- Apis Mellifera Mellifera -
Known as ‘Black Bees’ due to appearance, the dark honey bee used to be found from Ireland in the west to Russia in the east. Ireland has some of the purest dark honey bees left in Europe. Irish bees can fly at lower temperatures and forage further even in dull and drizzly weather hence are naturally adapted to living in the Irish climate. The breeding season is quite short to fit in with our normal Irish summers. To keep themselves warm, they are bigger and hairier than other European honey bees. While their populations are smaller than those of other honey bees, they may compensate for this by living longer. They are excellent at sparing their stores during bad weather.