Sicilian black bees are a species of bee characterized by a very dark abdomen, a yellowish fluff and small wings. They are therefore very different from the “Ligustica” bee, the “classic” Italian bee that we are used to seeing from the typical yellow and black colour.
The Sicilian Apis mellifera is a type of bee that colonized the western part of Sicily especially until the early 70s, when Sicilian beekeepers began to import Ligustic bees from northern Italy. It was for this reason that the Sicilian black bee risked extinction, a risk that vanished thanks to the work of Carlo Amodeo who, in order to avoid the hybridization of this species, isolated them on the island of Filicudi where it is not possible to import other types of bees and thus the purity of the species is guaranteed.
This type of bee carries in its DNA genes typical of African bees, without the typical aggressiveness: in fact it is possible to approach it without much precaution, and honey producers can work without productive masks. Another of their characteristics is that of being a very productive insect even in very hot periods, when other bees stop being productive; they then develop their brood between December and January and consume less honey than other bees.
The Sicilian black bee has been a Slow Food Presidium for over ten years and has producers in Palermo, Messina and Trapani.
Unfortunately, the threat of extinction of this species is still alive and for this reason there is a “Project for the reintroduction and conservation of the subspecies at risk of extinction Apis mellifera sicialiana” financed by the Region of Sicily, which provides for the research of genetic lines necessary to ensure its purity and the creation of fertilization stations in isolated places in Sicily.
Like all bees, this species produces excellent honey and in Sicily it is produced of excellent quality: this is what you can see for yourself by participating in our Mt. Etna and Wine Tasting Tour, which includes the tasting of Sicilian honey after the lunch break.
To know other typical flavors of our island participate in the Gastronomic Tour organized by our partner Sicily Day by Day: you will taste many typical products in the most characteristic places of the city.