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All black bees? Apis mellifera mellifera

A few days we inspected mums hive- Mum pointed out one unusual all black bee- it was a worker and looked like the rest in general form but was distinctively black and free of yellow stripes.

Today I was watching my own bees drinking at my water station- and there was another of these distinctive all black bees. I had a good long look at it- it didn’t seem particularly old- just all black. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo- if I see one again i will try and snap it.

Some of my drones are really big and very dark compared to the worker bees- but these all black bees are a bit different again?

Could this be a trace of European black bee genes- apis mellifera mellifera? Or just odd variants like albinism or black sheep, etc?

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It could be or it could just be an old bee. AMM have a very cinched in abdomen so there is a distinct “waist”, the hairs are black and they are a little smaller than your average mongrel.
There are ways of having a good guess by looking at the pattern on the wings but definitive diagnosis is by DNA testing…sorry…like you really wanted to know that!
AMM typically has an oval brood pattern on the frame with a complete circle (top, bottom and sides ) of first pollen and then honey around it. A very pretty sight :slight_smile:

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