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Very nice photograph of a beautiful queen, but, I've got to say, I raise Cordovan Italians and your photo seems to show a queen that is not homozygous for the Cordovan trait. Some of the queens I produce, even though they come from Cordovan mother queens, do not exhibit the Cordovan trait, so not all queens produced by Cordovan mother queens are automatically pure Cordovan.

Unfortunately I too have received several queens from commercial Cordovan producers, that were not pure Cordovan. I have several customers who use my queens, some even prefer those queens that are only half Cordovan (half of their drones are Cordovan and potentially half of their workers/queens will be Cordovan, if their drone father is also Cordovan).

Queens that have both Cordovan genes (those that are homozygous) will have no dark coloration in any of their body parts. They will look like this (notice the thorax and head, they appear light brown, no dark coloration, at all):

The workers with the queen are not all Cordovan, but most (though not all) of the workers in the next photo are homozygous Cordovan Italian.


Curiously, one of those commercial Cordovan producers has argued that they have Cordovan's of several shades, some darker than others. But if that were true, why would I want a Cordovan queen that didn't look any different from a non-Cordovan queen.
 

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Maybe it's the lighting, but the queen in the first post doesn't look very cordovan to me. The ones that I have seen are distinctly different in color from their duaghters, which makes them really easy to find.

Maybe these are biracial cordovans?
 

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Joseph Clemens

Are those worker/nurse bees in your picture cordovan? I thought they would be ligther as well. I should have looked a little closer at both your pictures..... I do see light workers.
Unfortunately I don't believe that any of the nurse bees with the queen are Cordovan. She was introduced to this colony to change that situation.

Though, since my queens are open mated, even those that are pure Cordovan, usually produce a mixture of Cordovan and non-Cordovan worker/queen offspring, though all of their drones are Cordovan.
 

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The Queen in my picture produces mostly non-cordovan workers, I have some light workers but they are the minority.

As for camera, I do have a DSLR, but this was taken with a waterproof Olympus 770SW.

Joseph, The lighting isn't great in person you can see the legs are brownish red. However you are right shes not as light as yours. She came with a captured swarm.
 

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Sounds like she is like some of the queens my Cordovan mothers produce, half Cordovan; they can still be outstanding queens, some of my customers prefer these half Cordovan queens. They can still produce some Cordovan workers if they are mated with Cordovan drones and about half of their drones can be Cordovan.
 

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Why isn't the cordovan more popular? Do they have less than desirable traits? Do they appear in Italian and Carniolan strains?
 

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:eek:t: I too wonder why they are not more popular. Apparently they have whatever traits are intrinsic to the parent strain the trait is bred into. I also understand that the trait can be bred into any strain/race of Apis mellifera, though I've heard that it is most dramatic in Italians. I'd love to try Caucasian or Carniolan Cordovan's, but I've never been able to locate a source for them. Perhaps I'll have to learn I.A. and breed my own Caucasian and Carniolan Cordovan's.
 

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I think my package queen is Cordovan. When I took her out of the package, I immediately noticed her gorgeous color & that she didn't look anything like the rest of the ladies (all classic Italians). I went ahead & marked her because I thought maybe her coloration was due to her youth. She is definitely easier to spot even without the mark. Solid goldenish-reddish brown.

She's been a little peach so far. Nice solid brood patterns and plenty of 'em for less than 3 weeks hived. I'm definitely going to see about making a split from her.
 

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The Queen in my picture produces mostly non-cordovan workers, I have some light workers but they are the minority.
... She came with a captured swarm.
I retrieved a swarm with a Cordovan queen also. She is the first I have ever seen and she was off by herself below the swarm on the other side of the spruce tree the swarm was on. I wasn't even sure she was a bee but grabbed her real quick with the vacuum just in case.
Now I know... :lookout:
Roger
Eastern Sierra Nevadas
 

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Very nice photograph of a beautiful queen, but, I've got to say, I raise Cordovan Italians and your photo seems to show a queen that is not homozygous for the Cordovan trait. Some of the queens I produce, even though they come from Cordovan mother queens, do not exhibit the Cordovan trait, so not all queens produced by Cordovan mother queens are automatically pure Cordovan.

Unfortunately I too have received several queens from commercial Cordovan producers, that were not pure Cordovan. I have several customers who use my queens, some even prefer those queens that are only half Cordovan (half of their drones are Cordovan and potentially half of their workers/queens will be Cordovan, if their drone father is also Cordovan).

Queens that have both Cordovan genes (those that are homozygous) will have no dark coloration in any of their body parts. They will look like this (notice the thorax and head, they appear light brown, no dark coloration, at all):

The workers with the queen are not all Cordovan, but most (though not all) of the workers in the next photo are homozygous Cordovan Italian.


Curiously, one of those commercial Cordovan producers has argued that they have Cordovan's of several shades, some darker than others. But if that were true, why would I want a Cordovan queen that didn't look any different from a non-Cordovan queen.
Reviving an old thread, but I too suspect that bees can be homozygous for the cordovan trait, and still come in different shades. Color is affected by a multitude of factors, some more than others, and there's no reason to think that a single gene can have total control over the appearance of the bee. For example, even if the cordovan gene had total control over exoskeleton color, I doubt it has control over quantity, length, and color of the pilosity, which directly affects what the bee looks like, even if it doesn't directly affect the color of its exoskeleton.
 
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