The Dark European Honeybee
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Conserve our Native Honeybee – the Dark European Honeybee!
The Apis mellifera mellifera (1761) of Linnaeus is the Dark European Honeybee whose natural territory included the island of Corsica and ranged from the Pyrenees over Europe north of the Alps to the Ural Mountains in the East, and included Great Britain and Ireland and southern Sweden. Although there is no historical record of honeybees in Norway before 1775, it is known from archaeological evidence that A. m. mellifera was present in southern Norway round about 1200 A.D.
It is the only Native Honeybee of Europe north of the Alps, and well adapted to survive in a harsh climate. It was exclusively used in beekeeping in Europe until 1850, but afterwords was heavily hybridized in many countries through the massive importations of other Honeybee strains, especially Carniolans and Italian Bees. Today the Dark European Honeybee is threatened by extinction. Only a few populations of pure Apis mellifera mellifera exist in Great Britain, France, Belgium, Scandinavia, the Alps and Eastern Europe.
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