oceanlis2000's picture


Observed: 2nd August 2007 By: oceanlis2000oceanlis2000’s reputation in Invertebratesoceanlis2000’s reputation in Invertebratesoceanlis2000’s reputation in Invertebrates
IMG 6942 (3)
IMG 6759 (2)
IMG 8603 (2)

Both of these have been identified as Honeybee Apis mellifera
Is there a reason for the difference in phenotype? Wild and hive form for example, or a difference in temperature as young?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which European honey bee (Apis mellifera) interacts


Matt Smith's picture

The colour differences are

The colour differences are due to different strains or breeding lines of the domestic honeybee. The redder forms are indicative of "Italian" strain influence, darker forms are more often assciated with "British Black" strains.

Tachinid Recording Scheme


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oceanlis2000's picture


Thanks for the comment

So as I understand it the dark form is the wild, native form and the redder form from a nearby hive


jon kean's picture

There is a big international

There is a big international trade in queen bees amongst the beekeeping fraternity, although there is now a movement to use local queens for breeding - particularly as you move north as they are hardy to the local conditions. The Italian and Buckfast Abbey bees were seen to be ideal at one time,supposedly gentler and more prolific but the Shropshire beekeepers say they are not hardy enough for the longer, colder winters.

The queens may mate with over 15 different drones on their one and only flight from the hive. These drones will come from different colonies, so even the wild honey bees are likely to be hybrids. It appears that there is a "Drone Zone" where the drones from hives in a neighbourhood congregate most afternoons and wait in case a queen passes by. so queen selection is more easily controllable than drone.

Jon Kean