Types of bees: description and characteristics of 35 breeds, what families are, names

Types of bees: description and characteristics of 35 breeds, what families are, names

Today, 2 types of bees are known - wild and domestic. The former live in nature, the latter are used in beekeeping. Domestic insects are grown for honey and other bee products. Their families include tens of thousands of individuals. They include worker bees, queens and drones. There are several dozen breeds of bees that are used in beekeeping. Each one has unique features.

How to determine and choose the breed of bees?

To choose a breed for breeding, you should familiarize yourself with its main characteristics.

It is recommended to consider the following features:

  1. It is important that the breed is fully consistent with the natural conditions of the area in which the apiary is located.
  2. Buy a bee colony is in certified farms, which are located at least 15-20 kilometers from the apiary. Otherwise, the insects will return to the parent hives.
  3. It is worth buying a bee family in the spring season. In this case, it will include brood of different ages. Thanks to this, already in the first year it will be possible to build up a bee colony and get a large amount of honey. Buying bees in autumn or winter is considered risky.
  4. The presence of a quality queen in the family is evidenced by dense sowing of cells for brood.
  5. To buy a strong family, you should pay attention to the number of frames that are offended by bees. In spring, a strong family populates 8-9 frames. Another 3-4 frames fall on the brood. A weak family populates no more than 4 frames.
  6. Swarm families weighing at least 2-3 kilograms should be bought in late spring or early summer. This will make it possible to grow a strong bee colony and accumulate food supplies for the winter.
  7. Don't get a restless swarm that buzzes a lot. It probably doesn't have a uterus.
  8. There should not be individuals in a bee colony that have damaged wings and legs.
  9. It is important to pay attention to the bottom of the hive. In the presence of gray balls, it is worth suspecting the presence of ascopherosis.
  10. Be sure to consider the nature of insects. The Central Russian is considered the most evil breed. It will be difficult for beekeepers without experience to provide quality care to such bees.


Representatives of this breed are characterized by a peaceful disposition, diligence, moderate swarming. Abkhazian bees are resistant to frost. They provide tasty and he althy honey.

The advantages of the breed include:

  • hard work;
  • calm character;
  • delicious honey.

The disadvantages of the Abkhazian bees include:

  • risk of developing nematosis and foulbrood;
  • the threat of queen restriction in seeding, which leads to a decrease in family size.


These bees are large. The length of their body is 2-3 centimeters. Insects have a dark abdomen and need special care. Such individuals build beehives on rocks. A distinctive feature is considered a painful bite.In addition, representatives of the breed cannot boast of high productivity.

The main advantages of Asian bees include:

  • easy maintenance;
  • large sizes.

However, there are the following disadvantages:

  • painful bites;
  • low honey yield.


Beekeepers rarely breed insects of this variety. Their genetics is poorly understood. In addition, bees have many common characteristics with other breeds that are bred in Russia. Altai individuals have practically no advantages. The only advantage is the low feed requirement.

At the same time, they are characterized by many disadvantages:

  • temperature sensitive;
  • prone to disease;
  • predisposition to swarm;
  • low honey productivity.


This breed is extinct. She disappeared in the 1950s. This was due to the defeat of individuals by a tracheal tick. This story led scientists to develop stronger and he althier individuals that are resistant to mites.


These insects were bred in 1956. Geneticist Kerr crossed wild African and common European bees. As a result, it was possible to obtain large individuals with a variegated color. They live in hollows, on rocks, in mountains.

The benefits of African bees include:

  • strong immunity;
  • excellent pollinating characteristics.

At the same time, many disadvantages are characteristic of insects:

  • aggressive nature;
  • tendency to destroy honey bees and steal honey;
  • spread of dangerous pathologies.


This breed is considered very popular. Its representatives are distinguished by strong immunity, dark yellow color and high honey collection parameters. Individuals are characterized by a keen sense of smell and a rapid increase in numbers.

Breed advantages include:

  • hard work;
  • high honey collection parameters;
  • peaceful character;
  • neatness;
  • delicate sense of smell;
  • rapid population growth;
  • energy.

Buckfast bees are characterized by the following disadvantages:

  • low resistance to frost;
  • lack of persistence in keeping the pure breed.


This variety of dark European bees is considered one of the best. Insects are characterized by a dark gray color and large size. They are considered to be very hardworking and are able to work 17 hours.

The benefits of Bashkir bees include:

  • European foulbrood resistance;
  • ability to work in the rain;
  • high productivity;
  • hard work.

There are also some disadvantages:

  • not good enough hive protection;
  • reduced performance in bad weather;
  • aggressive nature.


This is a kind of Carpathian breed. At the same time, Vuchkovsky individuals are characterized by a more peaceful disposition. They are distinguished by a gray body color and are covered with a gray fluff. Insects are resourceful when collecting food using different honey plants. The productivity of the bee colony reaches 50-120 kilograms of honey.

