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Author Topic: Why is this bee a different color?  (Read 1201 times)

Offline jeremy_c

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Why is this bee a different color?
« on: May 11, 2009, 04:06:18 PM »
This is my first year as a beek. This Saturday I installed my 3rd and 4th hive and with these two hives I have a small percentage of different color bees. They are suppose to be Italian. I had to wait around to get a picture of this bee, but I've seen many of them, sometimes three or more on the landing area at a time and then other times 5 minutes go by w/o seeing one with this coloring.

Any thoughts on this? Here is a picture of her:

http://jeremy.cowgar.com/files/black_yellow_hb.jpg

Thanks for any info!

Jeremy
Bee section of my blog: http://jeremy.lifewithchrist.org/category/bee-keeping.html ... has stories, pictures and videos of a new beekeeper.

Offline zzen01

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Re: Why is this bee a different color?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 04:22:37 PM »
The first one hasn't had a chance to put on her make-up yet. :-D

Offline BeeHopper

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Re: Why is this bee a different color?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009, 04:46:19 PM »
The Queen in the packages you bought may be Italian, but her offspring will vary depending on the Drones she mated with. The Workers and Drones that she came with in the packages are not necessarily her offspring either.

Offline Bee Happy

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Re: Why is this bee a different color?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 05:31:31 PM »
The Queen in the packages you bought may be Italian, but her offspring will vary depending on the Drones she mated with. The Workers and Drones that she came with in the packages are not necessarily her offspring either.

I've got a pretty good number of those nice little carniolans. I don't mind them at all, they bring pollen and nectar - nice girls really.
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Offline jeremy_c

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Re: Why is this bee a different color?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 05:56:21 PM »
Is there some web resource that will show a picture of different honey bees (or even all bees) for identification purposes?

Jeremy
Bee section of my blog: http://jeremy.lifewithchrist.org/category/bee-keeping.html ... has stories, pictures and videos of a new beekeeper.

Offline NasalSponge

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Re: Why is this bee a different color?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 06:07:47 PM »
It is genetic diversity baby!! Good stuff. I have one hive that has both the bees you are showing there all from the same queen (Not a package)..nothing to worry about.  :-D

Offline jeremy_c

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Re: Why is this bee a different color?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 06:54:11 PM »
Maybe someone can identify another one for me? It had no stripes on the abdomen, it was all black. I only saw one of those and was unable to get a picture, but it was the same size, same look/apperance as my other honey bees except all black abdomen. It landed on the entrance and walk right into the hive like she was home.

Jeremy
Bee section of my blog: http://jeremy.lifewithchrist.org/category/bee-keeping.html ... has stories, pictures and videos of a new beekeeper.

Offline NasalSponge

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Re: Why is this bee a different color?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 08:07:22 PM »
I have some of those as well....are you sure we didn't get our bees from the same place?? :-D

Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Why is this bee a different color?
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2009, 01:53:35 PM »
Almost any race of bees can be almost any color variations.  Italians can have black bees, and carniolans can be yellow.  In general, though, Caucasians are all yellow, Italians are yellow with black stripes, Carniolans and Russians are black.  But that is like saying that all Dutch people are pale with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Most of my hives are Italians with a few bees that are darker.

And it is possible that there are bees from different hives mixed in as well.
Rick

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Why is this bee a different color?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2009, 02:38:37 PM »
Almost any race of bees can be almost any color variations.  Italians can have black bees, and carniolans can be yellow.  In general, though, Caucasians are all yellow, Italians are yellow with black stripes, Carniolans and Russians are black.  But that is like saying that all Dutch people are pale with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Most of my hives are Italians with a few bees that are darker.

And it is possible that there are bees from different hives mixed in as well.

Caucasians are mostly Gray.  Back in the 50's & 60's we had 3 colors of bees: Black were German, Yellow or Gold were Italian, and Gray was Caucasian.
Beekeeper's used to refer to the type of bee as often by color as by name. 
Now-a-days we have such a diversity of bee types in this country that we have to widen the descriptiion a bit: Black = German, Yellow = Italian, Gold = Cardovan (aka Italians), Gray = Caucasians, Carnies, and Russians, Rust or Red = Buckfast or Minnesota Hygenics.
With that said most of the bees in this country are mutts being crossed with another strain of bee at some point.  What we call purebred is probably only 90-95% pure.  As long as it is a bee and comes from one of your hives it's good.
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