Totally Black Honeybee
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default Totally Black Honeybee

    My nuc was being robbed out by feral bees that were almost completely black - only a few small yellow strips on belly, but top of body completely black. The first few I saw outside my other hives I dismissed as black wasps, but upon examining them closely they have body of honeybees. There were many of them robbing out my nuc - definitely social group. I can’t find anything on the web that looks like these bees - they are much more black than German Black, Buckfast - maybe British/European black bee?
    I live in Cali and I know we get commercial beekeepers who bring bees into my area for almond pollination. What types of totally black honeybees are there?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,116

    Default Re: Totally Black Honeybee

    Were they a bit shiny and wet looking?
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,883

    Default Re: Totally Black Honeybee

    Robbers are often wet from honey or wax and often have their hair pulled out so they are often black and shiny. If they didn't have their hair pulled out they would be lighter in color.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default

    I’ve seen honey covered wet bees before- this is not it. My only other explanation is that my OA fogger burned all the yellow hair off these bees. But then again they would have been found in my hives not from the feral hives. Bees from my hives range in color but none were totally black.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,244

    Default Re: Totally Black Honeybee

    Quote Originally Posted by MimiE View Post
    My nuc was being robbed out by feral bees that were almost completely black .... What types of totally black honeybees are there?
    Just old bees (worn out and "bold").
    What type is less relevant.
    This time a year the old forager bees specialize in robbing (the specialty, in turn, makes them even bolder and darker).

    Just yesterday I had to plug a nuc - all of a sudden it had lots of "black bees" flying (and the YJs standing by in the wings all around)...
    A bad sign.
    Screen/plug the nuc asap.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,554

    Default Re: Totally Black Honeybee

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Just old bees (worn out and "bold").
    What type is less relevant.
    This time a year the old forager bees specialize in robbing (the specialty, in turn, makes them even bolder and darker).
    That's my experience too - often see them causing trouble. Just as the young nurse bees are timid and unsure of themselves - those oldsters are exactly the opposite. "Bold" is exactly the right description.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Pleasanton, CA, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Thanks for the input. After further observations and research I do believe they are older veteran foragers who has lost all of their yellow fuzz from fighting. They’re extremely aggressive and “bold”.

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
  •