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Strange bees in my hive.

2104 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  chemistbert
I have 3 week old packaged Italians with 6 combs filled. I noticed today a larger bee coming into the hive unmolested. They are bigger than my Italians and even the sound of the wings at landing are louder. They are blacker on their rears. Should I be concerned?
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It might be a drone perhaps? I'm not sure about the different markings...but if it entered the hive then it had to be one of yours.
I had another bumblebee invade my hive, this time right in front of me. He walked right in, the guard bees didnt put up much of a fuss. I waited about 10 min. watching the hive entrance, all of a sudden
dead and injured bees were being carried out, about a dozen. I waited some more, no bumblebee. This afternoon, there he was laying on the ground in front of the hive. Im pretty sure it was the one that went in.

"To bee or not to bee, that is the question"
The queen mates with many drones and so you may have as many as 15 bloodlines from your package. (If you ordered Carniolans , you could get some italians with Carni queens). I have only Carnolian queens but they routinely produce several different bees. If some of your bees are black, that would explain the color. If they are drones that happened to spring from eggs laid in one of those giant cells that occur in any hive...mystery solved. That's what I decided happened to me. Saw a few monsters but they weren't around for long. There was a thread on this but I forgot the title. Search "drones".

My drones are very loud and clumsy when approaching the hive ... also much larger ....... but I was under the assumption that the black bees were young bees and that as they got older they would turn more golden ???
My drones are slightly different in marking also. Amazes me that they make it back to the hive as dopey as they are when flying.
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