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The European Black Bee


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The Black European honey bee  has been appearing in my garden again, very glad to see some have made it, I took a photo of it and it looks fine and healthy. I had a black hive about  twelve years ago, it was very different to the Italian bee in behavior,  I did not have any trouble with  aggression, it built up numbers very quickly in the spring although its numbers during the winter were small. I only had the hive for two years and then the hives in the  Nelson area were destroyed because the Varroa mite had arrived. I have not seen any black swarms around and they were common around this area twenty years ago., so I am not sure how many are around. They are obviously survivors.

 

RJONN

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Carniolan is the most likely. I don't know why people get so excited about  the old British black bee . I hated them 40 years ago and I hated them last year when I worked with them in England. Over th

I've heard a rumor of a local beekeeper trying to sneak some Russian queens into the country in the lower North Island.  Not sure is she was successful, but it would be a big jump to Nelson.   

Hairless shiny bees can be a sign of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus. (!)

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54 minutes ago, RJONN said:

The Black European honey bee  has been appearing in my garden again, very glad to see some have made it, I took a photo of it and it looks fine and healthy. I had a black hive about  twelve years ago, it was very different to the Italian bee in behavior,  I did not have any trouble with  aggression, it built up numbers very quickly in the spring although its numbers during the winter were small. I only had the hive for two years and then the hives in the  Nelson area were destroyed because the Varroa mite had arrived. I have not seen any black swarms around and they were common around this area twenty years ago., so I am not sure how many are around. They are obviously survivors.

 

RJONN

Photo please ????

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8 hours ago, john berry said:

Carniolan is the most likely. I don't know why people get so excited about  the old British black bee . I hated them 40 years ago and I hated them last year when I worked with them in England. Over there there are magazines dedicated to saving them, but you have to wonder why.

 

What was it like? I did a quick google and possibly summarising too harshly: they are grumpy, disease prone and don’t make much honey.

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9 hours ago, john berry said:

Carniolan is the most likely. I don't know why people get so excited about  the old British black bee . I hated them 40 years ago and I hated them last year when I worked with them in England. Over there there are magazines dedicated to saving them, but you have to wonder why.

They put me off ever having my own hives for 30 yrs .

Only upside from varroa is that they are pretty much extinct now  in NZ .

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21 hours ago, RJONN said:

The Black European honey bee  has been appearing in my garden again, very glad to see some have made it, I took a photo of it and it looks fine and healthy.

could you upload the photo here for us to take a look at too :)

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Hi Folks, I am very familiar with the  Carniolan , but am open to suggestion. My house is in the black bee hills and used to get small swarms most years, but would like some identification as they should have some resistance to Varroa by now.

 

I know some bee keepers hate them but, I lived with them for 25 years. The queens and worker are as black as your hat.  

 

Check the photo below.

european bee.JPG

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Working with the British black bee I got stung up because I had left a tiny gap when zipping up my veil so I was pretty nervous going out to work with a commercial beekeeper and his Buckfast bees which were a bit darker than I'm used to  but they were as calm as a summer's day and by the second day I wasn't bothering to even zip the hood up and the boss didn't even wear a veil.

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42 minutes ago, RJONN said:

Hi Folks, I am very familiar with the  Carniolan , but am open to suggestion. My house is in the black bee hills and used to get small swarms most years, but would like some identification as they should have some resistance to Varroa by now.

 

I know some bee keepers hate them but, I lived with them for 25 years. The queens and worker are as black as your hat.  

 

Check the photo below.

european bee.JPG

I have seen bees that black in some of my hives today while placing varroa treatment, Ive a mix of carni and italian but mostley carni/italian x now.

Photo to small to say what bee that is, not saying its not, just cant tell what it is.

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In my experience AMM bees were smaller than Melifera the insect in your photo seems a lot bigger than the bee on its right although it is a bit hard to tell.

Is it a bee or a dronefly/ hover fly ? 

See if you can get a closer photo .

if it is a bee the colour looks more AMM than Carni but then I haven’t seen a lot of Carnis :) 

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I have quite a few lookalikes to the picture in my hives as well.  Mine are Carni/Italian mongrel hives (not purebred mated queens) and I just assumed this was a throwback of some description.  Next time I go through the hives I will try and get some good photos.

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On 5/03/2019 at 9:46 PM, john berry said:

Carniolan is the most likely. I don't know why people get so excited about  the old British black bee . I hated them 40 years ago and I hated them last year when I worked with them in England. Over there there are magazines dedicated to saving them, but you have to wonder why.

I think they're probably the best suited to the British climate, that's why they're trying to resurrect them. Of course that's not the only reason... 

But, yes, I've heard they're not always very pleasant. ?

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