In the territory of Slovenia we have been breeding the autochtonou honey bee Apis mellifera carnica for centuries. Today Apis mellifera CARNICA the is the only legally permitted honey bee in the Republic of Slovenia. It is one of the world’s best-known honey bee races – named Kranjska sivka or Carniolan Bee, Carnica Biene, Krainer Biene.

Carnica bee is the only honey bee race allowed to be kept in Slovenia, since it is protected by law as an indigenous Slovenian species.


The Carnica honey bee has superior features appreciated by beekeepers from around the world

  • Non-aggressive, rarely stings;
  • Calm and docile behaviour on the comb;
  • Rapid spring development;
  • High yields;
  • Good use of forest forage;
  • Moderate collection of propolis;
  • Excellent sense of orientation;
  • A well-developed cleaning instinct;
  • Overwintering in small colonies and minimum winter supplies consumption;
  • Very adaptable to diverse climatic conditions as well tolerates low and high temperatures;
  • Worker bees live from 4 to 9 days longer than other honeybee races;
  • Superiror honey yield, 37% more than the Caucasian and 18% more than the Italian bee;


Carnica honey bee is a gentle bee suitable for all beginners, for tourist and educational programs, for sensitive urban areas, etc.

  • beginners and professional beekeepers;
  • hobby and professional beekeepers;
  • queen breeders;
  • urban beekeeping and beekeeping in densely populated areas;
  • educational and tourism purposes;
  • mountainous areas;
  • coastal areas;
  • cooler areas and areas with long winters;
  • use of nectar and honeydew flow;
  • areas with intense spring flowering period;
  • areas with rapid changes in weather and frequent rain;


Carnica has intensive spring development. During this time a beekeeper must closely follow the development of bee colonies and their increasing number. Bees need a space to build and if not provided with enough space, they will find the place for building outside the hive (swarm).

The first and the only rule is to make sure that the bee colonies have enough space for their development so that they will not swarm.

The beekeeper must increase hive space on time. Not too soon, as to not hinder the development of the colonies and not too late, so not to swarm. Carniolan queen starts laying brood in the second half of January. In weaker colonies the queen starts in February. However, the brood development takes place at a breathtaking pace in the spring. In the spring months (March, April, May) the brood is increased by 450% (from 16 to 22 thousand bees in the winter to 80 thousand bees in the spring). In March and April the development of brood is very intensse and brood quickly fills the hive. When the concentration of bees reaches 450 bees / dm3, the frames are full of honey and outside conditions are favourable the bees are very likely to swarm. In the case when the concentration of bees exceeds 520 bees / dm3 then swarming is inevitable.



At the breeding station QUEEN CARNICA Beekeeping LEŠEK we have been breeding the 100% pure Apis mellifera CARNICA QUEENS intensively for the last 20 years and we are proud of more than 300 honey bee colonies, which enables us to have a large quantity of first-class breeding stock.