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Below are multiple types of honey bees, some of these you may find available at times.
Below are the types of bees we offer - when available.
As a way to identify and converse about the many types of living things on our planet we give everything a name. Years ago a scientist developed a naming system, called taxonomy, as a way to catalogue the various forms of life  around us. So we now have common names as well as the scientific names of all biological life. These fall into branches, or families, then subfamilies, tribes, genus, species and subspecies.

Our beloved honey producing insects are from the Tribe Apini - or commonly called Honey Bees.

Here at The Bee Place, we work with queen breeders from various locations around the country, including Hawaii, to source the best genetics available. This is both for our own apiaries as well as the bees we offer for sale to the public. We have been very happy with the Italian lines for their gentle behavior and production and the Pol-Lines for their durability and fast build up in the spring, both are VSH lines and tested for mite resistance as well as gentleness. Our Texan lines are also mite resistant and, like the others we offer, are proven to do very well in our area, but they are a bit more "spicy" - a trait that many people prefer. All three of these are good bees and produce good honey and have shown to be resistant to the Varroa Mites.

However, all of these lines bees are still exposed to the elements of nature and are subject to have mites, so we test and treat accordingly as needed. Failure to test and treat for mites with any genetic could result in colony loss in less than a year.

A quick Google search (see image below) will produce a wide range and types of bees - shown here for reference.

Within the Genus Apis we have the popular Species mellifera - Apis.mellifera a.k.a. The Western Honey Bee
Others include, A.cerana, the Asian cousin and more as shown above.
While there are others, most beekeepers prefer the Western verities.

They fall into several subspecies:

  • Subspecies ligustica - Italian Honeybee
  • Subspecies carnica - Carniolan Honeybee
  • Subspecies mellifera - Black Honeybee
  • Subspecies scutellata - African Honeybee
  • etc.

There are several different named strains of bees from different parts of the world. Each evolving to adopt to their surroundings over many years, therefore they are most suited to their own environments. Some adapt well in other areas, some not so much. Extreme temperature variations, for example, and other conditions make one race favorable over another in different areas and parts of the world.

Here is a list of some of the more common and well known types:
Italian, German, Carniolan, Buckfast, Caucasian, Russian and the infamous Africanized Hybrid honey bee. There are numerous additional hybrid stocks currently available with more being worked on constantly.

Since we understand that not everyone has the same preferences, here at The Bee Place, we offer more than one type or "race" of bees, when available. We are also aware of some of the reasons that someone may chose one type of bee over another. For example, when starting out in beekeeping the average person prefers to work with bees of the most gentle and docile temperaments. For this reason, the Italian lines are the most popular for first year beekeepers. As with most things, as more education and experience is gained, with beekeeping, the more confident one becomes handling bees and less intimidated by more defensive colonies.

So depending on where you are on the road of your beekeeping adventure or who you ask, one type of bee may be preferred over another. This graphic from the good folks at Eversweet Apiaries offers an overview of the different races and their traits (note: not everyone agrees with this chart). An internet search for "Different types of honey bees" will return this and many more results offering a description with pros and cons for each race. Please keep in mind that as with most things beekeeping, there are about as many different opinions as there are beekeepers and not all are in agreement. A particular trait, fast builders for example, is considered by some to be a good trait (because they want their bees to build up fast in the spring) and a bad trait by others because they may swarm if they are not provided adequate growing room in a timely fashion. Or, the more defensive the race, the more pest (mite and beetle) and predator resistant they are, but they are not a race you can work without a good suit and gloves. So they all have their pros and cons. It may be several seasons before you discover which race is right for you and will perform best in your area. Or you may enjoy a variety of bees in your apiary and experimenting with these different traits.

(Click the image for a larger view)

Types Available

VSH Italian Queen with Bees
Recommended for Beginning Beekeepers

A very gentle bee with high honey production, good early build up, medium swarming rate, and will over winter well in our area.

The traditional Italians are now tested for mite resistant considered VSH lines. These bees do have a tendency to rob other colonies, including their own kind.


More Here ... Italian Bees


VSH Pol-Line Queen with Bees
Recommended for Beginning Beekeepers

The Pol-line breeding program was conceived and used by the USDA to move VSH traits from the lab into bees that commercial beekeepers would want to use. They were very successful with the program's results. "Pol-line" initially named some of the early queens produced from the program. Understanding that "Pol-line" actually names a selection and breeding process that may be used to breed with any population of honey bees, is important. Breeding stock that's the result of a program that uses similar methodology as the Pol-line program will also have good results, depending of course on the proficiency of the breeding, selection and size of the population used. The takeaway is that the breeding method, produces the strain.

More Here ...
Pol-Line Bees

VSH Texan Queen with Bees
Mite Resistant - From Local Breeding Stock

A mite resistant  bee with good honey production, steady early build up, low swarming rate, and will over winter very well in our area.

The Texans are moderately defensive, more than some of the other lines of bees, but not as aggressive as others, such as the Russian lines.


More Here ... Texan Bees

We think our Texan bees deserve good marks in production and survival rate in a modern day bee's world filled with numerous obstacles. You will need a veil and gloves to work them, but they will produce and require less maintenance.

Please visit the Bees For Sale page to order bees

The table below was originally from the North Carolina State University website, but has been modified in recent years to include our own Texan line.
Visit their site for their version on The Different Types of Honey Bees and the traits they exhibit.

Comparison of bees and their traits

  Italian Pol-Line Texan Buckfast Caucasian Russian
Color Light Medium Medium Medium Dark Gray
Varroa + + + - - +
Tracheal + + + + 0 +
AFB* + + + 0 0 0
EFB** + + + 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 + - 0
Gentleness High High Low-Mod Low-Mod High Low-Mod
Spring buildup Good Very good Good Low Very low OK
Over-wintering ability Good Good Very good Good OK Very good
Excess swarming OK OK OK Low Low OK
Honey processing Very Good Very Good Very Good Good Low OK
Propolis Low Low OK Low High OK
Other traits Heavy robbing Low robbing, good comb builders Spicy, but respond well to smoke Supersedure queens produce defensive colonies Long tongue Brood rearing affected by flow, queen cells always present

* AFB = America foulbrood
** EFB = European foulbrood


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