Author Topic: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees  (Read 7579 times)

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Offline riverbee

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Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« on: December 11, 2013, 01:49:39 pm »
i have updated my post on these links as of June 17, 2014, added two more, and also some info on russian bees.  the two pdf files attached are of the first two links, i left them in place from my original post.  i think it is important, especially for newer beeks to understand the biology of or the characteristics of the race of honey bee you keep.  it will help you a great deal with management and decision making at various times.

these great pdf files contain great information on the races of european honeybees and their characteristics, and also a 'side by side' comparison:

Characteristics of Races of Honey Bees

The Different Types of Honey Bees; pdf file attached to my post

Races of Honey Bees in North America-Mann Lake

Although short and brief where some of the races originated from:
Getting Started: Races of Honey Bees-University of Georgia

The Russian Honey Bee.  i have uploaded the pdf file for this first excellent article, attached to my post.

Russian honey bees versus Italian Honey Bees:
Comparison of Russian and Italian Honey Bees North Carolina Cooperative Extension Resources
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Offline tecumseh

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 06:21:21 am »
great link and thanks for sharing.

Offline blueblood

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2013, 07:04:10 am »
Thanks for the link River.  I would be interested in seeing a break down of feral bees by region not only study their physical and behavioral differences in general, but how specific climates might affect those characteristics.  I have always assumed the feral bees I catch are pretty much a dual mix of Italian and Russian.  But, are there traces of the English/German black bees for instance?

Offline crazy8days

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2013, 07:50:13 am »
Thanks Riverbee!
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2013, 09:55:07 am »
Quote from: "blueblood"
Thanks for the link River.  I would be interested in seeing a break down of feral bees by region not only study their physical and behavioral differences in general, but how specific climates might affect those characteristics.  I have always assumed the feral bees I catch are pretty much a dual mix of Italian and Russian.  But, are there traces of the English/German black bees for instance?


   That would be interesting..   As I understand it the bees around here are Italian/Carniolan cross with a lot of older strains mixed in just for good measure..   MOST feral hives I have cut out or swarms I have caught in my boxes are darker bees, which leads me to believe they are predominantly Carny/German...
   My Mentor often talked about bees when he was a kid, but seldom mentioned RACES..    SO MANY things I wish I could ask him now..
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Offline tecumseh

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2013, 05:10:10 pm »
a blueblood snip..
But, are there traces of the English/German black bees for instance?

tecumseh...
Brother Adam at least suggested that likely the trachael mites took care of these although you would think yes there is still bound to be isolated traces here and there.  What we use to call 'the german black bee' was quite popular all along the eastern mountain range since a lot of the original european inhabitants there were Irish and German.

Offline Riverrat

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2013, 10:02:12 pm »
I have often wondered and have really never heard if the black bees are in other countries. Brother Adam's bees if I remember right was descendents of these bees. Please correct me if I am wrong. He is one of the few I have not read his research
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 10:27:15 pm »
The black German bee was some of the first bees brought to the new world with the settlers. Depending on where the ships and migrants were from would have influenced where the bee were brought from. Some races of bees swarmed and established feral colonies that survived in this new environment better than other races. In B.C. the Chinese working on the rail way collected feral colonies and set up apiaries and moved the colonies as they built the rail ways.
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Offline tecumseh

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2013, 06:49:35 am »
a minniemo snip..
 Brother Adam's bees if I remember right was descendents of these bees.

tecumseh...
the black bee was native to northern Europe and England.  at least according to Brother Adam the incident know as 'the Isle of Wright Disease' (sp???) pretty much obliterated this race of bees.  Brother Adam's bees known world wide as Buckfast are a results of collecting up bees from all over the world with traits Brother Adam liked and then developed at Buckfast Abbey in England.  So NO the Buckfast bee is not really the descendents of the the northern european black bee.

Offline blueblood

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2013, 03:36:06 pm »
That is interesting about the Chinese using the colonies along the rail.

Offline riverbee

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2014, 10:44:17 pm »
i wanted to bump this thread up. somewhere on the forum recently there was a question about russians and carnis, and had forgotten i had started this thread back in december.  i spent sometime and just updated my first post with all the current links to the pdf files, with 2 new ones, and also included an excellent file on the characteristics of the russian honey bee, and also an additional file on russian bees versus italian bees.

my first post is here:
Races & Charcteristics of Honey Bees Post #1

i think its important, especially for those of us new or young in keeping bees to be familiar with the biology of or the characteristics of the race of honey bee that you keep.  it will go a long ways to assisting you in your management of and decision making of the bee you keep.

i know for myself, going from italians, to carnis to russian bees, and some german black bees, there are differences in the characteristics of the different races.

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Offline Marty68

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2014, 08:28:28 am »
i'm gonna have to make a copy of this and take it out the next time i look at my bee's. i know i have a hive that is mainly black bee's and some of the all yellow. this was a good read.

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2014, 08:56:46 am »
I have on more than one occasion wished I had my camera with me when I did not..  I have several hives that have black bees intermixed..   BLACK.. no stripes.. Tiny little BLACK honeybees that look out of place because of their color and size. They are odd enough to capture your attention when looking for a queen..  I have noticed them more and more in hives with open mated queens.. to this point I have noticed no more aggression than normal.. hoping it stays that way...
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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2014, 08:38:14 pm »
What are Jen's black butted bees?  She had a great photo, I see those in feral colonies esp in the Arlington and Irving area, and I know they came from somewhere..

Offline tecumseh

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2014, 05:30:06 am »
a lazybrkp snip...
 BLACK.. no stripes.

tecumseh...
size of bees can often time be explained by nutrition (fat bee, skinny bee pretty much suggest this direclty and imho this is the very much overlooked but larger variable in the small cell true believers sales pitch) and the color of bee can sometimes be explained by which end of the egg (before it is laid) begins cellular division < this latter aspect of color can be seen quite clearly in cordovan honey bees where the queen has been II.  you might expect that all the members of the hive would be cordovan but if you have some of these around very long you will notice that a small number per hundred workers looks like your typical three banded italian < basically there is variation in many things that we think of as being all the same.

Offline iddee

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Re: Races & Characteristics of Honey Bees
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2014, 05:49:43 am »
 :goodone:
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