We are now out of stock for 2020, please pre-order for delivery on a first come first serve basis for late May 2021 (weather dependant)
Alternatively fill the in the form below to express interest in a queen next year on a first come first serve – priority will be given to those who pre-order over those expressing interest.
Carniolan bees are fantastic to work with they build up very quickly in the spring and overwinter brilliantly as they manage stores very efficiently.
Our queens are produced in the UK, they are bred from a high quality breeder queen and open mated in a relatively isolated apiary with drone colonies nearby to ‘flood’ the area with drones from these selected colonies. These result in great quality queens that we use in our production hives.
Available late May – September, they will be marked with the appropriate colour for the year and can be clipped on request. All queens will be posted on a Monday morning unless you contact us to arrange a specific delivery date. We will aim to meet your selected delivery date however as queen production relies heavily on the weather we may have to delay your order, if this is the case we will be in touch
Please note – you cannot start a colony with a queen only, you require either a full hive, package or a nuc.
Please purchase queens in a separate order to other items and select next day delivery at checkout
If you wish to purchase more than 5 queens please get in touch so we can sort out postage and price specifically for you. – Contact Us
Carniolan bees have a number of great traits:
- Considered to be gentle and non-aggressive
- Can be kept in populated areas
- Sense of orientation considered better than the Italian honey bee
- Less drifting of bees from one hive to a neighboring hive
- When compared to the Italian honey bee, they are not as prone to rob honey
- Able to overwinter in smaller numbers of winter bees
- Honey stores are conserved
- Able to quickly adapt to changes in the environment
- Better for areas with long winters
- Fast rhythm of brood production and then brood rearing reduction when available forage decreases
- Low use of propolis
- Resistant to brood diseases
- For areas with strong spring nectar flow and early pollination
- Bees forage earlier in the morning and later in the evening, and on cool, wet days
The Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica ) is a subspecies of the western honey bee. The Carniolan honey bee is native to Slovenia and to some regions of the former Yugoslavia, southern Austria, and parts of Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.
The bee is a subspecies of the Western honey bee that has naturalised and adapted to the Kočevje (Gottschee) sub-region of Carniola (now in Slovenia), the southern part of the Austrian Alps and the northern Balkans. These bees are known as Carniolans, or “Carnies” for short, in English. At present this subspecies is the second most popular among beekeepers (after the Italian bee). It is favoured among beekeepers for several reasons, not the least being its ability to defend itself successfully against insect pests while at the same time being extremely gentle in its behaviour toward beekeepers. These bees are particularly adept at adjusting worker population to nectar availability. It relies on these rapid adjustments of population levels to rapidly expand worker bee populations after nectar becomes available in the spring, and, again, to rapidly cut off brood production when nectar ceases to be available in quantity. It meets periods of high nectar with high worker populations and consequently stores large quantities of honey and pollen during those periods. They are resistant to some diseases and parasites that can debilitate hives of other subspecies.
If any queen is found dead on arrival this needs to be reported to us within 24 hours of delivery. We will expect a photo of the queen and attendants in the original unopened cage before we will be able to send out a out replacement free of charge.