer rainy weather.

The only drawback of the breed is low winter hardiness.

In appearance, these insects are similar to the Bumblebee, but on their body there is no yellow color. Uterus and drones are painted black, and their wings are painted blue.

A distinctive feature of the breed - collecting honey even in bad weather. Thanks to shaggy legs, they are able to collect a large amount of pollen.

От своих сородичей эти насекомые отличаются уплощенным телом, большим округленным брюшком, нестандартной формой головы, узким длинным хоботком и крепкими мандибулами, способными срезать листья, за что и получили свое название.

Эту породу пчел разводят для опыления стратегически важных медоносов (люцерны, бахчи, овощей). Пчелы Листорез не продуцируют мед и ведут одиночный образ жизни.

Гималайские пчелы

Эти насекомые предпочитают горные районы. Характеризуются типичным желто-черным окрасом. Form a hive on trees, rocks, buildings, bridges. Committed to seasonal migrations.

This species of bees lives in Australia and south-eastern regions of Asia. They have large size and black-blue color with shiny hair. They do not build nests, but throw up posterity to relatives of the genus Amegill. Cuckoo bees are slow and lazy, unable to collect pollen.

It is impossible to give an exact answer to the question: "What breeds of bees are the best?" Each breed has its own advantages and advantages, which makes it optimally suitable for certain conditions.

Based on the above information, it can be concluded that the best bee breeds for the neutral, central zone of Russia are Central Russian and Carpathian.

Yellow Caucasian

All yellow bees of Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan can be attributed to the yellow Caucasian breed of bees. Body color in bees is gray with bright yellow rings. A one-day bee weighs 90 mg, and its proboscis is 6.6-6.9 mm. The weight of the barren uterus is 180 mg, and that of the fetus - 200 mg.

The efficiency of this species of bees is good, they release up to 10 swarms and are capable of laying about 100 queen cells. Experienced beekeepers say that there may be 2-3 wombs in a swarm, and after a swarm of bees enters the hive, they leave the best uterus, while killing the rest.

Yellow Caucasian bees are quite peaceful. When inspecting a nest of bees, the queen does not stop its work, and the bees do not leave the frame. Frames plentifully propolis, leaving a wet, dark-colored signet of honey.

Bees steal well enough and can attack other families, and they protect their nests poorly. They are capable of harvesting propolis and pollen well, working actively, they can collect a lot of honey. The honeyiness of the bees is low. They quickly change one bribe to another, performance in bad weather is not reduced. They adapt to hot climates quite well, as well as to transportation.

Karnik, or Krainskaya

The Karnik or Krajina breed of bees lives in Austria and Yugoslavia. The body of the bee is dark gray in color, the length of the proboscis reaches up to 6.8 mm, and the weight of the working bee is 110 mg. The infertile uterus weighs 185 mg, and the fetal - 205 mg. The fecundity of the uterus reaches 200 eggs per day.

A characteristic feature is the peacefulness of karnikas, but when inspecting the honeycomb, they behave restlessly and constantly move along it. The krainsky bees are moderately moderate; if there are no bribes, it increases. The development of families in bees can be characterized in some degree: the family grows quite quickly, so you need to have time to expand the nest and start collecting honey. When collecting honey, first of all, they fill the nest body, and only then the extensions and the upper bodies.

Signet honey is wet, from dark to white. In adverse weather for a bribe do not take off. Krajina bee prefers a weak, but long honey collection, especially if it is collected from the drop. In terms of frost resistance, they are between the Central Russian and Caucasian bees.

Backfast bees breed is the most popular and recognized all over the world, their characteristic is one of the best. They are very hardworking and not evil at all. Bees can take root in any conditions, but most of all they love rain. Initially, they were used to combat ticks that were threatened by bee trachea. The whole apiary could die from this parasite.

Backfast was taken from the Italian breed, so they have a lot in common. The only difference is in the dark color of bakfast, and their size and length are the same. Bakfast bees tolerate poor frost, but are well resistant to diseases. Have a great sense of peace, peace-loving, do not attack other bees.

Characterized by high productivity in the production of honey, bring a lot of pollen, working all day. One uterus can lay eggs for a long time. Not afraid of wind, rain, fog. The breed backfast even in the autumn, at a temperature of +10 ° C, collects pollen and nectar. In the nests little propolis, unlike the Italian breed.

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 fact, as well as the prevalence in the territory of the central regions of Russia, determined the name of the bee breed.

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 makes it possible to produce 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 after 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. Insects are not afraid of fog and drizzling rain, even in this, not the most suitable for the bees weather, they continue to collect, and do not mind to profit at the expense of gaping fellows.

Priokskaya species of Central Russian bee breed

On the basis of the Caucasian gray insects and the Central Russian bee breed, an intermediate variety, called the Prioksky, was bred. 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 little more aggressive. According to external signs, this species of bees rather resembles its mountain ancestors. In insects, the predominant gray color, yellow markings are found only occasionally, in the upper segments of the abdomen.

Asian, honey bees

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

Today, experts number 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 extremal 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 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 of 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.