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Shiny bees and bee diseases


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There was a discussion today with regards to black shiny bees and in the example given it was a feature of hybrid mating.

The dark bee on the right is shiny/less hairy on her thorax because she's older - check out the frayed edges on her wings.

 

However the conversation jolted a memory of some information I half picked up on Thursday night. We were doing a bee disease night and one of the off the cuff comments from the presenter mentioned that black shiny bees (as a result of hair loss) were an indicator of .....

 

Now I'm sure it indicates lots of things and you have to put everything together to get a full picture, but what was it likely to be?

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just to clarify, the hybrid factor wasn't anything to do with her being less hairy. Italian, Carniolan or mongrel will wear off their hairs and fray their wings as they age - it's because bees don't do cell repair and ongoing growth well. Once they emerge as adults, the exoskeletal features are fixed and can only wear out from there.

 

I commented on her age because the OP mentioned her being less hairy as a possible distinguishing feature of a different type of bee.

 

As far as a disease indicator... nothing's jumping to mind offhand.

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Sorry a bit tired so my head thought my fingers knew what it was thinking without saying it. Yeah didn't put that together very well did I?

 

As far as a disease indicator... nothing's jumping to mind offhand.

Thats the bit I'm struggling with. I can't find anything in the books or online for that matter (that's relevant anyway). I thought I would ask the question to see if anyone else knew.

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I think if its the same thing i see its over worked and under paid bees. You will see it more if theres been some good robbing going on, but basicly its an age thing, their might be some sort of virus or something that has the same look but not that i know and not to the extent of it being concern ( yet) to the hive.

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Grant I think you may be referring to a disease sometimes called "shiny black hairless disease", and it's sometimes called "black robber disease". I've googled it but didn't come up with anything really good on it.

 

However, what happens is a bees gets the virus and goes black, hairless, and shiny, plus the abdomen goes kind of pointy. At this point the bee looks like it came from another hive. Once this stage is reached the bee will only live another day or so. Bees from it's own hive may attack it, hence it can look like a weird looking black bee is trying to rob the hive.

 

When my headache goes away I'll try to do a better search on it.

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Hi Grant the shiny bees that you could see with high levels of varroa in a beehive is a symptom of chronic paralysis virus.

Brilliant, that saves me emailing you the question, thanks Marco and great to see you on the site, thank you for registering

:)

I'm pretty sure that hairless and shiny bees is an indication of paralysis

And thanks Frazzle too - 100% on the money with that answer (y)

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