The Carnica subspecies was naturalised in the southern part of the Austrian Alps, all the way to the coast of the Jadran sea, in southern Pannonian plain and in the Dinarides region.
It was first described in 1879 by Pollman. He named the bees Apis mellifera carnica, after the region of Carniola (now in Republic of Slovenia), from where it was sent. The Carniolan honey bee or Carnie for short is also called »the Carniolan gray« (Kranjska sivka), because of the light gray coloured hairs on the abdomen.
However, even before Pollman first described the bee, beekeeping in Slovenia was already highly developed. In the second half of the 18th century, prominent beekeeping teachers such as Anton Janša and Peter Glavar were teachers and innovators in beekeeping practices, reaching as far as Vienna.
From 1858 until the First World War, the flourishing bee trade helped expand the natural habitat of the Carniolan honey bee throughout the territory of present Austria, parts of Germany, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia. Nowadays, the Republic of Slovenia has protected the Carniolan honeybees as autochtonous bee species.