While I was working my hives sunday I noticed one lone solid black bee..it was identical in size to all the others and was milling around like all the rest but it was solid black..??any ideas as to what it was??thanks!!
Back in the 19th century, some of our leading beekeepers thought that there were up to 5 different types of bees residing in the hives.
Queens, workers, drones plus a larger worker and a black worker bee.
As time went on it was proven that the larger bees were simply large workers, most likely better fed when in the cell or was reared in a larger cell, and the black or darker bee was simply an old worker.
I have one hive that has everything from the beautiful golden Italian color to almost black.
I am thinking that my Italian Queen mated with a darker drone.
My great-grandmother used to have the all dark bees, she refered to them as german bees. Ulgiest dang bees you ever saw. She also used to work them in a dress with just a vail and sometimes gloves, but not often.
The small black bees in my area are German, I have been told, and the feral hive that I caught last Spring was hot. On a brighter note, though, they are great honey producers and I don't see any pests in the hive (ants, small hive beetles, wax moths or varroa mites).
I can't swear that they don't have these problems, but I have obseved them biting fire ants at the landing board.
My great-grandmother used to have the all dark bees, she refered to them as german bees.
well according to abc-xyz the color of the bee in question is actually more grey in color and their origin is dutch and not german, although they were always called geman in my younger days. I do recall they were the most vicious and vengeful little creature I had ever encountered until I worked some itilians over on the mississippi river flood plain.
as Wee3 has suggested I do believe that there is a correlation between defensive behavior and many of the problems we are now encountering in the bee business.
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