What Kind of Bees and Is My Queen Laying Them?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by HisPalette, May 29, 2012.

  1. HisPalette

    HisPalette New Member

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    Inspected our 4 hives today...Started with the (normally) pussycats...This hive was so obnoxious! These guys wore me out! No stings but good God!

    Then I saw this and a fight going on... am I breeding these? The dark queen we found (supersedure) this spring, has probably gone through 3 or 4 brood cycles now...

    The first pic is of two drones the one on the left is what I am used to seeing in this colony...the one one the right is a pattern I am seeing more often than before... I read somewhere that the "breed" shows up in the drone, hence my reason for the drone photo...

    What are these orange and black nasty little bees!???

    P1010027a.JPG P1010033a.JPG P1010018.JPG P1010021a.JPG

    I am well know to talk to my bees...I talked to them nice, I talked to them not so nice! This inspection took an hour! ...and yes I used smoke! Usually they only need a puff or two. I was sweating from head to toe and the other three hives were great, considering two are brand new. I was exasperated after 4 inspections, thanks to Flower Power! Are these robbers or is the queen laying these? This hive was fitting! And popping me the entire time...:chased:
     
  2. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    What was the temperature and weather conditions?
     

  3. Hog Wild

    Hog Wild New Member

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    Are the black aggressive bee's feral? The package bee's I purchase have the golden colored traits and most of the feral bee's I have carry the black traits. Some of my feral hives have been more aggressive than others. I have on one occasion changed my queen out due to the hives behavior....they were rough! Good layer but had to go, replacement changed the dynamics for the better. Currently one of my strogest hives.

    As Gunsmith asks: it could be conditions/weather when in the hive.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    The black bees look like the bees from my failed attempt at a bee vac. Sticky,wet, and dead.
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    The first pic is of two drones the one on the left is what I am used to seeing in this colony

    tecumseh:
    since drones originate from unfertilized eggs (they have no father) the drones will reflect the color of the queen. so I would reckon one of these drones is from the prior queen and the other from the newer queen.

    the bees you see that look very slick and black are old bees that have lost their fuzz (their body hair). almost invariable these girls are mean and quick to sting... they are just lookin' for a place to die and quite often the vanguard of robbing escapades. given that you know the queen has in the recent past been supersceded then it is quite likely that you have a significant part of the hives population of older bees that should fairly soon perish and the hive's 'new' disposition will be better known.

    time of day and temperature also likely played some part in their displayed annoyance at your inspection as did the totally taking apart their brood nest. at this time of year unless I have some larger purpose I limit intrusion into the brood nest as much as possible.
     
  6. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Just an odd thought. .:roll:

    Queens get multiple matings. Could be that she is using a new batch of semen. .:???:
     
  7. HisPalette

    HisPalette New Member

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    At Gunsmith - it was a mix of sun and clouds off and on it was mid 80s, neutral, but there is a tropical storm that will pass in the next couple days. The three other hives were normal or better than normal.

    At Hogwild - the only keeps around one has feral (1.5 miles away) and the other has carniolans (a mile away), but used to keep russians, so I heard. Could very easily have quite a bit of feral...lots of woods.

    At Eddie - They are wet and some dead. They were fighting is what drew my attention to this grouping. I have notice a bit of darkening since last May, they were very light and fuzzy.

    At Tec - I didn't realize they lost their fuzz that is exactly what it looks like. So they are still "sort of" Italians only with no fuzz, not a russian or something. Always hear the little black bee war stories around here.
    And yes on the drones, I did hear that the drones are the queens breed color..
    They are getting tight a bit in the box. I pulled out one"funky" pollen frame and one old frame that was really not being used and switched then with pierco. I notice her brood pattern has been good at times and like this time not so much. I definitely don't mind if they would want to supersede her. She isn't terrible but not stellar either. This is the biggest hive, started out as MN Hyg. queen, but has been reluctant to pull wax and fair about honey...We never took honey off it last year. she wintered well so some good traits, some eh. I am looking forward to her changing out the stock for sure. Steve usually works this colony bare handed without major issue, but a year ago this colony had covered him when he was weed whacking, and chased him for about 80 yards. Only 1 sting more terrorize us. This bunch has had its moody days, but seems more so now than before..They were revved up as soon as I lifted the cover, smoke and all. I did have to swap out two damaged frames one used for pollen, and the other was so old and weak, it was light as a feather and not being used for much, and I gave a quick look at laying which was shabby again. Maybe it was the weather? and the bee fight?

    At Barbarian - If so... Hope she ran out of it!
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    So they are still "sort of" Italians only with no fuzz, not a russian or something.

    tecumseh:
    exactly... a very old italian worker bee can look very black. they did not start out looking that way.