Breed of bees Karnika: description and characteristics, types, advantages and disadvantages

Breed of bees Karnika: description and characteristics, types, advantages and disadvantages

In order for the apiary to be profitable and generate income, bees must live on it, fully adapted to the living conditions. Where winters are mild, the climate is temperate and the cold season lasts no more than two or three months, the Karnika honey bee breed has proven itself excellently. It is beneficial to use these insects in cases where there are not enough honey plants around the apiary.

Description and characteristics of the karnik bee

Karnik bees were originally formed in Eastern Europe, in Carinthia and Upper Carniola.Due to this, the breed is also called Krajinsky bees. This breed was obtained in Slovenia at the beginning of the 19th century by crossing Italian bees and Cypriot drones. Almost 100 years later, insects began to be actively sold to other countries, they began to be a success. This breed is popular in Eastern and Western Europe, as well as in the southern regions of the Russian Federation.

Karnika bees are mostly dark gray in color with a short, dense and fluffy coat of a silvery tint, but in some cases a number of individuals have a couple of stripes on the abdomen, most often where they interbreed with other breeds.

The queens of these insects have their own characteristics. They are black in color, but can also be striped, and weigh up to 185 milligrams in an infertile state and 205 milligrams in a fetal state. In the spring, the uterus can lay from 1.4 to 2 thousand eggs. The average insect weighs 110 milligrams.

Varieties of Karnik bees

These beneficial insects have several varieties, which, with basic similarities, have a number of distinctive properties related to behavior, productivity, characteristic properties and breeding characteristics of karnik.


This is the most famous, widespread and popular variety of bees. Peseshets can work with various honey plants and collect bribes from several honey plants at the same time. Insects are distinguished by a peaceful, calm character, start early in development and continue brood until October, and its peak occurs in May, the period of active flowering of gardens and cultivated crops.

The pawns form large families, swarm strongly, which can be easily controlled if honey is taken in a timely manner.


Representatives of this species are very assiduous, but capable of aggressive actions.They are better suited for late honey harvests as they develop gradually. Their families are medium and large, swarms are formed in rare cases. Positive properties are preserved only in purebred individuals, hybrids lose them already in the first generation.


This variety develops brood rapidly in early spring when pollen is plentiful. If it is not enough or it is absent, the uterus interrupts the laying of eggs. Bees are characterized by exceptional cleanliness and diligence. Swarms rarely form.

Genetically unstable, quickly losing the positive qualities of the breed.


Insects of this species are famous for their diligence and productivity, which is much higher than that of other representatives of the karnika breed.


The name of this variety of karnika bees comes from varroatosis - the most dangerous disease caused by varroa mites in honey insects. By selecting bees capable of shedding mites on their own, a variety of varroatolerants was created, which means "resistant to varroosis". Insects are small, build small combs and do not form large families. Non-swarming, non-aggressive and highly productive bees.

Productivity and honey collection

Karnika bees are very hardworking and can collect even nectar with low sugar content because they have a long proboscis. They quickly find the best source of nectar and switch to harvesting it, making good collections from red clover.

The honey collection of these insects exceeds the standard one and a half times. They cope better than other breeds with early honey collection, and under normal weather conditions, productivity can be 20 kilograms per hectare.At the same time, karnika prefer to collect nectar from cultivated plants, that is, from plantings made by humans, and not from wild plants growing in natural conditions.

They prefer clover and winter rapeseed, that is, those plants that begin to bloom earlier than others. Also, these bees readily pollinate fruit trees and shrubs, so apiaries can be placed near gardens and plantations.

Disease resistance

Karnik bees are immune to most of the diseases characteristic of these insects. They have a genetic resistance to honeydew toxicosis, they do not suffer from paralysis and acarapidosis, and not only drones and worker bees, but also brood with queens are distinguished by good he alth. However, during severe and wet winters of long duration, karnik can be affected by nosematosis.


After the completion of the main summer flow, the karnik bees begin to prepare for wintering, which is early compared to other varieties. If there is little pollen, then the bees reduce laying and rearing of brood. This is how they control the growth of the population and keep it.

Insects do not need to provide special conditions for wintering, they are content with simple hives with a regular frame. But in the spring they have clean nests with a minimum of death, and quickly begin to increase the family. These bees are distinguished by winter hardiness and excellent endurance, however, in significant cold weather (below -20 degrees Celsius), the hives will need to be insulated. For a successful overwintering, 20-25 kilograms of feed will be required.

Pros and cons

Karnika bees have many positive qualities, among which the following stand out:

  • The ability to collect honey even in bad weather. Insects leave the hive both on cool days and in drizzle.
  • Resistance to elevation changes up to one and a half kilometers.
  • Hard work.
  • Minimum nutritional requirements.
  • Pronounced adaptive abilities.
  • Performance.

  • Strong immunity.
  • Resistance to dangerous diseases.
  • Rapid brood growth.
  • Copious amount of wax.
  • Cleanliness in the hive, clean honeycombs.
  • Minimum wintering requirements.
  • Resistant to negative temperatures.

The main drawback of the breed is the lack of genetic stability. Karnika easily interbreed with other bees and lose their characteristic features.Also, the minuses include swarming with a low honey collection, the efficiency of the uterus for scarring (laying eggs) is limited, and too warm and long autumn marks late scarring, which leads to increased feed consumption, and the bees are depleted.

Also, with a slight honey flow, swarming is noted. The bees also randomly distribute the brood in different frames, and also produce almost no propolis, which is not liked by a number of beekeepers and beekeepers.

The nuances of planting and replacing the uterus

Old queen bees reduce productivity, which threatens the degeneration and death of the family. To avoid this, it is necessary to plant a new uterus. In order for the swarm not to reject it, you need to remove the old queen and combs with larvae.This is best done in spring and early summer when there are many young insects in the hive. Also, this procedure can be performed at the end of summer - early autumn, when the insects are full and calmer. It is easiest to replace the queen in medium-sized hives.

This page in other languages: