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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took advantage of the 50+ degrees today and checked on my hive. Lots of bees and everything seems cool. Hive was light so I added 4lbs of sugar and a pollen patty. I did notice that the bees seem exceptionally larger and a bit darker than they did in the summer. I thought of a few possibilities for this;

1. This past summer was my first year with bees and I have only been observing mostly young bees, and now they are mature bees?

2. Bees just get darker and larger in the winter time?

3. they are really well fed?

4. I am totally insane and am imagining the whole thing.

Any thoughts on this and can we rule out #4?

todd
 

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I took advantage of the 50+ degrees today and checked on my hive. Lots of bees and everything seems cool. Hive was light so I added 4lbs of sugar and a pollen patty. I did notice that the bees seem exceptionally larger and a bit darker than they did in the summer. I thought of a few possibilities for this;

1. This past summer was my first year with bees and I have only been observing mostly young bees, and now they are mature bees?

2. Bees just get darker and larger in the winter time?

3. they are really well fed?

4. I am totally insane and am imagining the whole thing.

Any thoughts on this and can we rule out #4?

todd
If they have not had a cleansing flight a bees abdomen can appear distended due to the fecal matter build up. This would explain why the bees appear larger. Darker, as they age yes. Too much moisture could also cause darkening.
 

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the queen mates with a number of different drones so this could be related to this. however I also seem to get bigger in the winter. (lack of work) lol
 

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From my observations the young bees are small, light tan and fuzzy. Old bees are dark, smoother and bigger. I think the winter bees tend to be smaller, so who knows
 

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my first guess would be that you overwintered a drone laying hive. when honeybees look different in a hive its usually drones. hopefully not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well that isn't the answer I was expecting or hoping for. I really like jodietoadie's response much much better. I do have to seriously consider your hunch though (Justin). I suppose the best way to confirm is to look for stingers?

Todd
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ok. I woke up this morning and found a bunch of dead bees that didn't make it back to the hive. It must have been awesome to see me frantically searching for bees in the snow, wearing pajamas and no footwear. I can only imagine that it looked like that scene from "Saving Private Ryan" where the guy is looking all over Normandy beach for his arm. Anyway, after looking at the bees, I noticed that to me anyway, they were workers. Eyes were small and more towards the sides, and their abdomen came to a point at the rear. But thank you Justin for teaching me something else to consider. I never would have thought that to be a possibility.
todd
 

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glad to heat it. older bees do look different than young ones and by this time of year they are all old. good luck with them.
 
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