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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Post

    Looking through one of my hives yesterday, I came across a bee--one bee--that was very, very pale. Very light gray, almost white, with dark gray stripes. She didn't have pink or pale eyes--dark and shiny like all the other girls--and she wasn't much smaller than the rest. She seemed perfectly healthy and none of the bees were treating her like a pariah, but she was definitely very light gray. It wasn't powdered sugar or anything--I checked. It's her true color. Was wishing I had my camera with me. Anyone every see one like this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    51,460

    Post

    Could be a white pollen. Could just be a young fuzzy bee.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,995

    Post

    Caucasians are sometimes described as a gray bee.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,079

    Post

    Yes, I have seen them. I think it is called melanistic, but don't quote me on that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,163

    Post

    I doubt itÂ’s albino. Genetics can cause very light or wacky color makings in honeybees.

    The Cordovan trait for example can produce very pale yellow workers.

    http://members.aol.com/queenb95/cdtour.gif

    Another example is the oddball bees, strange color markings, eye color and blind bees:

    http://members.aol.com/glennapiar/od...#anchor2831823

    I did however manage to catch this rare giant albino honeybee on film:

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/nature...11.jpg&.src=ph

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Lincolnshire UK
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Are there such things as albino honeybees?

    Dr. C.C. Miller, In his 1917 book a thousand answer to beekeeping questions, talks about albino colonies, but says he has not heard of one for many years. I

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Albany, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    855

    Default Re: Are there such things as albino honeybees?

    Newly emerged bees can appear very light until their exoskeleton scleratizes/hardens. There is a mutation that occurs and I have only seen it once in all my years. It is described as sort of an "albinism", however, it is more a lack of pigmentation. In the colony I saw, it was expressed in the drones. Drones are haploid and so recessive mutations are more visible. It seemed pretty detrimental in this case as the drones never scleratized and were discarded by the workers. I think at the time the literature described them as essentially sterile.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Are there such things as albino honeybees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake View Post
    Dr. C.C. Miller, In his 1917 book a thousand answer to beekeeping questions, talks about albino colonies, but says he has not heard of one for many years. I
    I think Dr C.C. Miller was still alive when this thread was originally posted.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Salisbury, New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Are there such things as albino honeybees?

    I have a few hives with predominant orange. Very Irish. Had the hardest time extracting honey from these particular hives. They would not shake or be brushed off the frames easily. And had quite a temper I might add.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
    Posts
    2,454

    Default Re: Are there such things as albino honeybees?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeezBeez View Post
    I have a few hives with predominant orange. Very Irish.
    what does this mean?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    4,018

    Default Re: Are there such things as albino honeybees?

    Quote Originally Posted by iddee View Post
    Yes, I have seen them. I think it is called melanistic, but don't quote me on that.
    melanistic would be a black bee.

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