The Nordic bee (Apis mellifera mellifera), also called the Black or Brown bee, has been documented in Sweden as far back as the 13th century. The darker color of their relatively long hairs helps them absorb heat in a cold climate. Domestication of the bee in Sweden spread from Mälardalen northwards in the 1700s, when beekeepers began to construct straw hives instead of collecting honey from the hollow trees where the bees would naturally make their hives. However, by the 1800s, beekeepers also started importing more productive bees from other countries, but along with them, imported the varroa mite.
In the 21st century, producers have become more aware of the risk of extinction of the Nordic bee. Many beekeepers and farmers have switched to organic methods or decreased use of chemicals in order to help bee populations. There are special projects for breeding Nordic bees in order to fight against crossbreeding, particularly with Italian honeybees. Specific areas where the bee is being purebred include areas in Jämtland, Holmön, Utö Island and Lurö Island. In fact, the creamy, floral honey from Lurö Island (Luröhonung) is made exclusely with the use of the native Nordic bees.