The 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.