They are more solid black than striped with gray and are very hot. Of course I would be too, if someone was trying to force me into a house that I did not live in. They are smaller than most of the bees that are in my yards but dynamite comes in small packages too!!!!
My greatgrandfather had black german bees, my father hated them so bad because they were so always so hot and hard to work, didn't build up well due to agressiveness, that he hived a large Italian swarm into the black german hive. Lots of dead bees but the remaining italians lived to thrive. His grandfather, though, was mad as a wet hen as he had brought that particular hive out to Olympia from Pennsylvania when he moved west is the early 1900s. Small, black, and hot is the perfect description of black german bees.