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Today, on the International Day for Biological Diversity, NordGen releases an updated plan of action for the conservation of the Nordic Brown Bee. The goal of the plan is to, in cooperation with beekeepers in the Nordic countries, save the bee from extinction.

The Nordic brown bee (Apis mellifera mellifera)

is a native subspecies to the honey bee. During thousands of years, it has adapted to the local environment in the Nordic region. However, in the 20th century, we started importing other subspecies, such as the Carnica honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica)

which is dominating the bee hives today. The import of other bees led to heavy competition for the Nordic brown bee, which today is endangered. With the updated plan of action, NordGen hopes that more people will choose to keep the Nordic brown bee or eat its honey and thereby save it from extinction. “The native bee of the Nordic region has many advantages due to the fact that it’s adapted to our local environment. It has longer hairs and continues to fly at lower temperatures. There are also indications that they are better equipped to withstand Varroa and Nosema”, says Linn Fenna Groeneveld, Senior Scientist at NordGen Farm Animals.

18 recommended actions

NordGen’s updated report, called Second Plan of Action for the Conservation of the Nordic Brown Bee, contains a list of 18 recommended activities for conserving the Nordic brown bee. It includes facilitating the exchange of breeding material and encourages commercial production of Nordic brown bee queens. But perhaps the most important activity is to maintain and promote a network for beekeepers. “Saving the Nordic brown bee is not being done in museums. It’s being done by having a healthy and productive bee, attractive to beekeepers. When beekeepers meet and exchange knowledge and experiences of the Nordic brown bee, we increase the chances of saving it”, says Linn Fenna Groeneveld.

Here you can download and read the full Plan of Action for the Conservation for the Nordic Brown Bee.


Mervi Honkatukia (speaks Finnish and English) Section Leader NordGen Farm Animals +47 407 29 478 Sara Landqvist (speaks Swedish and English) Communications Manager, NordGen +46 763 03 33 88