Several types of honey bees are hived in North American for honey. The most common are described below.
Apis mellifera ligustica. This is the most popular bee in North American. These, as all of the commercial bees, are gentle and good honey producers.
These are a subset of the Italians. Cordovan color can be found in any breed, but most are lighter colored Italians with out the black stripes. Some do show a distinctive purple brown blend of color on their legs and head.
Apis mellifera carnica. These are dark brown honey bees. They tend to work in cooler weather and survive better in colder climates.
Apis mellifera caucasica. They have long been admired for a high level of mite resistance Russians were introduced to us by the USDA in June of 1997. They were studied in Louisiana and then tested in other states starting in 1999 for mite resistance.
Apis mellifera mellifera. These are the bees native to Germany and developed commercially in England. They tend to be dark bees with black to brown lower abdomens. They do well in colder climates.
Africanized Honey Bees (AHB)
Dr. Kerr, who bred them, called them Adansonii. AHB are a mixture of African (Scutelata) and Italian bees. Dr. Kerr attempted to increase honey production of bees by blending the characteristics of the two types. The Brazilians also were experimenting with them. They aggressive bees were accidentally released into the environment and the migration of those bees has been followed in the news for some time. They are extremely productive bees but are extremely defensive.
Per the Fl Dept of Agriculture, they recommend: