Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

Mysterious Queen Color Changes

1483 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  standman
I have a friend who has been keeping bees for a few years less than I have, but he asked me a question that I could not answer. He purchased 6 queens this spring--all Italian and very yellow. Installed them in hives. All built up well and prospered.

When he pulled his supers recently, he inspected them and found that all the queens were black. I must admit, when he told me this, I immediately thought "superceded". But he says, "No way." They were marked queens and they still bear the markings!

So what is the deal? Can queens change their colors?
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
1.On their own? Yes. They tend to get a little darker when they die.

2. Is there a "AA" type group available in your area for those who have an overarching need to prove their prowess when it comes to being in the "SHARPIE" users crowd. That ------or someone needs to keep better track of what queens go where.

3. What color are the bees? Might have had some supercedure going on with the old queens holding a little carni in the bloodline.
If they were light colored Cordovan Italian, then, after they're about a year old, they become a very dark brown leather color, but they won't ever be truly, black.
take a look at this article shows the queens colors might be help full link shows a good picture


See less See more
Ok. So it is not supercedure, unless someone snuck in there and marked the queens that had been raised in all six hives.

And the original queens were very yellow Italians, less than a year old.

And, even though I have not had visual confirmation yet, he says that are coal black.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.