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Would like to see Pics of different races

1951 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  AmericasBeekeeper
Could someone direct me to pictures of the different races of bees, Italians, Russians etc... I have one hive of very dark bees and want to know what they are. thanks
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The term "race" when applied to bees is no longer used. We prefer to call them subspecies, or types. Color is simply not a reliable indicator of anything in bees. Just like with Labrador retrievers, they come in black, brown, or yellow. The color means absolutely nothing, except -- that's what color they are.

In the US the terms Italian, Carniolan, etc. have long since lost their significance. Only DNA testing will tell you the genetic background of the bees. I have a breeder carrying an A. m. mellifera genetic marker. But she and most of her bees look like regular Italian types.

More important is: are they hygienic, are they good producers, are they vicious? These are the things that matter.
I have pictures of the common races and queens at These photos are intended for training and the sources are listed at
Do you have pictures of common Italian, Russian, Minnisota Hygenic, or other European breeds? Or do they all look alike? I know I have about 5 different color variations in the bees of my hives.
There are pictures of several races. As Peter said color is not the best indicator. I use Cordovan exclusively because the color changes due to recessive genetics. It is light for Italians and dark almost purple (hence the name Cordovan) for AHB and dominant genes. AHB is a problem in Tampa, Florida so I know from the girls flying out if they have changed. Bee color darkens with age. Unless the queen is artificially insemenated she will lay eggs with up to 20 variations from the drones she mated with. There are pictures of several sub-species or breeds in my gallery. Hybrids and mutt bees are probably what you have and they are the best by most accounts. That is what the Buckfast bee is if you ever check those out. The Buckfast Weaver sells is not exactly like that of international markets, since they are all test tube babies from frozen sperm. Popsickle prodigy!
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