Very peaceful and hardworking Karnik Bees


Probably all beekeepers would like their workers to be quite productive, not very demanding and not bite at the first best opportunity. Such are the bees of Karnik.

Breed description


The first mention of insects of the Karnik breed appeared at the end of the XIX century. They were then massively bred in Austria, in the duchy of Krajn. Engaged in this breed beekeeping trading company Michael Ambrozhicha. It was this company that tried to spread insects in Russia by selling through advertising in thematic magazines. But Karnik was then quite an expensive breed and was not much in demand in Russia.

So, for example, then for one uterus it was necessary to pay 3 rubles. and 50 kopecks., and the price for a uterus with a kilogram of bees reached 8 rubles. At that time it was a lot of money. Oh yeah, the name of the breed "Karnika" was formed relatively recently. Until this time, the breed was known as Krainskaya. According to the data for 1890, there were about 49 thousand families of these insects in the Extreme.

But if the price of the Krainsky was high, then what contributed to their spread and further popularity? The reason for the great demand was the invention of the frame hive. So in the countries of Europe, and to a greater extent Germany, very many began to engage in beekeeping. Of course, enterprising entrepreneurs from Krajn hurried to satisfy all the demands of customers and became the main exporter of honey plants.

To expand their business, they bought up all the bees, along with their undivided evidence on near lying peasant lands. But no control was taken when buying. Thus, among the Krajinsky individuals Cyprus insects and even Italian came across. Some were overly aggressive, while others simply did not tolerate the local winters. Because of this situation, bees from Krajna and Carinthia have earned ill fame and the demand for them has plummeted.

Soon, after the discovery of such a disease as akapidoz, the export of honey products from Carinia and Krajna stopped altogether. This was due to the false hypothesis that striped insects are the culprits of this disease. But those who managed to buy bee families only when the trading company was born in Extreme, were very pleased with their purchase. So, especially German breeders, noted that the nature of the purchased individuals is very calm and balanced, and the productivity is much greater than that of indigenous insects.

Today, thanks to the excellent adaptation of the bees from Krajn, they have spread far beyond their homeland. These workers are widespread throughout Southeast Europe. Their greatest number is in Austria, Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Greece, and also the northern part of the Carpathians. Now let's look at why we call this breed Karnik today, and not Kraynskaya or Carinthian?

Where did the name come from?

Yes, indeed, in Russia, the breed was originally known as the Kraynska, since it was from there that the insects were brought. But due to the long-term export to other countries and the further uncontrolled selection, quite a lot of subspecies were formed. Although there are some differences between them, but still the general characteristics of the original breed have been preserved by all, but they could no longer be called Krayns.

So, the name "Karnik" (Apis mellifica carnica Polltn), which was proposed by the beekeeper Polmann in 1880, was more firmly attached to them. According to C. Erndt, Polmann came up with this name based on the range of bees. But there is a second, equally popular opinion, which states that the name Karnik, came from the Celts who lived in the territory of Carinthia. So, from the Celtic "carn" - this is a cliff with a sharp top.


As already mentioned, today there are many subspecies of Karnik insects. If the beekeeper first met them, then he can give a characteristic of the breed according to the practice of G. Sclenar, which speaks of an insect in just three words: peaceful, calm, gray. It is these associations that the first meeting with Karnik should cause in the beekeeper. Indeed, they have a well-pronounced gray color, but there are also those who show yellowness.

Here the opinions of scientists-beekeepers are strongly divided. Some believe (Professor F. Ruttner) that yellowness in coloring is not a sign of the influence of other breeds, for example, Italian, and is permissible in the breed. Others (M. Alber), on the contrary, state that purebred individuals must be exclusively gray, and any yellowness is an admixture of other breeds. But there is another feature in the appearance of insects, which is inherent in all individuals - this is their rather long proboscis. Its length, depending on the habitat, is from 6 to 7 mm.


As far as robility is concerned, in the Bees of Extreme it is elevated. Earlier such prowess was not considered a vice and was not attributed to the shortcomings of these insects, but today everything has changed to the roots. But here, too, there are some points that speak in favor of striped workers.

So, based on the opinion of G. Goetze (1950), purebred specimens from Krajina were really very royal. But later it turned out that this moment can be controlled and with proper care, as well as the use of certain beekeeping techniques, they can be quite kept from swarming.

You can also bring in the protection of insects, the fact that in South Australia, Karnik is no more royal than the Caucasian or Italian bees, which local breeders have worked for. Moreover, less rejuvenating strains have been developed here - these are Peshetz, Sclenar and Troisek. Then the Carpathian Karnika in this sense is generally unique. Her loyalty is so small that talking about her makes no sense. As you can see, robility, most likely, is directly related to the external living conditions of the bees and it is impossible to characterize the entire breed.

The main features of the breed

Susceptibility to disease

On this issue, there are disagreements among scientists, and in particular, whether Karnik is sick with Nozematosis. According to some, it is the scourge of the breed, while others argue that this species is the least malleable to the disease. In their defense, they cite many facts. So A. Curle argues that Karnik is immune to diseases of the brood and, where the breed is found clean, diseases such as nausea, paralysis, and acarapidosis can be forgotten.

Are you good at building?

It is generally accepted that the Karnik Bees are excellent builders. This is true, because they begin to rebuild the cell with the arrival of spring, even with a meager bribe. For clarity, we can say that one family of the Carpathian Karnika is able to rebuild up to 15 frames of Dadan-Blatt in one season, and these are about two buildings of a multihull hive. Indicators as we see are not small.

Honey seal

This indicator varies in different species. Many beekeepers indicate that the seal of honey in the breed is dry and white. In fact, it is, in all species, this indicator is close to dry.


As the scientists say, "Karnik would be amazed to learn about such building material as propolis." And this is true, the breed almost does not use such building material as propolis. But recently it was found that this feature also depends on the habitat of insects. So, for example, Karnik actively uses propolis in the area of ​​Belgrade and to the south of it.


These bees are considered the most economical. So, their feed consumption in winter is very small. Economy mode in insects begins immediately after the last bribe at the end of the summer.


On the breed Karnik mostly positive. Their calm character, peacefulness and increased productivity - the dream of any beekeeper. Breeders claim that families can be inspected without smoke and nets, and in any weather. In this case, striped insects behave as if nothing happens to them. The calm temper affects even when transporting families.

The Australian K.M. Dole asserts that when transported to the honey collection of Karnik bees, the temperature in the hives almost did not change. Before that, he had Italian honey plants and during transportation, the temperature inside the hives rose strongly and held for quite a long time. This is one of the factors that prompted him to replace the Italians with Karnik. Then, these bees perfectly tolerate cold winters and are not inferior in hardiness even to Carpathian and Ukrainian.

Breeders consider one more main advantage of the breed to be high and stable indicators of honey collection. According to the breeders, they are 20% more than the Carpathian and stable at the same time every year.

An interesting fact is that almost no one complains of being swaggering, and according to some, it is manifested only in those individuals for whom the beekeeper himself has overlooked. As you can see, Karnik is an excellent choice for those who want to increase the profitability of their apiary and at the same time not to lose anything. And those who have already encountered these bees at least once will never change them for others.

Video "Karnik in Beeboxes hives"

What else is called the breed of bees Karnik?

  • Extreme
  • Kraynskaya
  • Carinthian
  • Own version in the comment 🙂




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