This is the first year of harvesting honey from these new hives. The Italians produced a decent amount of honey while the Carniolans had two frames to give. Italians tend to create an earlier brood than the Carniolans giving them the advantage of faster honey production in the spring. In the future, I am hoping this tendency of the Carniolans will bestow on us an early summer harvest in July plus a summer harvest in September. Still, I saw a major difference in the two harvests this year.
Conversely, other beekeepers have mentioned a July harvest would be lighter in color and, consequently, it was. Nevertheless, I am still partial to the late harvest more robust flavor.
In August or when the blooming of most plants producing nectar and pollen ends (periods of dearth) the Italians will begin reducing brood while the Carniolans will keep going strong until September. This means the Italians will have an average population into winter while the Carniolans will have a much stronger hive for the winter. Lower hive population means less ability to keep warm. Many other beekeepers praise the Carniolans in this area for that reason. I also wonder, since Carniolans tend to have higher numbers in the fall, this might help them keep the hive beetles in check better. I plan to keep track to see if I notice a difference, but I have already noticed more beetles in the Italian hive when I did a treatment. In the fall, the beetles tend to achieve overtaking hives in this area. I am working to prevent this.
Another difference between the two subspecies is the Italians tend to collect less in cooler and overcast weather. The Carniolans keep going with regular activity in this condition. I am hoping the Carniolans, after being established, will out produce the Italians next year.
Moreover, most beekeepers claim the Italians are more laid back while other claim Carniolans are more gentle. My Italians are aggressive while the Carniolans hive is more mellow. Go figure!
Compared to the Italians, the Carniolans tend to swarm. Once the queen begins laying they can run out of space in 60 days. This is something I will have to watch next year.