Honey bees are close relatives of wasps and ants. They are found on every continent on earth, except for Antarctica. Bees of all varieties live on nectar and pollen. It is estimated that one-third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination. Bees have a long, straw-like tongue called a proboscis that allows them to drink the nectar from deep within blossoms. Bees are also equipped with two wings, two antennae, and three segmented body parts (the head, the thorax, and the abdomen). Honey bees are social insects that live in colonies. The hive population consists of a single queen, a few hundred drones, and thousands of worker bees.
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Species of HoneyBees
There are the following types of Honey Bees:
Africanized honey bees are fuzzy and brownish in color. They
look like their Italian counterparts, making it tough to know if a hive has
been taken over by Africanized genetics.
Africanized honey bees are actually a hybrid. They were
created in Brazil by crossing the African bee with Italian bees in the 1950s to
increase honey production.
In 1957, 26 of these experimental swarms escaped quarantine
and quickly took over South America. In 1985, they made their way to the US and
have since spread through most of the south.
Africanized honey bees are known for being highly aggressive
and, unlike their more docile cousins, will chase a person up to a quarter of a
mile if they perceive a threat. There ar
Buckfast Honey Bees are a hybrid, developed by Karl Kehrle,
also known as Brother Adam Adam (1898-1996), who was in charge of beekeeping
from 1919 at Buckfast Abbey in Devon in the United Kingdom, where the bees are
still bred today.
These bees are extremely gentle and highly productive. They
have a strong resistance to tracheal mites and good hygienic behavior. However, they are known
to be defensive sometimes; not that it is any of your bees-ness!
Carniolan Honey Bees (Apis mellifera
carnica) are a subspecies of the Western Honey Bee. They are naive to Slovenia,
southern Austria, and parts of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia,
Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.
They are favored among beekeepers for
several reasons, not the least being its ability to defend itself successfully
against insect pests while at the same time being extremely gentle in their
behavior toward beekeepers. They bees are particularly adept at adjusting
worker population to nectar availability. They rely on these rapid adjustments
of population levels to rapidly expand worker bee populations after nectar
becomes available in the spring, and, again, to rapidly cut off brood
production when necta
Caucasian Honey Bees
(Apis mellifera caucasca) originated from the high valleys of the Central
Caucasus. Georgia is the central homeland for the subspecies, although the
bees also can be found in Eastern Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
They have a long history of importance to beekeeping
worldwide. They were first introduced in the United States in 19th century. The
Russian Revolution and consequent annexation of Georgia by Red Army in 1921
halted the export of Caucasian bees. Subspecies were studied and cultivated
primarily by Soviet entomologists. Soviet officials were concerned about
preserving the purity of the Caucasian species and outlawed any export without
International exports wer
Cordovan Honey Bees are a subset of Italian bees with more
yellow coloring. They are also gentler than their Italian cousins and slightly
more likely to rob. They are quite striking to observe, with bright yellow
bodies and a lack of stripes. They are rarely available in a package of bees,
unlike Italians, so are often considered wilder.
It is not clear what caused the Cordovan Bees to veer off
from Italian strains and become their own race of bees. In theory, this could
happen with any of the different bee types, but thus far in America it’s only
been observed with Italian bees.
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German Dark Bee, also known as The European Dark Bee,
was brought from Northern Eurasia in the colonial era. This subspecies has
since then been segmented further into sub races of German Bees due to their
hardiness. They are able to survive long, cold winters more often than other
strains of honey bees. However, due to their defensive nature and
susceptibility to brood diseases like American and European foulbrood, this stock
has lost significant favor with beekeepers all over the world.
Although this strain of bee stock has lost
significant value in the commercial sector, there are still researchers and
hobbyists working hard to isolate the hardiness of this subspecies through
tracking breeding values and dat
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Italian honey bees
(Apis mellifera ligustica) are thought to have been originated from the
continental part of Italy, south of the Alps, and north of Sicily. The
subspecies may have survived the last Ice Age in Italy. They are genetically a
different subspecies than that from the Iberian Peninsula and from Sicily. They
are the most widely distributed of all honey bees, and have proven adaptable to
most climates from subtropical to cool temperate, but they are less successful
in humid tropical regions. They are sometimes called the Ligurian Bee.
Italian Bees, having
been conditioned to the warmer climate of the Central Mediterranean, are less
able to cope with hard winters and cool, wet springs of more northern
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Minnesota Hygienic Honey Bees are the result of the work of
Dr. Marla Spivak, and her team of the University of Minnesota. Minnesota
Hygienic Honey Bees are bred specifically to resist certain brood diseases,
such as American Foulbrood and Chalkbrood. The Minnesota Hygienic Honey Bee is
also bred to groom itself and other bees within the hive to detect Varroa
mites. In addition, they possess the ability to detect Varroa mites on or
within the honeycomb cells. However; they are still susceptible to other things
that threaten entire colonies, such as colony collapse disorder.
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Bee refers to honey bees (Apis mellifera) originated in the Primorsky Krai
region of Russia. This strain of bee was imported into the United States in
1997 by the USDAs Honeybee Breeding, Genetics an Physiology Laboratory in
Baton Rouge, Louisiana in response to severe declines in bee populations caused
by infestations of parasitic mites. Since then they have been used in breeding
programs to improve existing honeybee stock.
Bees have an innate resistance to various parasitic mites. This strain occurs
in the original native range of the varroa mite, and selective pressure could
have favored bees that exhibited aggressive behavior against colony-level mite
infestations. Accordingly, experimen
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Western Honey Bee
Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) - also known as European Honey Bees -
are the most common species of honey bee worldwide.
They were one of the first domesticated insects, and they are the primary
species maintained by beekeepers to this day for both its honey production and
pollination activities. With human assistance, the western honey bee now
occupies every continent except Antarctica. Because of its wide cultivation,
this species is the single most important pollinator for agriculture globally.
Honey bees are threatened by pests and diseases, especially the Varroa mite and
colony collapse disorder.
Western honey bees are an important model organism in scientific studies,
particularly in the fi
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