What are Italian Carniolan Hybrid Bees? - North 40 Life

What are Italian Carniolan Hybrid Bees?

By North 40 Outfitters and Thomas Hopkins

Whether you’re looking to increase the robustness of your garden or you’re harvesting the honey flow, when you’re dealing with thousands of bees, you have to pay attention. Bees are sophisticated. (One glance into the core of a nest and you can see the layers of organization and the strategy it takes to build it.) At the same time, however, with some planning and research, bees are also really manageable.

Have more questions about beekeeping? Get started here.

Keeping that in mind, did you know that there are nearly 20,000 known species of bees and that honey bees make up only a small portion of that number? Here at North 40, we exclusively carry Italian Carniolan hybrid honey bees because these bees feature the best traits of both Italian and Carniolan bees.

What are Italian Bees? What are Carniolan Bees?

When it comes to hybrid bees, there will always be unknown exact variations. Nevertheless, with that being said, Italian and Carniolan bees have great characteristics that show up in Italian Carniolan Hybrids in a manner of ways. To understand what those characteristics may be, you first need to learn what are the traits of an Italian bee and what are the traits of a Carniolan bee. So, let’s dive in!

Preferred by most commercial beekeepers, Italian bees are bred for their gentle behavior. These bees will also brood faster in spring and tend to have a larger workforce ready to forage when Mother Nature brings the nectar flow on. However, when fall comes, Italian bees slow their brood production and go into winter with a smaller colony. Finally, Italian bees need to be managed a bit more to prevent swarming as they build up so fast during a strong pollen and nectar flow.

Carniolan bees, on the other hand, are slower at building brood, therefore, they are slower to build up to full production. Yet, even though they are slower to build, they are a hardy bee that will maintain a larger cluster going into winter. Also, they are not as gentle as the Italian bee to manage.

What kills honey bees? Learn more about their plight here.

Italian Bee Traits

  • Gentle, great for new beekeepers
  • Larger workforce ready to forage
  • When fall comes, slows brood production
  • Need to be managed to prevent swarming

Carniolan Bee Traits

  • Hardier bee
  • Slow to build up production when nectar flows
  • Stronger colony heading into winter
  • Not as gentle as an Italian bee

What are Italian Carniolan Hybrid Honey Bees?

So, bottom line, when it comes to an Italian Carniolan hybrid honey bee, you’re going to get a bee that broods up fast in the spring, is gentle to work with, and retains its hardiness while also slowing brood production later on as it heads into the winter.

The Italian Carniolan Hybrid is a great choice for new “bee-rs” to enter into The World of Beekeeping.

Ready to order your own packages of bees? Here's how you can get them.

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We’re people who work and live in the uppermost regions of the Northwestern United States. Beautiful country and wonderful people. This land and these animals are a big part of who we are, how we work and how we play. North 40 Outfitters works hard to offer products and services that fit your lifestyle.

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