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Author Topic: Bee identification  (Read 509 times)
rubeehaven2
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« on: February 27, 2013, 07:21:32 PM »

I was thinking about last summer while driving to work this morning and recalled something I had never asked about, but am quite curious about nonetheless!  In my garden I grew many things, including corn.  Now, my Italian bees never went near the corn plants, but there were always these other bees on them collecting loads of pollen!  They looked like honey bees, but they were very, very dark.  Almost black.  My question is, what type of bee do you think it may have been?  Some other breed of honey bee? or something else completely?  In all the reading I've done, I have never heard anyone mention "corn" as a bee plant! 

A curious newbee!

Rich
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10framer
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 07:34:55 PM »

corn doesn't require insects for pollination but it does produce a lot of pollen and the bees will definitely work it.
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Joe D
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 10:40:25 PM »

Some honey bees are a lot blacker than others.  Like I have some that are blacker than usual and some that are almost all yellow.  The black ones you have seen maybe honey bees or something else.




Joe
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JackM
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 08:21:01 AM »

Well might just be my uneducated self, but.....Last summer, end of season, I noted my free standing feeders had bees that were almost black among them.  Most were very dark.  When filling the feeder, I noticed that the bees that were feeding (just yesterday) were mostly, but not all, very yellow, so yellow my first look was followed by a double take to make sure it wasn't hornets.

As I watched longer, there were very black bees and very yellow bees coming out of the hive, nothing between.  I am assuming, not positive, that the black bees are older and the yellow are very young.  Mind you this is only one of my hives.  The other one, the few times I have seen them venturing out the colors are what I saw last year in that hive.  My assumption is as they get older they darken, at least in that hive which is my strongest.

Thoughts?
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10framer
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 08:36:35 AM »

if the hive has a new queen she may have mated with various types of drones.  carniolans can appear black and most of the feral bees in my area used to be black.  i have a few hives that have "mixed" workers.  older workers that were yellow will still be yellow but have smooth, hairless abdomens.
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CVBees
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 09:06:10 AM »

Possibly a mason or blue orchard?

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Joe D
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 10:15:48 AM »

The Italian is what a lot think of the bee look.  The Carniolans are mostly black. and the Cordovans are yellow, some so yellow you don't hardly see the stripes. 

Last year I bought a Cordovan queen and istalled her in an Italian/Carniolan hive, made her easy to spot.  Now some are as yellow as her, some have darker stripes.
Good luck with your bees.



Joe
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rubeehaven2
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 08:08:39 PM »

Thanks for your input.  I have a package of  Carniolans ordered for the end of March.  So, I can compare them to the Italians.  Perhaps different breeds of honey bees have different preferences for where the forage.  I imagine just like people, they can have different tastes. 

Thanks, Rich
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2013, 03:09:22 PM »

Honey bees will gather corn pollen when they are desperate for pollen.  Usually there are better pollens around and often on plants with nectar...
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Michael Bush
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