Caucasian honey bee

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Caucasian bee
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Suborder: Apocrita
Family: Apidae
Subfamily: Apinae
Tribe: Apini
Genus: Apis
Species: A. mellifera
Subspecies: A. m. caucasia
Trinomial name
Apis mellifera caucasia
Pollmann, 1889

The Caucasian honey bee (Apis mellifera caucasia, commonly misspelled caucasica) is a sub-species of the Western honey bee.

Origin[edit]

The Caucasian honey bee originates from the high valleys of the Central Caucasus. Georgia is the “central homeland” for the species, although the bees also can be found in eastern Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan.[1]

Anatomy and Appearance[edit]

  • Shape and Size: similar to A. m. carnica
  • Chitin Color: dark with brown spots at times
  • Hair Color: lead-grey
  • Tongue Length: up to 7.2 mm

Behavior[edit]

beneficial for beekeeping[edit]

  • gentle and calm on the comb
  • ardent brood production - raising strong colonies
  • colonies reach full strength in mid-summer, which is good for areas where the highest nectar flow is in mid-summer
  • very great user of propolis
  • in its native area a better honey producer than the European dark bee

not beneficial for beekeeping[edit]

  • colonies do not reach full strength until mid-summer, which is an undesirable trait for areas with the highest nectar flow in the spring.
  • the great use of propolis may be seen as undesirable as it makes hive management more difficult. Frames and hive boxes are glued together more substantially.
  • over wintering in northern climates not good due to susceptibility to nosema
  • inclined to drifting and robbing

Sources[edit]

The Hive and the honeybee, Chapter 11 Races of bees by Prof. Friedrich Ruttner, published by Dadant 1975