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OK, here a couple of questions from an obvious beginner...

1) 90% of my Girls look like the Honeybees I always think of when you say honeybee.... However, about 10% of my hive doesn't have the same coloring.

Rather then the usual black followed by a majority of yellow (with the stripes, of course) abdomen, 10% of my bees have an ALL BLACK abdomen. They have the stripes, but they are a different look all together. Someone said I may have a mixture of two different breeds of bees. is this true?

2) In every thing I read, all the pictures and so forth, it always shows Guard Bees strolling around up and down the face of the bottom super. I seem to not have any. Wasps share the residu from the boardman feeder leakage (outside the hive) right next to the girls. I've seen a wasp stroll right into the bottom enterence of the hive a few times without any problem. In fact, the bees coming uot, move out of it's way. Do I have lazy bees that don't protect their hive? Or, as a new package (6 weeks old) are there not enough bees to have guard bees.

Thanks!
 

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I installed my very first package april 30 and I noticed the same thing, I was like where are the guard bee's however when you have a small and weak colony there wont be many bee's and the bees will only guard the comb, so if the wasp is entering at the bottom i am assuming that the comb is not close to the entrance and thefore the bee's wont guard much, thats my experience so far, I am sure more experienced bee keepers will give you a better explanation, because I noticed black ants coming in my bottom entrance and the bees would move out the way 2.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>1) 90% of my Girls look like the Honeybees I always think of when you say honeybee.... However, about 10% of my hive doesn't have the same coloring.

The queen mates with several drones. Sometimes the color of a colonly changes over time because of this. I wouldn't worry about it.

Most of mine are black.

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/BlackBees.jpg

>2) In every thing I read, all the pictures and so forth, it always shows Guard Bees strolling around up and down the face of the bottom super. I seem to not have any.

They are often just inside the entrance. Sometimes a weak hive doesn't put up as many gaurds, plus a hive that has been attacked and gotten disheartened may not put up any defense at all.
 

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Hi Bob,
We're practically neighbors. Are you involved with Pawtuckaway? One of my colonies is the Allstar hybrid from R. Weaver. The literature that came with the bees said they breed for just about everything but color. It is certainly true looking at them. Every bee looks different- from jet black to honey yellow and every combination in between.

Brian
Candia, NH
 

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Hey Brian,
I actually went to the Bee School offered by the Esses County Beekeepers Association in Topsfielf, MA. However, I am seriously considering joining a NH association. I seem to be right in the middle of the Pawtuckaway and Seacoast associations. Seacoast meets in Lee which may be closer for me. I'm not sure yet.

Yea, with me first batch of "newbees" it seens that I'm getting an increasing number of black bees. I thought that was strange. Someone even told me that my queen may have been mated with a Rissian Drone so I may have some Russion /Italian stock now. I don't know tho.

However, they did say that the Russian bees tend to detect the Varroa Mite and uncap the cells with the mite, pull out the pupa and discard it from the hive. I've been seeing my bees doing this lately. Pulling not quite eady, white bees/pupa from the hive with messed up wings and dropping them outside. So, we'll see.

Keep in touch! My regular e-mail address is: [email protected]

Have a great day!
 
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