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Ukrainian bees

Ukrainian bees

Ukrainian bees have gained great popularity among beekeepers, because it is this insect that gives a good result, allowing you to collect a lot of honey per season. Bees are characterized by a calm temperament, but can be aggressive against their enemies, do not give themselves in offense. The article reveals the characteristics and productivity of Ukrainian bees.


Around the origin of the Ukrainian bee there is a heated debate among scientists. Some are convinced that the breed is a southern branch of the Russian bee. Other scientists are sure that the Ukrainian bee is a relative of the Carpathian and Carniolan. Some, however, insist on the origin of the Macedonian bee.

In 1929, bees that live in the south of Ukraine and Russia were named Apis mellifera acervorum Scorikov. It was given to them by the scientist-beekeeper Scorikov. When conducting further research, it was found that part of the population that inhabits the steppes and forest-steppes of Ukraine, differs in many traits so much that it is considered by some to be a separate breed. In 1999, a scientist from America, M. Engel, named the bee Apis mellifera sossimai Engel.

Ukrainian bee character

Ukrainian bee is characterized by a calm character. They are not very aggressive if the beekeeper inspects the hive and opens the nests. If such a need arises, they keep the bees calm with smoke. They are less calm than Cordovan or Italian bee breeds. However, they are much more peaceful than the Russian bee.

Habitat areas

Ukrainian bees, most likely the result of unsystematic mestization of Russian and Carpathian bees, inhabit the steppe and forest-steppe territory of southern Ukraine.

Swarming tendency

The probability of swarming is moderate. Up to 10% of bee families go into swarming state, moreover, a week later than Carnica or Carpathian bees. One family lays up to 15 queen cells, which are removed. Swarming is controlled by expanding the hive and renewing queens every few years.

Productivity of Ukranian bees

With the knowledge of Ukrainian bee, it will not be difficult to harvest a great honey yield in the future.

Acacia is a favorite plant of Ukrainian bees. During the flowering period of acacia, the amount of honey harvest can be about 60 kilograms, when nomading collect up to 100 kilograms of honey.

Bees carefully put nectar in the “store”, due to which the uterus has no obstacles for egg laying, and worker bees do not disturb.

The Ukrainian bee is valued for its production of wax in large volumes. For this reason, scientists compare the steppe bee with the Italian breed. In one season, the “laborers” are able to build about 20 frames, strong and sturdy bee colonies can boast better results – up to 25 honeycombs.

The fertility of queen is somewhat lower than that of Russian breed – 1,500 eggs per day.

Ukrainian bees develop slowly in spring, do not fly out when it is cold.

They are not inclined to switch to new honey plants.

They have excellent health, so they are resistant to nosema, european rot. In the cold season, bees spend a minimum amount of feed.

They can be transported – they carry the road without difficulties, their breeding is engaged in nomadic beekeeping and organization of mobile apiaries.

They are valued for their good and reliable honeycombs, which the bees seal with white caps when building them.

The insects are characterized by moderate nest propolisation, and in winter are capable of increasing it to 80 grams per colony.


Ukrainian bee has a lighter color compared to the Russian breed. The steppe bee has a grayish monotony with slight yellowness. The weight of a worker bee is about 105 mg, the weight of an unfertile queen is 180 mg, and the weight of a fertile queen is 200 mg.

How they tolerate winter

They tolerate long, cold winters very well. The period when Ukrainian bees do not fly is up to 180 days. They winter well in the open air. The advantage is that during the thaw, the queen does not react and does not start laying eggs, but waits for a full-fledged warming.

A tendency to rob

Not prone to robbing, but able to resist other insects that try to enter their nests.

Advantages of Ukrainian bees

Good health. Insects are free from nosema and rot.

No problems with transportation. Even with constant moving, there are no difficulties. The breed is used for nomadic beekeeping, which increases the honey yield.

Nest protection. Ukrainian bees are considered excellent guards, despite the fact that they do not have an aggressive character. But in front of enemies they are ready to defend their hive.

They are not prone to swarming. Only a minimal number of bees of this breed can undergo this process. With the right approach, the beekeeper will be able to cope with difficulties.

Easy wintering. Insects firmly endure the winter period, and during frosts consume little food.

Significant honey harvest. With good weather conditions and proper care, bees manage to collect about 150 kg of honey per season. This is high, exceeding the results of many breeds.

Disadvantages of Ukrainian bees

The disadvantages of  Ukrainian bee include slow spring development, refusal to fly in bad weather, and poor switching to new plants.

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