Honey bees belong to the genus Apis. This is subdivided into nine bee species. The western honey bee (Apis mellifera) lives in Europe. There are also, for example, the eastern honey bee (Apis cerena) and the giant honey bee (Apis dorsate).

The different bee species sometimes differ greatly from each other. For example, in behaviour and appearance. They may be larger/smaller or prefer different nesting space. There are also species that change their place of residence again and again. They leave the honeycomb and build a new one somewhere else. Or they prefer open trees as nesting sites instead of caves and trees.

What is a bee breed?
A species can be divided into breeds. This involves, for example, the appearance and behaviour of the animals as well as their adaptation to a habitat. However, this system is man-made and not natural. The boundaries are arbitrary and there are, of course, hybrids. The term breed seems to be used only for domestic animals and bees. For other animals, the term "subspecies" seems to have been adopted.

The western honey bee (Apis mellifera), for example, is divided into the bee breeds Carnica (Apis mellifera carnica), the Caucasian bee (Apis mellifera caucasica), the dark bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) and the Italian bee (Apis mellifera ligustica). These bee breeds can also be further differentiated into local occurrences.
The dark bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) was originally common in England, Germany and Poland, for example. However, it was displaced by beekeepers by the Carnica (Apis mellifera carnica), which originated in Austria and neighbouring areas, and is hardly present any more.

The Buckfast is not a breed of western honey bee, as it is not concerned with a particular appearance. The aim of breeding is a bee with certain behavioural traits and performance characteristics.

Text source: German Bee Journal