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Is there a good source to find color photos of different races or breeds of bees? And yes, I've looked through my four beekeeping books. All the photos are black and white, and don't have very good detail. The reason I am interested in this is because of my Rambo hive. This particular hive of bees has a distinct different look from my others which are primarily Italians. They are darker and more "petite" looking for lack of a better description. They have a smooth look and sharp lines, with their primary color being a brown/ red color. Any ideas? I'm basically wondering if their race has anything to do with their agressiveness.
 

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If I recall correctly this hive was abandoned/neglected for several years. Right? The smaller size could be from old comb being used. Builup of debris over the years making the cells smaller. It would be interesting to find out what size the cells are in this hive. Many on this forum are trying to regress the cells to 4.9mm. Perhaps they have regressed themselves close to what a true feral hive would be. (If there is such a thing as a true feral hive now.) These bees, if I remember correctly, were on thier own for 5 or more years. Could be their success over the varroa. You also had a lab confirm that they were not Africanized bees. Correct? As to the aggresiveness.... Man has manipulated bees to become what man wants them to be. Through selective breeding man now has gentler bees that are great honey producers. Perhaps through this breeding we have created some of the problems with the diseases and pests. We have definatly spread these diseases and pests to the far corners of the earth. I sometimes think that maybe the Africanized bees are more in line with what God created. I'm not saying all honey bees should be mean and poor producers, just something that comes to my mind. Without human manipulation the bees are reverting back to what they might have been 100 or so years ago. Just rambling thoughts of a crazy beekeeper. I would like to hear what all you other crazy beekeepers think. We are all crazy right??
 

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Hi Dragonfly,


Can you post pics of these bees so others can help? I could help you get them posted if you would like.

Clay
 

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I can easily take the pictures, but have no clue as to how posting them is done.
 

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My guess is that color and markings will not reveal anything as to the actual genetics of a bee. Agressive feral bees that are called africanized and the ones in africa vary from black (Carniolian looking) to Italian looking. I had some very aggressive bees last summer from second generation Buckfasts. I've acutally raised buckfasts off and on for 30 years, but I'd never seen anything like it and hope I never do again. They were vicious. They looked like Buckfasts to me.
 

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Michael, that's kind of what I was getting at. I know there are probably lots of beekeepers in Texas who have Buckfast bees since you can get them relatively close to home, and as I mentioned in a thread several months ago, my mentor's remark about Buckfast bees was that "they were great the first year, but the second year, they got really mean" (not an exact quote, but close). I was just wondering if the Buckfast bees have a particular "look" that would make them easier to recognize, or if they look like your typical Italian mix, or something altogether different. These bees are not Africanized. I sent a sample to the Bee ID lab to make sure, because if they were africanized, they were on their way out to the bee spirit world. (I hear and read that AHB's are extremely difficult to requeen). Anyway, thanks for input from all of you.
 

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Hi,

I can easily take the pictures, but have no clue as to how posting them is done.

reply:

Well Barry doesn't like pics posted directly here but he can put them on a page for you. You could send pics to him or I could have him do it if you like. Could you get a pic of queen and workers as many times a queen will have markings that indicate race (sometimes)? I guess I just like bee pics especially ones of interest.

Clay
 

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I'm not sure exactly how to describe the look of a Buckfast. They look more italian than anything else, but there are some differences. I never bothered to put my finger on them and I don't have any now. It seems like they were less banded, but I could be wrong. They seemed to have less of the black on their abdomen.

I don't know if they were africanized, but they fit the description as far as behaviour. They rejected the first queen I gave them too, but finaly I shook them out into several hives and requeened those and that seemed to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Clayton, I'll email you a picture of two workers. I'll have to get into the hives to get pix of the queen and drones, so it would be a few days until I will be working the hives. The differences seen in the photo I am going to send is fairly apparent.
 
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