The Caucasian honey bee originates from the country of Georgia in the Caucasus mountain region. Caucasian honey bees are an Old World strain known for their gentleness and productivity. Apis mellifera caucasica is endowed with the longest tongue (7.1 mm avg.) of all known honey bee varieties. This trait, coupled with a propensity to fly earlier, later, and in cooler conditions results in a bee that is renowned for exceptional honey production. Another interesting trait is their tendency to gather larger amounts of propolis than most bees. Propolis has medicinal qualities and helps the bees defend their hive from invaders and drafts. Propolis is an essential component of honeybee survival and valuable hive product. A well sealed sanitary hive and a very frugal winter cluster makes for an extremely hearty bee that can handle harsh winters and produce huge crops.
Our source for Caucasian genetics is Sue Cobey and Steve Shepperd at the WSU breeding program. This germplasm was imported to help boost diversity in US honeybee stock. This is the reason, coupled with their numerous desirable traits, that we have incorporated these bees into our breeding program. As with our Survivor Stock, we will be selecting for low mite counts, hygienic behavior, and overall productivity. The Caucasians that we are offering this year will be open mated daughters from instrumentally inseminated breeders directly from Sue. We will also be collaborating with Sue and sending her the drones from last year's standout Caucasian daughters.
The Caucasian honeybee is a great way to increase diversity in your apiary and obtain very hearty genetics.