The advantages of the breed include:

  • high productivity;
  • calm character;
  • using different honey plants.

There are also disadvantages:

  • low frost resistance;
  • appearance of aggression in bad weather.


These individuals live in the wild. They make honeycombs in mountain gorges or in trees. Queens and worker bees reach a length of 16 millimeters, drones - 18. Giant bees are yellow in color. The amount of honey in their combs reaches 25-27 kilograms. Insects are aggressive towards humans. They are wild and cannot be domesticated.


These insects live in the mountains. They build their nests in rock gorges and in trees. In cold weather, Himalayan bees begin to migrate. Their honey is mined by people who live in the foothills of the Himalayas. This product has unique medicinal properties.

Far Eastern

These individuals were the result of free selection of three varieties - Caucasian, Ukrainian and Central Russian.They can have a different color - from light gray to yellow. A characteristic feature of insects is the tendency to steal. The average egg-laying parameters of the uterus reach 1500 eggs per day. Individuals are distinguished by a calm character. The volume of their bribe reaches 200 kilograms.

The benefits of Far Eastern bees include:

  • strong immunity;
  • calm character;
  • active growth of the bee colony.

Among the shortcomings, it is worth highlighting the following:

  • tendency to steal;
  • weak stability of breed traits in case of crossing with other varieties.


This breed came to Europe from Africa. In appearance, insects are unremarkable. They are dark in color. A characteristic feature is considered a high degree of aggression. Insects often attack in groups.

Pros of European bees include:

  • high honey productivity;
  • good frost resistance.

At the same time, insects differ in such minuses:

  • high degree of aggression;
  • Risk of lightning attack.


These insects create nests underground. They connect their burrows with passages. One network can include up to 100 burrows. Insects process the walls of their homes with nectar. A distinctive feature of bees is thick fur on the body.

Most often they collect coltsfoot nectar. Usually such individuals are found in sandy areas. They live in the area of low mountains and in pine forests.


These insects differ in shades - they are light yellow or golden. Their characteristic features are considered to be a tendency to steal, high productivity, and a calm character. Insects are disease resistant. They are characterized by a long proboscis.

The advantages of the breed include:

  • good hive protection;
  • presence of a long proboscis;
  • disease resistance.

There are also disadvantages:

  • frost intolerance;
  • need for plenty of food in winter.


Such bees are divided into 2 varieties - yellow and gray mountain. The second species has been living in the Caucasus Mountains for a long time. For such individuals, a gray body color is characteristic. They are distinguished by a very long proboscis, which reaches 7.2 millimeters.

This variety of bees is characterized by a calm nature and weak swarming. They produce a lot of propolis and are able to look for different sources of honey.

The advantages of gray mountain bees include:

  • calm character;
  • pollination of legumes;
  • high productivity.

However, there are also disadvantages:

  • affected by diseases;
  • low winter hardiness.

Yellow bees live in Transcaucasia. In their color there is a pronounced yellowness. This species has many disadvantages:

  • low frost resistance;
  • prone to disease;
  • pronounced swarming;
  • predisposition to steal;
  • poor queen productivity.


These are the smallest bees. The size of their body does not exceed 2 millimeters. Dwarf individuals live in the USA. They most often collect nectar from milkweed. These individuals cannot be bred, as they live alone. Such insects build their nests in the ground. However, they prefer an arid climate.


This is a variety of Ukrainian bees. Insects are characterized by a gray color and a long proboscis. They easily adapt to various conditions, but have a predisposition to theft. The advantage of the breed is the almost complete absence of aggression. The uterus is capable of producing 3600 eggs per day.

The advantages of the breed include:

  • lack of aggression;
  • long proboscis;
  • womb fertility;
  • adapt to any climatic conditions and terrain.

Among the cons is the following:

  • tendency to steal;
  • low propolis production.


This breed is considered one of the most common in Europe. Krajina bees are resistant to frost, calm nature, early development in spring. In addition, they easily change honey plants. Queens are capable of producing up to 2000 eggs per day.

Among the advantages of the breed is the following:

  • lack of aggression;
  • fertility of queens;
  • rapid development of bee colonies.

The following is considered a disadvantage:

  • tendency to swarm.


A small size is considered a characteristic feature of the breed. They are able to collect honey even in hot weather. Insects have a calm disposition, but are characterized by a tendency to steal. They are able to tolerate short winters normally.

The advantages of the breed include:

  • womb fertility;
  • high honey yield;
  • calm character;
  • active harvesting of pollen and propolis;
  • resistance to heat and transport.

However, there are a number of disadvantages:

  • tendency to swarm;
  • susceptibility to disease;
  • intolerance to long frosty winters;
  • tendency to steal.


