Beekeeping in the Leningrad region: features and problems of apiaries, prospects

Beekeeping in the Leningrad region: features and problems of apiaries, prospects

The development of beekeeping in the Leningrad Region is closely connected with the task of expanding the fodder base of meat and dairy livestock. Forage crops are good honey plants. The period of haymaking coincides with the mass flowering of grasses, when bees actively harvest nectar and pollen. The honey-bearing potential of the forest and meadow forbs has not been fully used.

Climate for beekeeping in the Leningrad Region

The climatic conditions of the Leningrad region are favorable for the development of beekeeping, despite the unstable nature of the weather.The movement of air masses from the Atlantic, the proximity of the Gulf of Finland, Ladoga and Onega lakes are the main factors determining the temperature regime, the number of days with precipitation, and cloudiness.

Analysis of the 150-year period of meteorological observations suggests that during this time the average temperature has steadily increased: in comparison with 1871-1900 - almost 2 times (from 3.8 to 6.3 degrees), from 1961- 1990 by 1.3 degrees. Precipitation also increased by 148mm and 59mm in the respective periods.

The number of cloudless days in the spring-summer period ranges from 75 to 90. A stable temperature above 10 degrees has been established in the region since early May. During the flowering of honey plants, the period favorable for the summer of bees can be significantly reduced due to changeable weather: squally winds and rains.

Honey Base

The honey-bearing base of the Leningrad region is formed from wild and cultivated plants.

Forest plants give the highest honey harvest:

  • willow;
  • rowanberry;
  • lingonberries;
  • blueberries;
  • maple;
  • linden;
  • cherry;
  • honeysuckle;
  • raspberries.

Meadow forbs represented by:

  • fireweed;
  • cornflowers;
  • anemone;
  • geranium.

Supplement the honey base with crops of agricultural plants and horticultural crops:

  • clover;
  • buckwheat;
  • rapeseed;
  • colza;
  • phacelia;
  • donnik.

To get the maximum honey harvest, it is advantageous to place apiaries on forest edges.

The volume of spring honey collection depends most of all on the flowering of willow and maple. After the flowering of dandelions and gardens, there is a break in the work of bees until the end of July-beginning of August due to frequent cold snap and lack of mass flowering.

Late-summer bribe (honey collection in late July-early August) is formed by raspberries, clover, fireweed, cornflowers. On average, one bee family harvests from 11 to 27 kg of honey, depending on weather conditions.

Beekeepers who focus on spring honey production get better results.


Bee colonies of the Leningrad region most often suffer from the following diseases:

  • Varroatosis - damage by varroa mites. A dangerous parasitic disease, without treatment, leads to the death of the entire apiary.
  • Amebiasis - infection through water or feed of worker bees with amoebas Malpighamoeba mellifical. Leads to the death of 70-100% of the bee population outside the hive.
  • Ascospherosis is a fungal infection dangerous for week-old pupae. Ascofer mold is carried by worker bees.
  • Nosema is a disease caused by the Nosema parasite. A single-celled protozoan causes severe diarrhea in worker bees and the queen, as a result of which they become very weak and may die.

Over the past 20 years in the apiaries of the Leningrad region, there has been a death of bees in the autumn and winter periods due to the treatment of fields with pesticides of the 1st hazard class and the growth of varroatosis. In bees, due to pesticide poisoning, behavior changes: they lose the ability to transmit information, expel the queen from the hive and do not accept a new one, dooming the family to exhaustion and death.

Best breeds

According to the plan of breed zoning of bees in the Leningrad region, the Central Russian bee and the Carpathian are recommended. The Central Russian bee, or European dark, or dark forest, has qualities suitable for the climatic conditions and type of honey lands of the Leningrad region.

Bees of this species tolerate low temperatures well in winter (up to -42), while consuming little food, as they are in a state of deep rest. Hardy, which is important in a short period for a bribe. They can fly long distances from the hive. They are resistant to nosematosis. Disadvantages - aggressiveness, tendency to swarm. To work with this bee, the beekeeper must have knowledge and experience.

The Carpathian breed of bees endures wintering without dying, knows how to collect nectar in any weather, easily adapts to its changes.Karpatka processes all honey plants available to her. The bee family quickly gains strength in early spring and starts flying a few days earlier than other bee species. The breed is resistant to most diseases, not aggressive, does not swarm.

Public organizations and government support for beekeeping in the Leningrad Region

"St. Petersburg Society of Amateur Beekeepers" - a regional public organization representing the interests of citizens involved in beekeeping. The non-state association provides organizational and advisory assistance to members of the community. The company's office is located in St. Petersburg at st. Polozova, 5 (on the ground floor).

Citizens can contact the organization by phone or in person. During the summer period (June-August) admission is from Monday to Wednesday from 11.00 to 19.00.

In other months you can get a consultation on Monday and Friday from 11.00 to 19.00 and 11.00 to 18.00. Beekeepers, as well as farmers, are provided with state support in the regional budget. In 2022-2023, more than 3 million rubles were allocated for the development of beekeeping in the Leningrad Region.


Prospects for beekeeping in the region are closely related to the plans for the development of meat and dairy farming. To accomplish this task, it is necessary to create a forage base, the basis of which will be sowing crops.

Large areas will be occupied:

  • clover;
  • sainfoin;
  • clover;
  • phacelia.

To obtain high-quality hay, grass mowing occurs in the last phase of flowering, which opens up great opportunities for honey collection. Fields planted with fodder crops will be required to obtain seed material, which is impossible without pollination by bees.

Honey plants can be included in the crop rotation of cereals and leguminous crops, which will have a positive effect on farms and beekeeping. The forest area is 116 thousand hectares, the potential honey yield is estimated at 3 thousand tons, while the actual honey yield is slightly more than 1 thousand tons of honey.

Forest apiaries could expand the range of beekeeping products through the production of pollen, bee pollen. The incentive to increase the production of honey and bee products is the presence of a multi-million consumer in the region (St. Petersburg).

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