Pre Orders Available Now – Will be ready from late April Onwards
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 high quality breeder queens. Virgin queens are a cheaper option than mated queens. They are useful for introducing to a colony where you are not completely sure of the queenright status as they are often more readily accepted by the bees.
Available Late April – August, they will be posted out on a Tuesday morning having hatched on Monday.
They will be sent out in a queen cage with several attendants, they will be colour marked for year. Once introduced, leave the hive alone for 3 weeks before going back to check for signs of egg laying
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.
The risk with virgin queens is getting them mated, we are not responsible for any virgins that become drone layers, or do not take. Natural mating success can be low if weather conditions are not good and this is reflected in the price of the queen. The queens are all daughters of one of our Carniolan breeders however character of the colony produced by this queen though will be also dependent on the character of the local drones that she has available to mate with.
We would suggest introducing as you would normally, and then leaving the hive undisturbed for at least 3 weeks. At which point you can check quickly for signs of eggs/ laying.
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 neighbouring 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. With Virgin queens we bear no responsibility for the quality or success of mating in any way.