This variety of bees lives in Australia and southeast Asia. Insects are characterized by impressive size and black and blue color. Their body is covered with shiny hairs. Insects do not build nests, but throw their offspring to other families of the Amegillus genus. Cuckoos are slow and lazy in nature. They are unable to collect pollen.


These wild bees are adapted to harsh environments. They are characterized by stable immunity and tolerate frosts well. The advantage of forest individuals is resistance to toxicosis and foulbrood. The only problem for them is the wax moth. Queens are capable of laying up to 2,000 eggs per day.

Leaf cutter

Beekeepers note that these insects are characterized by a peaceful disposition. They are distinguished by an unusual shape - a large head and a large body. For leaf cutters, a permanent place of residence is not typical. They make leaf houses.


These bees are characterized by a high degree of resistance to frost. Insects are distinguished by a silver-gray color and a rather long proboscis. This makes it possible to collect nectar from narrow flowers.

The advantages of the Mingrelian breed include:

  • high frost resistance;
  • womb fertility;
  • minimum aggression.

However, there are also disadvantages:

  • tendency to steal;
  • need for sufficient feed.


This family of bees is called black. Such insects really have a black body covered with a yellow fluff. German bees mostly live in France.

The advantages of insects include:

  • strong immunity;
  • frost resistance.

However, there are also disadvantages:

  • aggressive nature;
  • rot susceptibility.


This is a variety of the Central Russian breed. Insects are large in size and dark gray in color. The advantage of the breed is resistance to the most severe conditions.

Other benefits include:

  • no tendency to steal;
  • strong immunity;
  • high productivity;
  • minor swarming.

The only downside is:

  • late spring development.


These bees have a rich yellow color. In appearance, they resemble Caucasian individuals. The advantages of the breed include:

  • hard work;
  • no tendency to swarm.

There are also disadvantages:

  • susceptibility to cold;
  • aggressive nature.


In appearance, carpenters resemble bumblebees. They are also called black bees. They are not yellow. Carpenters are able to collect honey in any weather. Insects are characterized by hairy legs, which is why they are considered excellent pollinators.


Polesye bees are considered a kind of Ukrainian breed. They tolerate cold well. 1 bee family is able to bring up to 70 kilograms of honey, which is considered a high indicator. These insects are bred in the northern and western regions of Ukraine. They are dark gray in color and medium in size.

The advantages of the breed include:

  • strong immunity;
  • gathering honey from linden, buckwheat and other crops;
  • high quality honey.

The main disadvantage is:

  • aggression towards people.


These bees are considered the result of crossing representatives of the Caucasian and Central Russian breeds. They are characterized by a calm disposition and high honey productivity.

The advantages of Prioksky bees include:

  • high productivity;
  • calm disposition;
  • nosema resistance.

The main disadvantage is the following:

  • low frost resistance.


These bees live in Siberia, the Far East and Altai. They are considered comparatively disease-resistant and cold-tolerant.

The benefits of northern bees include:

  • hard work;
  • strong immunity;
  • high quality honey.

The main disadvantages are the following:

  • weakening in the hot season;
  • weak increase in the number of bee colonies.

Middle Russian

These are large individuals that are distinguished by a pronounced tendency to swarm. At the same time, Central Russian bees are characterized by high frost resistance and immunity to many diseases.

The advantages of Central Russian bees include:

  • high frost resistance;
  • fecundity of young queens;
  • strong immunity;
  • hard work.

There are also a few downsides:

  • aggressive nature;
  • tendency to swarm.


These insects are distinguished by their small size and calm nature. A feature of Thai bees is an unusual appearance. They have no stripes on their abdomen, because it has a black color. These insects are safe for humans.


These insects are very large. Their peculiarity is considered to be very painful bites. Tiger individuals are dangerous not only for people, but also for bees. They are constantly in search of food and are able to attack apiaries, killing honey insects.


Bees of this breed are characterized by a light gray color and a long proboscis. The uterus is able to bring up to 3000 eggs per day. These insects tolerate winter well. They have strong immunity, produce a lot of wax and actively protect nests.

The advantages of the breed include:

  • high degree of frost resistance;
  • minimum feed requirement in winter;
  • no tendency to steal;
  • transport resistance.

At the same time, Ukrainian bees are also characterized by some disadvantages:

  • tendency to swarm;
  • lack of nectar collection in bad weather.

The biggest bee Megachile pluto

Megachile pluto is the largest variety of Anthophila. Insects are found in the Moluccas. They live in tree termite mounds. The females of this breed are considered the largest bees in the world. Their length reaches 39 millimeters, and the wingspan is 63 millimeters. Males are smaller. Their body length is 23 millimeters.

Today there are a lot of bee breeds, each of which has its own characteristics. This helps each beekeeper choose the most suitable option for him, depending on personal preferences and climatic features of the area.

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