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Author Topic: Black Bee Identification  (Read 2258 times)
BabcockFarms
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« on: May 19, 2012, 08:15:44 PM »

I have been seeing several of these black bees around lately. I thought it might be a carpenter bee but from the description here on the forum it sounds like carpenter bees are larger. This is the same size as a honey bee.  Does anyone know or have a guess what species this is?

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Ron Babcock

                                  "I believe the good that men do, will live long after they gone."
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gardeningfireman
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 09:33:10 PM »

My guess is it is just a honey bee "mutt". I see them fairly often, particularly when I am removing ferel hives.
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Atri
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 11:03:16 PM »

Apis Mellifera Nigra......Irish/European native black bee?..maybeeeeeee let me know if any chance intercepting those bees.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 11:19:59 PM by Atri » Logged
kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 11:14:22 PM »

first swarm i picked up this year had very dark bees and a very dark queen. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Vance G
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2012, 12:27:05 AM »

Look and see if the bottom of the abdomen gets covered with pollen.  There is I believe a leaf cutter bee that looks like a honeybee except for color until you see where the pollen is stored.  At least i see them in the later summer in my flower gardens.
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Jrg13
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2012, 12:41:13 AM »

Looks like a honey bee to me.  Carpenter bees are similar to bumbles except they're all black and can be larger depending on species in your area.  I feel bad for some of the plants they visit....  Male carpenters can be blonde or all orange and are huge as well.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2012, 07:11:47 AM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/BlackBees.jpg

Sometimes they have stripes and sometimes they don't...
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Michael Bush
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scdw43
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 09:24:44 AM »

They are all mutts, some just have been selected for color. They are like a red truck, it is red and others are blue. Its works though, people pay big money for a certain color bee. Isn't it pretty, but it is still a bee.
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Winter Ventilation: Wet bees die in hours maybe minutes, no matter how much honey is in the hive.
AndrewT
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2012, 10:32:33 AM »

In my area, there have always been black bees here and there.  I've never seen a colony of all-black bees, but my colonies all have some pretty dark individuals.  One of my queens (see my pic) is almost solid black.
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BabcockFarms
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 07:37:00 PM »

Thanks guys for the info.

I am not sure where these black bees are coming from. As a newbee I now have a heightened awareness of the bees that are around our farm. So I can't really say with any certainty if they were here before or after I hived the two packages. What I can say is I have never seen any bees this black in the hives. This doesn't mean there are not there, just that so far I haven't seen any in the hives. I do have up two swarm traps on opposite sides of our property, hoping that I can catch a swarm. These black bees ARE very interesting looking.

Atri - you maybe right with your speculation of being Irish/European native black bee. She did seem to act a bit tipsy.  grin
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Ron Babcock

                                  "I believe the good that men do, will live long after they gone."
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bens
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2012, 09:08:12 PM »

I bought a russian queen last year and she had a completely black abdomen and a lot of her offspring are various shades from nearly as yellow/orange as my italian hive to nearly all black like your picture.  The drones in the russian hive I have are all black. 

I tried to catch a feral hive last summer, but unfortunately didn't get the queen.   They were very dark in coloring, the local bee inspector looked at them and said they were german bees.

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Kyle
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 10:12:28 PM »

Ron, did you catch any swarms in your swarm traps?  Any of the black bees?

Kyle
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S.Rummings
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 11:19:58 PM »

This is my first bee. Not black but pretty dark. Came packed in a box of wooden ware and survived the trip.   shocked


« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 01:59:42 PM by S.Rummings » Logged
lazy shooter
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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2012, 10:05:47 AM »

Dang, Michael Bush has a lot of black bees.  Mystery solved!

Since I started keeping bees, I am more observant of them.  For several months I have seen an occasional very small black bee foraging about the ranch.  I assumed they were was another species of bee, but then a few weeks back I saw one go into one of my hives.  The next time I did an inspection I looked carefully and saw a few of the small black bees.  The queen of this hive is a small bee that is mostly black, but she does have some very faint yellow streaking.  The genetic makeup of bees is too complicated for this old engineer, but apparently the breeding process of queen bees produces many strange variants.

As the youngsters say, bees are "cool."   
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Finski
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2012, 01:06:10 PM »

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The bee in the flower seems to me like Caucasian bee. At least it is not German Black.
Reason to black abdomen is that it is old and it has lost its hairs.

Here is another old bee without hairs. Robbig bees are aften without hairs.

Caucasian bee in flower according internet http://wadesbees.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/races-of-bees-caucasians/





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Finski
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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2012, 01:25:16 PM »

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German Black bee's form is a little bit round and abdomen tip is round. Mostly hairs are dark brown.
Without hairs the bee is black.

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BabcockFarms
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2012, 10:28:32 PM »

Kyle,

Unfortunately I didn't catch any swarms. I did keep seeing the dark bees around but never saw them in my hives.

Maybe next year I can find where they are coming from and see what the ratio is in the hive.
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Ron Babcock

                                  "I believe the good that men do, will live long after they gone."
                                                                                                                          ~Mr. Fox Haas

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