Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Darker Bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Darker Bees

    Earlier in this year I lost a queen in one of my hives and to decrease potential after swarms, I split the parent hive up into 2 nucs and the parent hive. With 3 separate colonies in the end.

    The two nucs were moved to another property. The queens emerged, both looked rather under sized but of Italian blood lines since that's the parent hive was an Italian package at the beginning of this summer.

    These two nucs are building up much faster than the parent hive is which had more bees in it at the time of the split.

    I noticed one of the nucs has two colored bees. One is the black and yellow (Italian-looking, see picture below) and the other is a black and white. Any thoughts on what other breed the queen might have mated with? This nuc is about 50% of each colored bees.

    But the black and white bees are incredibly calm and gentle which is a big plus.

    Any thoughts?

    (What I'm refering to as black & white is the bee on the left. The black and yellow is on the right.
    Last edited by Jared.Downs; 08-26-2013 at 09:04 AM. Reason: image uploading / bad spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Darker Bees

    My hives have lot's of bees like those dark ones. Your queen probably got into some carnie or russian drones - or maybe even some AMM'ish bees. Probably carnies where you live.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    664

    Default Re: Darker Bees

    Seems like if a queen mated just a very few times (or especially just a few times), I could see real easily where a queen might be mated to just a few light and few dark drones, making the ratio of lights and dark bees fairly close. I like the dark looking bees. Cool looking in my opinion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Darker Bees

    @Paul McCarty-

    Thanks for the response. Being that I'm so new to this, I hadn't a clue what the darker color indicates in terms of types of bees.



    @marshmasterpat-

    Thanks for the response. It's interesting to learn about how the might mate with a variety of drones.

    Can / do queens ever make multiple mating flights? Or do they only take one mating flight when they're a few days old?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Darker Bees

    I'll bet your queen mated with some carnie drones. Probably no AMM blood if they are calm and gentle.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Darker Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill91143 View Post
    I'll bet your queen mated with some carnie drones. Probably no AMM blood if they are calm and gentle.
    @Bill91143-

    Both you and Paul McCarty referenced "AMM," though google searching it mentions "Apis mellifera mellifera." <--Is this what your referring to with "AMM?"

    Do bees with AMM blood exhibit traits of aggression?
    Last edited by Jared.Downs; 08-27-2013 at 08:17 AM. Reason: clarity

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Darker Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Jared.Downs View Post
    @Bill91143-

    Both you and Paul McCarty referenced "AMM," though google searching it mentions "Apis mellifera mellifera." <--Is this what your referring to with "AMM?"

    Do bees with AMM blood exhibit traits of aggression?
    Yes, AMM is an abbreviation, they are also known as the German Black Bee. I have talked to several beeks that sell AMM bees and they all say they are not really aggressive, but are extremely defensive, and they tend to be runny.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,071

    Thumbs Up Re: Darker Bees

    Jared, read about polyandry here. It is one of the ways bees keep the gene pool fresh.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Darker Bees

    Do queens let the sperm mix inside them or keep it separated?. Do workers come in waves from one male then another, or in a mix representing all drone contributors ? Seems I have read about this and forgotten.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: Darker Bees

    >Do queens let the sperm mix inside them or keep it separated?. Do workers come in waves from one male then another, or in a mix representing all drone contributors ?

    In my observation it's neither one nor the other. A little of both. They mix to some degree, but sometimes you see a change over time in the color of a hive that would indicate there is some layering as well.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,630

    Default Re: Darker Bees

    I believe the semen from each drone is somewhat 'clumped'.

    I grafted many batches this year from one of my favorite black queens. First batch was almost all blond. I was surprised. Next batch was all black. Subsequent batches were mostly dark, but all daughters resembled each other within each graft batch. So it seemed the queen would lay batches of eggs with the semen sample from a single drone.
    I usually grafted from a small area on a frame if the larva is the right age. It was an interesting observaion. Perhaps something that should be kept in consideration when evaluating a queen for production type. Not to judge her in a single batch if grafts are taken from a small area. Better diversity if grafts are taken over different sections of the frame. But who knows how many eggs the 'clump' of semen will produce. A half frame? full frame? Several frames? LOL

    If you look closely, you can see the small area I took grafts from the day before. (Upper right of the new area) They already rebuilt it and started queen cells from the broken down comb. ( I kept it in a queenless hive overnight for easy retrieval the next day)


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, North Carolina
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Darker Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill91143 View Post
    Yes, AMM is an abbreviation, they are also known as the German Black Bee. I have talked to several beeks that sell AMM bees and they all say they are not really aggressive, but are extremely defensive, and they tend to be runny.
    Bill91143,
    Can you share the contact information on the beekeepers who sell AMM bees?
    Thanks,
    Kyle

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Darker Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by kyell View Post
    Bill91143,
    Can you share the contact information on the beekeepers who sell AMM bees?
    Thanks,
    Kyle
    The breeders I talked to about AMMs was people that were breeding and selling J. N. Russell bees. They were the only ones actively advertising AMMs. I think they are now all tied up in bankruptcy court. I'm not sure if you can even make contact with any J. N. Russell breeders at this time.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads