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What are the different breeds of bees?

The role of bees in biodiversity

Bees are an essential link in biodiversity. By transporting pollen grains from the female reproductive organ (pistil) to the male reproductive organ (stamen) of plants, they allow their fertilization and reproduction. The contribution of pollinating insects to biodiversity is estimated at more than 150 billion euros, or more than 10% of world food production. Finally, bees are essential for the production of honey and other bee products. French agriculture has around 1 million hives for 40,000 beekeepers and a production of around 160,000 tonnes of honey.

Threats to bees

Over the past two decades, the high mortality of bees and wild pollinators (bumblebee, butterfly, etc.) has mobilized professionals and scientists all over the planet. The causes of this mortality are varied, the main one being pesticides.

The different species of bees that survive in our territories

Nearly 1000 species of bee live in France, of various colors and hairs. Each breed of bee forages different plants and has a specific nesting. Some live in colonies, others alone, while varieties have sting and others do not...

The main species of bees

Apis Mellifera: the best known in our regions.

Xylococcus: it is imposing and purple in color. 

Andrene: it lives mainly in hot and sandy regions. 

Melittidae: its specificity is to build its nest in the ground. 

Cuckoo: Its role is to parasitize the reserves of larvae. Not very friendly! 

Bumblebee: the largest social bee, hairy and dark…

The most frequent breeding bees in Western Europe

Apis Mellifera

It's the most common among our beekeepers. It often bears the name of black bee in reference to its color. It is a little swarming breed which is a great producer of honey and pollen.

Apis mellifera

Mellifera Ligustica

Known as the Italian in reference to its origin, it is one of the most widespread in the world. Its high fertility makes it very useful in hybridization operations. Even if she has great adaptability, she does not like the cold. It is rarely found in northern Europe.

mellifera ligustica


As the name suggests it comes from the Caucasus. It is soft, hairy and greyish. Its very long tongue allows it to gather in depth the nectar of the flowers.

Abeille caucasienne


It is a hybrid bee that was created in England by combining several breeds. At the time, the herd of Buckfast Abbey, which had been affected by an epidemic of acariasis, had to rebuild its bee population and decided to create this hybrid bee. It is very sweet and prolific. It is often found in cities.

Abeille buckfast


Originally from the Alps of southern Austria, it is soft and gray. It is often used for harvesting honeydew honey, including fir.

abeille carniolienne


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