Slovenian climate and landscape are as diverse as the flora that provides
forage to the bees. Depending on weather conditions as well as the
geological base, various parts of Slovenia have different types of
vegetation. Over long periods of time, bees have adapted to these conditions,
obliging us to maintain their characteristics within particular geographical
areas. Slovenia is relatively evenly inhabited by bees, and queen breeders
are distributed evenly as well.
The Carniolan bee is known for its calm character,
stillness on the honeycomb, good orientation, and utilization of
forest forage; its advantage lies in its rapid spring development,
good cleaning instinct, disease resistance and frugality because
it over-winters in colonies with a relatively low number of bees.
Its disadvantage is a tendency to swarm. This is in fact primarily
the result of the beekeeping method – in their work, the beekeepers
are slow to keep up with the bees’ fast spring development and fail
to expand the hive space in time.
In the past, Slovenians have had excellent, talented
beekeepers, who greatly contributed to the global body of beekeeping
knowledge. One hundred years ago, Slovenian beekeepers and bee merchants
controlled the trade in Carniolan bee colonies and queens all over
the world. This example can still be followed by today’s beekeepers.
Slovenia has good queen breeders and can breed a sufficient number
of bee colonies; now we only have to learn how to sell them, especially
abroad. The great loss of bee colonies all over the world offers
an opportunity to profit from our own surplus.
However, first we have to ensure that our bees are
healthy and that we maintain our bee stock and its vitality.