TYPES OF QUEEN BEES
Carniolan queen bee is light brown or dark. It has a perfectly developed thorax and long taper abdomen.Carniolan honeybees are graceful, their bodies are dark, and their tergites have thick short hair. Their hair is grey. And the hair of young bees is of silver shade. The length of tongue is from 6.4 to 6.8 mm. The honey is covered white. The level of calmness is medium. They start to grow larvae earlier than other honeybees, that’s why the families from spring get strong faster, but the weak families remain to winter. They take good advantage of springtime honey season. If the honey season is weak, they grow fewer larvae. These honeybees visit red clovers, but they collect much less nectar than Caucasian grey honeybees. They do not rob other hives, have a great orientation while searching for melliferous plants, make perfect artificial combs, and are more resistant to larvae diseases and honeydew toxicosis. The honey is poured into hive frames and nest. Nest and holes are waxed poorly (Karosas, 2005; Straigis, 2002).
MOUNTAIN GREY CAUCASIAN QUEEN BEES
These honeybees are very hard-working. They are calm. The honey is covered dark. After the honey season they are prone to robbing. These honeybees aggressively protect their own beehive. They collect more propolis than others. During the main honey season they fill the center of the nest with honey: this is how the number of larvae is restricted, and the queens lay fewer eggs. Their development is slower – until mid-summer.
These honeybees have the longest tongues (6.7–7.2 mm), that’s why they are also called red clover honeybees. With the long tongues they are very productive, less prone to swarming, collect nectar even during bad weather, and they are common in every continent (Straigis, 2002).
BUCKFAST QUEEN BEES
In recent years this type of honeybees is spreading fast in Lithuania. First 3 tergites are gold. The length of the tongue is from 6.3 to 6.5 mm. The honeybees are very calm, hard-working, have low swarm instinct, and are more resistant to nosematosis and mites. They produce little propolis, grow more larvae, do not like nest changes, feel better in the Dadant hives. These honeybees use more food in the winter (Keller, Ruttner, 1997; Straigis 2002).
ITALIAN QUEEN BEES – A SELECTION FROM FINLAND
Homeland of Italian honeybees is Italy, Apennine peninsula. Italian honeybees living in the South are more yellow than those living in the North. This is the most common type in the world. First introduced to America in 1859 these honeybees spread in many places and gained industrial significance. Italian honeybees are considered as clover bees in Denmark. For 20 years, breeding of Italian honeybees is performed in Finland. The bred honeybees winter well and are more productive. The tongues of these honeybees are longer than the pure Italian honeybees because they have qualities of Caucasian grey honeybees. The honey is covered white. Honeybees are calm, non-aggressive, do not leave the comb taken from the hive, and quickly sense the strong honey season. These honeybees have well developed wax glands. They winter better in the South regions than in the North regions. The honeybees use a lot of food, because they start to grow larvae early. They are strongest in mid-summer. Their queen bees are the most prolific of all types of honeybees. These honeybees protect their nest well. Italian queen bees are brought to Lithuania by only a few beekeepers.