We have scouts checking out our very first swarm trap! Which is very exciting. One fascinating aspect is that these (slightly darker) bees seem to have much longer legs than our “store-bought” bees. I even started to worry perhaps these weren’t honeybees at all? Are certain breeds/races known for longer legs?
Interesting. Do you have photos?
Scouts are all females; are you sure they aren’t wearing high heels?
wasps tend to have longer legs than bees- and some types of wasp can look quite similar to bees…
Here are the two I managed to take before it flew away! they seem to have smaller bodies than my italians.
I’ve been thinking - Carniolan or Caucasian?
Probably Carnies. They look totally normal to me. The legs only look long because they are dark and you can easily see them right down to the tiny end parts. Just my humble opinion.
One more thought. This was from a swarm, right? Fairly early swarm for the season in your climate = typical Swarmiolan (Carniolan) behavior… They are just doing what they are famous for doing.
Is april still early for swarming in northern california?
Depends on your microclimate. The guy I rely on as my unofficial local mentor has an interesting perspective.
In San Diego, we have days year round which are suitable for opening hives. He says that when he starts to see drones in hives, you have about one to two months before the swarming urge will hit. For inland San Diego, that happened in late December. So swarms can be expected from February onwards.
I don’t have experience in your microclimate, but I would guess you are about a month to 6 weeks behind us. I don’t know if/when you or others started seeing drones, but that would give you a clue.
Heaps and heaps of drones!!! Have been seeing them since late January/early feb indeed. So looks like you’re spot on with 1 month-ish delay. Swarms ahoy… I’m going to be putting up swarm traps ALL OVER MY BACK YARD
I claim no wisdom on such matters being a newbee with only one hive about 6 months old however,
I remember the local bee inspector, taking the short course i did, saying that robber bees that approach a hive, intent on steeling the contents, will always approach with their legs hanging low and it is quite distinctive.
So my thinking that your long legged bees are trying to work out if there is something in your trap for them.