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I hived this swarm 10 days ago. They are definitely darker in color and have an attitude compared to the other swarm we captured and compared to the package of carnis we put in.
I noticed some of them (mostly the drones) look almost black. I've been told that most of the feral bees around here are Italians. Can you say with any certainty that these are/are not Italians? Or say "those have this color thorax and gray hairs so they are part Russian, part Italian.
Simply put is color a worthwhile indicator for anything?
Looking again it looks like mostly drones that are the darkest?


We can't find the queen in here. They are taking 1:1 and starting to build comb. But only have 1 1/2 frames drawn. They are filling what they have built with sugar water and pollen. Im afraid they may be queen less. (ETA because we haven't found her, no eggsand they seem slow to get going, don't act like the other two hives)
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Color is about the only thing being used... they are all mutts, so the yellow mutts are called Italians, and the black mutts are called Carniolans, and the silver mutts are called Caucasians. The ones that are in between could get called wither Carniolans or Italians... In theory, at least, other traits would be the frugality of the Carniolans and the extravagance of the Italians (brood rearing fools).
 

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Mine look just like that. Carniolan/Russian mix. Although I have seen the offspring queen being more black, lacking that light brown distinctive body.
 

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Looks like the wilder bees around here. Black drones and blackish dark queens. The workers have a sort of darkish Italianish thing going, but sometimes they are just dark too. Feral mutts I would call them.
 

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There is NO place in the U.S. that is so Isolated that there are significant odds that one can determine the actual linage of any bees. breeders in general try to flood an area with their drones in an attempt to increase the odds. However there are no guarantees. Today many bees are classified by characteristics rather than genetics. I here people say all the time they live in remote areas and doubt there are any Honey bees within 5 miles of theirs. That is a mistake. I once lived in Circle Alaska which is about as fat north as you can imagine, And not too far west of the Yukon. and while living there I found several feral honey bee colonies. The reality of it is there are no pure bread bee in the U.S.
 

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What happened with that comb in the bottom picture? The comb that appears "on top" of the bar below the comb you're holding?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It was a small piece of burr that I unsuccessfully wire to the top of the frame. They seem to have taken the hint and built a fine piece of comb next to it.
 
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