When I looked in hive 2 today, I saw the queen walking across a frame. She's a creamy yellow-tannish color, long and plump and no discernable striping. Also on the same frame were drones, a dozen or two -- all completely jet black, from their big black eyes to the black feathery parts at the ends of their abdomens. They REALLY stood out. I didn't see any "normal" colored drones, like in the other hives. The workers look like those in the other hives, though, although some of them have a very clear and distinct yellow and black striping.
What would be the genetics behind this, and what might it mean for future matings in my beeyard?
This queen is the offspring of a marked fertilized queen I got in a package in spring 2004. In spring 2005 I split that hive and placed the queen in number 2. That hive swarmed in early summer (I think) and the marked queen went with the swarm. The remaining virgin queen presumably mated with drones from hives outside my yard, and the colony wintered over well. It's come on like gangbusters this year, filling two brood boxes and a super with brood (not that that's what I wanted, but there you go . . .), and filling another super with nectar and capping it off already.
If the queen was impregnated by black feral bees, why would the genetics be expressed so vividly in the drones? What about the workers? Do these drones contain the full genetics of the ferals? Doesn't the queen also contribute her genetics to half of the drone population? If these drones mate with the virgin queen that recently hatched in my cutdown split. will the genetics be expressed so strongly?
And what are these black bees, anyhow?