I have these too! I was told they are wild bees moving into my hives. Some hives have just a few and some have alot. I can tell they are more aggresive but the hives that have alot do well with honey storage so they must be good workers. I'm new at this so I'm curious what others have to say.
Could they be russian hybrids? There are more and more beekeepers with these bees. I also have them. They are a bit smaller than Italians and they are darker on the end of their abdomen without the pronounced banding.
I just picked up a swarm that look like this. Orange & black banding on 2/3 of the abdomen, but their little butts are solid black as are their heads & thorax. Also many are smaller than my packaged Italians.
Just settled them into a hive this morning, so no chance to gauge temperment yet. That's a job for this afternoon hopefully.
These little bees look pretty healthy to me. Have the usual Italian stripes except for the bottom third of the abdomen. Haven't looked for the queen yet, but all the workers look like this. Very, very different from my blonde Cordies.
Very nice picture. Some of the larger bees look like this, but the little black butts are still different. Look at the orange & black striped bee in the center of the photo. Now imagine her with a black head & thorax, and the last three stripes down to her tail are solid black.
FatBeeMan was in the chatroom last night & said his ferals have the black butts, too.
Yesterday while doing some observation, I saw a very large black bee flying around while the new girls were doing orientation flights. Now I'm wondering if that was the queen. I had put a brood frame in with them before I even brought them home and the deep is bursting with bees. I know I lost some, but this swarm had to be 6+ pounds.
I'm hoping to get some good genetics out of this bunch, too. Will probably wait until Wed/Thurs to see if the queen's actually there. The rest of the deep is drawn comb, so if there's activity in any of the other frames, she's definitely there.
I have some black bees they are my favorite. I have split one hive three times this year so far and two of the hives have already made a surplus. I have let the black bees make three queens so far and they all have turned out black bees also. Even though they are open mated and I also have the regular colored bees in the other hives. I can really tell a difference in the attitude of the black bees, they work hard and are very gentle. The bees are also smaller than my other bees. I just gave a queeless nuc a frame of eggs from my black bees and hopefully they will raise a queen also.
A forum community dedicated to beekeeping, bee owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about breeding, honey production, health, behavior, hives, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more!