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Hairless midget bees

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crazy_bull 

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On inspecting one of my nucs today i spotted something i had never seen before, so perhaps someone can shed some light on it,


There was a congregation of maybe 20 very small (2/3rds the sized of a normal worker) dark, almost hairless bees on the outer frame. They had the 'right' sized legs and wings just very small heads thorax and abdomens.

I carried on through the hive and saw perhap 5 more dotted about in the hive but no more in a cluster like they were.


The nuc was made up a month ago from a strong health colony and is headed by a young queen who has laid up 4 of the 6 frames, all brood looks healthy.

I may try and get some picture later if time permits but certainly has me puzzled!:confused:



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crazy_bull 

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No deformed wings visable rest of the colony visably ok,

Don't think they are small drones but then again i've never seen a drone smaller than a worker so can't be sure.



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Kathy Margate 

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Could it be Bees drifting in from another hive or feral colony that are smaller?
 

OXFORDBEE 

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The bees could be affected by a virus. My Bailey book on honey bee pathology is now a bit elderly but it mentions "little blacks" as being hairless bees. Apparently these bees are shiny, appearaing greasy in bright light. These bees affected by the chronic paralysis virus.
 

crazy_bull 

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The bees could be affected by a virus. My Bailey book on honey bee pathology is now a bit elderly but it mentions "little blacks" as being hairless bees. Apparently these bees are shiny, appearaing greasy in bright light. These bees affected by the chronic paralysis virus.
They were rather shiny thinking about it, will have a research into this.

Thanks
 
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