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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all from sunny upstate South Carolina.

I'm new but have been lurking awhile...thanks to everyone for all the great information.

I loaded a package into a foudationless 10 frame deep April 5th. They seem to be doing well. Bringing in a lot of pollen, one landing about every 6 - 10 seconds when they are at peak activity. 1st inspection the 2nd week (after removing the queen cage the 4th day) found pollen and some caps and cells with larvae.

Question is: I've now noticed a mixture of bees. The first were golden with black tails and now there are very dark bees that are about 20% smaller than what I originally saw. It is now about a 50/50 mix. Are these smaller ones the new ones? Do they grow some after they are hatched? I'm thinking these are the new ones and the original were maybe raised on foundation and but they are hatching out of natural comb now that may be slightly smaller cells so smaller bees.

I don't know about what is going on but I do know this can be an obsession. It's like watching an aquarium.

Mesmerized.

ABBA
 

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They could be new borns. Queens mate with multiple males. It is called polyandry. Some of the queens offspring will be from each of the matings, all at once in the hive. The exceptions to polyandry are scutellata (Africanized which will lay 90 percent Africanized first), and instrumental insemination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well dang. I didn't think of that. So if a queen mates with several varieties of drones then over her lifetime she will produce several varieties of bees as the sperm is used up.
Learned something again.
Thanks....
 

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Greetings, I'm also from the upstate, Greenville to be exact. What part are you in?

I have noticed something similar, but at the entrance itself. Namely the bigger bees are incoming and the smaller bees are leaving. It may be that alot are now working as receiver bees and are filled with nector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sovek,

I'm in Spartanburg County...just next door..in the SW part of the county between Woodruff and Reidville.

At the entrance is where I have noticed this also and in just the past few days. For the past 3 weeks they are all the same size and color and now the mix has started. Smaller and darker. I figured the are they some of the new brood that hatched.
:gh:
I'ts not like I sit there and watch them go in and out for an hour or so every evening though:D
 

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Greetings all from sunny upstate South Carolina.

I'm new but have been lurking awhile...thanks to everyone for all the great information.

I loaded a package into a foudationless 10 frame deep April 5th. They seem to be doing well. Bringing in a lot of pollen, one landing about every 6 - 10 seconds when they are at peak activity. 1st inspection the 2nd week (after removing the queen cage the 4th day) found pollen and some caps and cells with larvae.

Question is: I've now noticed a mixture of bees. The first were golden with black tails and now there are very dark bees that are about 20% smaller than what I originally saw. It is now about a 50/50 mix. Are these smaller ones the new ones? Do they grow some after they are hatched? I'm thinking these are the new ones and the original were maybe raised on foundation and but they are hatching out of natural comb now that may be slightly smaller cells so smaller bees.

I don't know about what is going on but I do know this can be an obsession. It's like watching an aquarium.

Mesmerized.

ABBA
If you installed a package and not a nuc, they were in the package. At 2 weeks you would have capped brood but no newly emerged bees. It takes 21 days from egg to emerged adult bee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ahhh, so these were in the package, they just had a different task before and are now becoming foragers in and out the box. I saw some caps and larvae at week 2 but it will be another week or so from now before the first laid emerge. Gotcha. I been reading up for a year but there ain't nothing like putting your hands on it.
I'll get it. Been dirt farming and raising cattle, chickens, horses and goats all my life. These have their own world. I just have got to get tuned in. Nature has always been smarter than me.
Thanks for everyone's replies.
 

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As worker bees get older they will sometimes get darker and even lose their stripes. They will almost always be bees of different sizes because the brood cells are not always the same size.
 

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You'll figure it out with your farming and animal husbandry skills. Here is a link to help with bee development time ( http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm ). Sterling is correct, a bee will grow as large as the cell it develops in. And as stated above color is in influenced by drones and hair loss. So an open mated queen with what ever breed drones are in the area. Good luck with your new bees enjoy them, but with all ag there will be ups and downs with the learning curve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
That chart from the bush farms link is a wealth of info.

Again, thanks for the replies. Ignorance will fade with time.

Btw...I'm not in this for the honey or anything. The quart or so I consume every year is easily bought locally from the flea market.
I have noticed the are no wild bees around here like there used to be. I grew up on my grandfathers farm and he truck farmed 55 acres and had about 20 hives (50 years ago). Bees were everywhere. I spend a wealth of time in the woods and in my garden and pastures (more than I should according to my wife) and for the past 5 years I see nothing but bumbles. In my youth while hunting I would actually come across the occasional honey tree.
I started my hive to just let them grow. I hope to have several more next year. If they swarm, so be it; if the swarmed hive raises a new queen and continues, so be it. Let God guide their course. I'm not the hippie type and have a 4 year B.S. degree and I'm smart enough to know what keeps us alive. Just trying to over come the recent disasters by becoming a bee petri dish of sorts. That is why I'm trying to go all natural hoping to develop some evolutionary resistance to what ails them. There is plenty of forage around here. Hopefully in a few years the neighbors will be complaining about swarms in their trees. I'm tired for pollinating my tomato plants with an electric tooth brush.
I hope the commercial types don't hate me.
ABBA
 

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>Question is: I've now noticed a mixture of bees. The first were golden with black tails and now there are very dark bees that are about 20% smaller than what I originally saw.

Genetics change over time. The queen has a mixture of many drone's sperm in her spermatheca and it is sort of mixed and sort of layered so as time goes on sometimes the color of the bees and sometimes the attitude of the bees change.

> It is now about a 50/50 mix. Are these smaller ones the new ones?

Yes.

> Do they grow some after they are hatched?

Yes. Their abdomen gets stretched out more.

> I'm thinking these are the new ones and the original were maybe raised on foundation and but they are hatching out of natural comb now that may be slightly smaller cells so smaller bees.

That too.
 
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